South Plaza Island and Santa Fe Island

Apr 25, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


We are among land iguanas! South Plaza is a tiny little island, home to Conolphus subcristatus, the endemic land iguana of Galapagos and the leading attraction for its visitors. However, there are many other life forms here to draw one’s interest, and equally photogenic—but it was the land iguanas which held our attention. The rains have rallied an array of vegetation to spout up, and the endemic sea purslane (Sesuvium edmonstoni) was abloom with its delicate, small, white blossoms. The tall prickly pear cacti had fruit galore, and many yellow flowers ripe for pollinating. Life was abound here on South Plaza, and we were here to take in every bit we could!

The afternoon at Santa Fe Island was a different pace—bigger, deeper, an escarpment to be climbed, a rocky complex of trails to be crossed, the pale gold of the land iguana of the land iguana to be found and appreciated. And found they were, to include many other sightings and equally treasured experiences!

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About the Author

Cindy Manning

Expedition Leader

Born in Lima, Peru, of North American parents, Cindy and her family subsequently lived in several South American and European countries with a couple stops in Peoria, Illinois. Cindy received a degree in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Afterwards, Cindy spent a year and a half teaching science in the Western Province of Kenya, East Africa. 

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