South Plaza is one of the smallest islands on the Galapagos archipelago, located off the east coast of Santa Cruz Island. Here are more facts about it:
- South Plaza is home to a variety of unique wildlife, including the famous Galapagos land iguana and the hybrid iguana, a result of cross-breeding between land and marine iguanas.
- Visitors to South Plaza can also see a variety of bird species, including the swallow-tailed gull, red-billed tropicbird, Nazca booby, and blue-footed booby.
- The island's rocky terrain and steep cliffs provide a unique opportunity for hiking and exploring, with stunning views of the surrounding ocean and nearby islands.
- South Plaza's rugged terrain is covered withGalapagos Carpetweed or Sesuvium. During the rainy season the carpet is a vibrant green, while in the dry season its change to a bright red, orange and purple tones. This eye-catching landscape is a favorite amongst photography aficionados.
- There are two Plazas islands in Galapagos, North and South. Both are crescent shaped land masses and formed by volcanic uplift of the ocean floor rather than volcanic eruption.
- Of the two Plazas, only South Plaza can be visited by tourists. North Plaza is reserved for scientific and conservation purposes.
- South Plaza is also home to a variety of cactus species, including the iconic prickly pear cactus or Opuntia cactus, the main food source for the island's land iguana population.
- The waters surrounding the island hold a variety of underwater life, such as sea lions, reef sharks, and a variety of fish species.
- South Plaza was hystorically used as a base for pirates and whaling expeditions that sailed the Pacific Ocean.