Travel Guide To South Plaza Island, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands have always been the apple of tourists’ and divers’ eye owing to plenty of picturesque vistas and spine-tingling diving spots. Some of these islands are inhabited by humans while others are under the care of nature. There exist two islets towards the eastern vicinity of the coast of Santa Cruz, South Plaza Island and North Plaza Island. While the southern island is open to tourists to visit and explore, the northern island is reserved for scientific researches and conservational activities only.

South Plaza Island is the product of lava activity that took place in the sea and tilted the seabed. It has been around for a long time and is claimed to be about 4.2 million years old and has an area of 0.13 sq km and an altitude of 23m or 75 ft above the sea level. Though the island is one of the smallest among the islands in Ecuador, it is quite rich in flora and fauna which lures visitors to the island.

Things to do at South Plaza Island

Anyone willing to explore this beautiful island must be ready to bump into Sea Lions, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Iguanas, and various birds that turn to this island for the purpose of nesting. To put you on cloud nine of excitement, the island boasts a large colony of Sea Lions which is also one of the largest in the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos sea lion resting on a bed of red Sesuvium (ice plant), South Plaza Island, Galapagos
Galapagos sea lion resting on a bed of red Sesuvium (ice plant), South Plaza Island, Galapagos

Once you step on the island, you will get to witness mesmeric cactus forest surrounded by a fine array of Yellow and Red Land Iguanas. These iguanas thrive on all sorts of vegetation present on the island and in the dry seasons, they feed on fruits and cactus flowers.

As your trekking progresses and you move to the higher points of the island, you get to see Audubon’s Shearwaters, Frigate Birds, Nazca, Blue-footed Boobies, and Tropic Birds. Migratory birds also make the island their home depending upon seasons and weather conditions.

Trekking on South Plaza Island

Among the things that you must commit to memory before undertaking a trekking activity on the island is that you get to walk on the rocky surface for which you must be carrying your hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes, though the trekking is not that laborious. Trekking across the entire island is likely to consume around 2 hours. Ensure that you carry along water bottles and some snacks or ready to eat food packets.


The island is termed as the Red Island owing to the presence of vegetation that comprises sesuvium. Over and above, the island also has a wide area at the disposal of cactus, the fruits of which make the island look all the more enthralling and vivid.

Swalllow Tailed Gull, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Swallow-Tailed Gull, South Plaza Island, Ecuador

Since the island is all about enjoying nature at its best and does not have a difficult terrain to cover, kids and senior people, can also become a part of the trip to South Plaza Island.

The money that you will have to shell out to explore this island will depend on your overall itinerary or tour package. A travel itinerary to this island is usually inclusive of many other places or islands in the Galapagos as well. Tour packages are designed for different durations and their cost also varies accordingly. Ecuador tourism provides all the necessary details to tourists so that they can get the best and enjoy themselves on the tour.

Read more: The other islands of Galapagos


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