In 1940, Santay Island was known for its production of rice and cattle farming. From 1990, the Ecological Committee of the Coast, a natural non-legislative association of Guayaquil, along with the local community, did an undertaking that led to the foundation of the Original Settlers Association called “San Jacinto de Santay”. This led to the development of a Community Center and a school.
Santay Island is now a protected area, recognised not only in the nation and locally, but also internationally for its ecological characteristics. Moreover, the population is deeply dedicated to its conservation, thus ensuring that the island maintains its ecological importance and retains its biodiversity.
Things to do
Main Attractions at Santay Island
1. Flora and fauna of mangroves
You can admire the mangroves of the islands while sailing through the following estuaries: Huaquillas, Del Amor, Matilde, and the canal in front of Gallo island. On the banks of the islands and inlets, you might see several colonies of marine/coastal birds. Near Matilde estuary, you’ll find the remains of an old farm.
2. The natural viewpoint of Guayaquil
From the community of San Jacinto de Santay, you can see the river, the city centre, the hills of Santa Ana and the neighbourhood of Las Peñas.
There is an Ecovillage and also a breeding centre on the coast for endangered crocodiles.
Tavel Itinerary: Visitors can get to Santay Island by foot, bike or by the waterway. Pedestrians and bikes can get to Santay Island using the bridge situated in Guayaquil, in El Oro Street, by the stream. Travellers can take vessels that are tied down in the docks of the Yacht Club of Guayaquil to get to the island by the stream.
The bridge has a high-level part that allows the navigation of the ships crossing the waterway. It has been instrumental in tourism development of the island and also to increase the standard of living for the inhabitants. Additionally, the entrance zone in Guayaquil has parking spots.
ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE
When to go
The hot and humid season lasts from January to June. The cold and dry season continues from July to December and brings cooler water temperatures, so remember to bring your wetsuit.
The Galapagos islands are situated on the two sides of the equator to around 970 km (600 miles) west of mainland Ecuador. Galapagos tourism is known for its various endemic species and the examinations done by Charles Darwin that drove him to set up his Theory of Evolution. This extraordinary natural laboratory was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO.
The island is home to several species of birds, reptiles and mammals. Visitors can also see the black mangroves and the endemic saman and guachipelin trees.
The island also has a tourist office, a health centre, a recycling centre, accommodation cabins, a restaurant and a view tower.
The island has no admission fee or entry permit costs. Only restaurant charges will be applicable.
Read more: The other Islands of Galapagos