Galapagos Islands Travel Blog

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands Travel Blog. We provide unbiased opinions on the best travel ideas, sales, specials across all islands. If you want to arrange a private tour contact 201-688-7170

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Travel Galapagos - Plaza Sur

Traveling the Galapagos Islands without visiting Plaza Sur would be a huge mistake. There’s a lot to see for travelers. Plaza Sur is a tiny island, the southern one of a pair of crescent-shaped islands not far-off of the east side of Santa Cruz. Plaza Sur is just 130 meters wide and a kilometer long. Unlike the conical volcanic islands, it is the effect of shifts in the earth’s crust, which have lifted it on top of the surface of the water. It is like a tilted tabletop, expanding gradually from the beach to cliffs of about 20 meters on the south side.

I like to emphasize Plaza Sur for those of you who travel Galapagos for a number of reasons. For instance, landing on the islands usually is trouble-free because there is a small cement jetty to which the panga can pull up. If the water is calm, you should be able to make a dry, sometimes slippery landing and then take the easy walk of about one hour. The only problem to landing is that sea lions also love to lie on the jetty. The guide usually has to clap or make other noises to make them go away, usually rather grumpily.

Once you reach the island, the first thing you will notice is the vegetation. This is one of the islands with tree sized opuntia, or prickly pear cactus. They are very handsome with their bright russet bark, textured in a mosaic of elongated diamond-shaped plates. Growing from the bark are veritable explosions of gray spines, more than three centimeters long. Along the branches and at their tips are great fleshy paddles. These green paddles are a source of food for the finches and the land iguanas that are common here. It is wonderful to see the sturdy, pink tongued iguanas stand on their hind legs to munch on those spine-laden pads. Leathery gums seem to be their savior.

You see… Why would you travel Galapagos without checking out this fascinating island?