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  • Amy snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • Chris Packham Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz, GPS

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos and has the largest human population, living mainly in the town of Puerto Ayora.

The island is thought to have been formed in two parts, north and south. The northern section is the older part, created due to an uplift of land — you can see the layers of marine sediment and limestone as evidence of this process. The southern younger part of the island was formed through volcanic cones and lava, the landscape of which is often likened to that of the moon with craters, cones and tuffs.

Galapagos Tortoise, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands
Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands

A little more about Santa Cruz

The varied landscape means the island has different altitude levels and has developed seven different microclimates which have allowed vegetation to thrive and support the varied wildlife.

The island is also home to the giant tortoise, sea lions, flamingos, marine and land iguana, lava heron and boobies. By heading up to the highlands surrounded by scalesia trees, cacti and ferns, you will have the opportunity to see the giant tortoise thriving in this lush green scenery. Some can reach the grand old age of 200 years and weigh up to 250kg.

Blue-Footed Boobies, North Seymour Island, Galapagos Islands
Blue-Footed Boobies, Galapagos Islands

Further north, towards Las Bachas, you will find white sandy beaches and if you take a closer look, you’ll see marine iguana and turtle trails created by their climb out of the sea onto the beach. You may also see the iconic blue-footed boobies that tend to stand on the rock edge keeping a look out.

Travelling west you will come to Cerro Dragon, one of the only spots in the Galapagos Islands where you will be able to see land iguanas.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

The moment a blue footed booby makes its dive and plunges like a dart into the water is special, but to see hundreds do this at once was a breath-taking experience that Paul was not prepared for.
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James Armitage

James first visited the Galapagos Islands in 1981 and has subsequently returned another four times. With every visit, the wildlife both above and below the water is enchanting.
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John Faithfull

Half of the appeal of the Galapagos Islands is underwater, and a few minutes in the company of a five-metre manta ray off the coast of Isabela Island remains one of John’s most vivid memories of this incredible archipelago.
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Roxy Dukes

Wildlife is Roxy’s passion, so where better to immerse than in Darwin’s land? Having stepped on all but one of the islands in the archipelago and having personally visited our hand-picked selection of hotels and boats, there is little she does not know about the Galapagos Islands.
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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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Why Steppes