Santa Cruz Island is the second largest island in the Galapagos. A road crosses the island from north to south, giving a good opportunity of seeing some of the highland interior. This road cuts through vegetation zones on the island, from arid north shore to wet, green highlands. The Highlands of Santa Cruz offer an exuberant vegetation and are famous for the lava tunnels. Large populations of Giant Tortoises are found here. Wild Tortoises roam free crashing through the mist covered guayabillo, pega pega, and grasses of the humid zone.
Most visitors come here to see the giant Tortises and its is also possible to see the young hatchling giant tortises. A great place to visit are the twin craters known as Los Gemelos. The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the archipelago. The Finch Bay Hotel is here and also the Charles Darwin Research Station. Tortugua Bay close to Puerto Ayora is a great place for swimming.