PLAZAS ISLAND AND PUNTA CARRION
After a dry landing on the rocky bay of the island, you will instantly spot sea-lions waddling across the salt lava rocks and snoozing under the shady saltbushes. The trail heads up a gentle incline up to a steep cliff. The vegetation belongs to the arid and littoral zones; half the island is covered with saltbush, leatherleaf (Maytenus), and thorn shrub (Scutia pauciflora). The side with the trail is treeless, but covered with a rock-garden-like mat of the endemic sea purslane whose succulent leaves turn red from May to December.
The blooming yellow flowers from the Portulaca howelli are relished by the vegetarian land iguanas. This is a good place to get started on recognition of Darwin’s finches; only the medium, small and cactus ground finches live here.
The cliff is surprisingly windy, and a great place for red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls, brown pelicans, and the odd frigatebird to swoop the sky and sky dive down the cliff and dodge the salty ocean milkshake down below. The trail meanders along the cliff edge for a few hundred meters. Audubon’s shearwaters and Brown noddy terns can be spotted offshore. Look out for manta rays jumping out of the water in the horizon.
The trail turns direction at a well-worn platform of polished lava rock, known to be where the “bachelor sea-lion colony”, a diverse collection of mainly elderly male sea-lions who have lost their territories to younger, stronger males. Sea-lions have the ability to climb up the cliff via some rocky steps. Many wear battle scars and shark bites.
Heading back down to the channel between the two Plaza islands, the trail runs behind one of the most concentrated sea lion colonies in the islands. About 1000 shift around as males continually compete for “harems” of about 20 females. The pups are endearing and will often approach you, but it is essential that you keep a distance of 2 meters from them. Keep your eye out for migratory waders like sanderlings, knots, plovers and kelp gull.
WHAT TO SEE ON PLAZAS ISLAND LAND TOUR
- Blue-Footed Booby
- Masked Booby
- Common Noddy
- Brown Pelican
- Sort-Eared Owl
- Cactus Finch
- Desert Plum
- Lava Lizard
- Prickly Pear Cactus
- Galapagos Carpetweed
- Puncture Weed
- Galapagos Sea Lion
- Marine Iguana
- Land Iguana
- Yellowtail Mullet
- Sally Lightfoot Crab
- Audubon’s Shearwater
- Red-Billed Tropic Bird
- Ground Finches
- Galapagos Purslane
Details of Plazas Island Land Tour
The departure times can vary upon the operator we will finally book for your Plazas land tour. The reason is that the Galapagos National Park gives different time frames to different operators. Thus, they can avoid having too many boats on one spot at the same time. This helps us to make your experience even more unique and exclusive.
Price: from $218.00 per person (incl. taxes / without transaction fees)
Departure Time: 7:00-8:00
Departure Location: Depends on the operator – Either hotel or close to the peer in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
Arrival Time: Around 16:00
Arrival Location: Peer of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
Once we got your inquiry about this land tour knowing your travel dates and other details, we can give you more information about specific times and details on this tour.
We are really much looking forward to your questions and inquiry.
- Lunch onboard
- Naturalist Guide (English and Spanish speaking)
- Snorkeling Equipment (Mask, snorkel, fins)
- Snacks / Fruits
Most operators still have them onboard and if you would like to you can rent them for around $5.00 per person
Although most things are included in our tours we would like to give you some advice on what to bring to your Plazas Island Land Tour.
- Sun Protection (Sun cream and a cap or hat)
- Wind-proof jacket or sweatshirt
- Light hiking boots / sport shoes
- Refillable water bottle
If you are just interested in this land tour, just fill out the little box to the right (on mobile below) and click on “Enquire now“. If you are interested in other land tours as well as in diving, then please fill out the following reservations form. This will help us to directly design a first offer for you.
THE SCUBA IGUANA DIFFERENCE
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