Santa Fe is a small, flat island right in the center of the Galapagos archipelago, and is thought to be one of the oldest volcanoes here. Dating of the rocks below the water estimate they were formed almost 4 million years ago.
Santa Fe had it's own breed of Giant Tortoise that became extinct at some point in the 1800s due to being hunted for meat. There are two species that are unique to the island still present here - the Santa Fe Land Iguana, and the Santa Fe Rice Rat.
There is one visitor site on Santa Fe, and you will have a panga ride to a wet landing on the beach at Barrington Bay on the island's north coast. From here there are two hiking trails. One is a short loop close to the beach that takes you into an Opuntia forest filled with these massive cactus. This is the best opportunity to see the Santa Fe land iguanas and also other species such as Galapagos Hawks.
The second trail is a tougher proposition as it climbs quite steeply to the top of a cliff from where you will enjoy stunning views over the island's unspoilt interior.
Back on the beach you can join the Galapagos Sea Lions who often play in the waves and you can enjoy some wonderful snorkeling in the clear blue-green waters here.
Photos of A walk on Santa Fe
Highlights at A walk on Santa Fe
- Species unique to Santa Fe
- Amazing Giant Opuntia
- Fantastic snorkeling