SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
Santa Cruz is the 2nd biggest island after Isabela Island in the Galapagos archipelago. It is located in the center of the island set, with an area of 986 square kilometers and a maximum altitude of 864 meters over the sea level. It is an inactive volcano and it is estimated that its most recent eruption took place 1,000,000 and a half years ago. As a testimony of its volcanic activity there are 2 huge cavities: “Los Gemelos” (“The Twins”) that were formed from a magma chamber. Bahía Tortuga (Turtle Bay) is located in Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Ecuador. Puerto Ayora (Ayora Port) is located at around 20 minutes by foot. In the mangrove it is very common to find walking a Grapsus grapsus multicolor crab, the Amblyrhynchus cristatus – Iguana, sharks of the Punta Blanca (White Headland) reef and the Galapagos turtle.
Santa Cruz hosts the biggest population in the archipelago in its capital, Puerto Ayora, with over 15,000 inhabitants. In addition to the capital there are small population centers in which their inhabitants focus their attention mainly to agriculture and livestock.
The biggest population center of the province is located in this island. Most touristic tours, navigable cruises and boats depart from this island to the different visiting sites all over the archipelago.
By sea: from San Cristobal Island a person may arrive by using a cabotage boat.
By air: from the Continental mainland arriving to the Baltra airport.
At 1000 kilometers from the Continental mainland and a 2 hours and 30 minutes from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Baquerizo Moreno Port).
WORLD WAR II
During the Pacific War, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands was fought north of the Santa Cruz group and some sea planes were based in Graciosa Bay, with one reportedly having sunk there. Chemical ordnance stored on Vanikoro Island was not completely removed until the 1990s.