Santa Cruz Island have an area of 986 km2 and a maximum altitude of 864 m. Situated in the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the second largest island after Isabela. Santa Cruz hosts the largest human population in the archipelago at the town of Puerto Ayora, with a total of 18,000 residents on the island. On Santa Cruz, there are some small villages, whose inhabitants work in agriculture and cattle raising.
It was here the tourism industry started for real. Seymour Airport on the island of Baltra, which was an airstrip used by American troops in the Second World War, opened to customers. The opening of the airport made the Islands much more accessible to visitors.
Because of this Santa Cruz is the island that is most developed when it comes to visitor sites and accommodation standards.
From Santa Cruz you can visit the Islands of; Seymore, Bartolomé, Plazas, Santa Fe, San Cristobal, Pizon, Daphnes and Isabela. Most of the dive schools are also here on Santa Cruz.
Tortuga Bay is located on the Santa Cruz Island, a short hike from center of Puerto Ayora where you can view marine iguanas, birds, Galapagos crabs and a natural mangrove where you can spot white tip reef sharks and the gigantic Galápagos tortoises.