Smack bang in the centre of the Galapagos archipelago, Santa Cruz is one of the most impressive islands in terms of its ecological diversity. The second largest island in the Galapagos, Santa Cruz has expansive lush central highlands which are home to the celebrated roaming giant tortoise. The last eruption of the now dormant volcano took place over a million years ago, leaving impressive lava tunnels to explore. Nature and man live side-by-side here; the settlement of Puerto Ayora is a popular hangout spot for pelicans, bobbing marine iguanas and curious sea-lions. With more time to explore, the pristine white sands of Tortuga Bay or las Grietas are just a short walk from the town.