Start your tour of Galapagos with a visit to Santa Cruz
Galapagos tours offer chances for an experience unlike any other on earth. Located off the coast of Ecuador, this tiny group of islands has been a large draw to adventure travelers for decades, and with miles of untarnished beautiful landscapes, it's easy to understand why. Whether you prefer to explore the island by bike or would rather spend time relaxing on one of the islands many idyllic beaches, there is something for everyone.
For those looking for some adventure, the island of Santa Cruz is hard to top. Located in the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is largely uninhabited, which makes it the perfect location if you're interested in truly immersing yourself in the environment. There are many highlights around the island, which has an area of more than 380 square miles, but you should make a point to visit Black Turtle Cove. Only accessible by dinghy - often with the engine turned off - this pristine body of water is home to many of the world's best-known creatures including sea turtles, rays and pelicans.
Santa Cruz is home to more than just Black Turtle Cove, however, as the island is also where the famous Charles Darwin Research Station is located. Since it was established in 1964, the station has played a vital role in maintaining the ecological health of the island, and it's a great place to get an understanding of just how diverse the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands is.
Before departing from Santa Cruz, you'll undoubtedly want to walk through one of the island's famous lava tunnels. One in particular runs more than 6,500 feet and is a popular destination among tourists.