A Morning Trek with Our Native Companions: Santa Fe Land Iguanas

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Couple Marine Iguanas Galapagos Islands.jpg

Santa Fe land iguanas were the highlight of our adventure this Sunday as we explored the Eastern Islands of the Galapagos archipelago. We decided to visit the little but vibrant island of Santa Fe, home to one of the most famous Galapagos species, the pale Santa Fe land iguana. Santa Fe is home to this unique species, which implies that the only location on Earth where you can witness this unusual species in its natural habitat is on this small island.

Spotting Santa Fe Land Iguanas

This is the ideal time of year to witness iguanas and land birds mate. Land animals are abundant because it’s currently the hot season. On our stroll, we saw at least 8 Santa Fe land iguanas—an individual record!

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The smaller dorsal spines of this species set it apart from other land iguanas. Its snout is tapered, and its hue is lighter and more brownish. Plenty of prickly pear cacti on this island, which most Santa Fe land iguanas eat. However, some iguanas can also consume insects and carrion. These iguanas like feasting on the blooms of Portulaca plants while they are in bloom! During the dry season, this plant has red oblong leaves; during the hot season, it blossoms bright yellow.

Galapagos iguanas: santa fe iguana
The Santa Fe land iguana is known for its pale color.

We prepared to go snorkeling in the afternoon after a sweltering morning. We also offered activities in glass-bottom boats in a serene, sandy bay for visitors who did not wish to enter the water. When you sail on an expedition ship like Santa Cruz II, several guides travel with your group. This implies that the group can divide up to engage in several activities concurrently. This flexibility is not achievable in single-guided vessels.

After swimming in the glistening waters, everyone agreed that our journey had been lifted from a dream of heaven. 

This marked the morning’s peak; let’s move on to Plazas Sur! On the Santa Cruz II, we are on the second day of our Eastern Islands Galapagos Itinerary. We stop at San Cristobal, Española, Santa Fe, Plazas Sur, and Santa Cruz Islands on our exciting route. This is an excellent route for land reptiles and birds (if you go in the right season, you can see Española’s famous Galapagos albatrosses). Come to The Galapagos; it’s always a great experience!

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 Reaching Santa Fe Island

Galapagos sea lions could be seen in the distance today as we prepared to unload on the beach and begin our climb. They appeared to be observing us and waiting for us with curiosity. Sea lions may be rather lively at times!

The young sea lions greeted us warmly when we arrived on the island! Later, we were also greeted by the Santa Fe land iguanas. Midday rains are soothing in the Galapagos because this is the scorching season. Plant life thrives this time of year, so land creatures do well.

Sea lions on Santa Fe Island.
Encounter with a friendly sea lion during our exploration of Santa Fe Island.

Updated:June 6, 2024

Published:February 21, 2017

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