Exploring Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz

April 2019

 

Dragon Hill or Cerro Dragon on the northern shore of Santa Cruz was the first stop on our cruise and we spend an afternoon exploring this natural wonderland. This fascinating landscape is home to land and marine iguanas, flamingos and other shorebirds.

How to get there?

Dragon Hill can be reached during a cruise or day trip from Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. Since it is located in a national park, you can only go there with a guide.

Observing land iguanas on the trail

 

Our cruise ship stopped near Dragon Hill and we hopped into a panga and (dry) landed in a beautiful bay. We started walking and passed a lagoon shortly afterwards where flamingos and shorebirds can be seen. We continued walking inland and hiked slightly uphill for about an hour before reaching the top of a small hill that offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western part of Santa Cruz.

The entire hike takes about 1,5 hours. On the way we saw several land iguanas which are yellow, brown and red unlike the marine iguanas which are black. You can see napping, chilling on the rocky beach or feeding on cactus.

Watching playful sea lions at the shore

When we finally got back to the bay and saw playful sea lions there who had a lot of fun entertaining the crowd. The sea lions swam in the shallow water and came really close to the tourists. They seemed to be enjoying the attention.

Eventually, we had to return to our cruise ship, which took a while because everyone wanted to stay with the cute sea lions for a little longer. But finally, we hopped back into the pangas and got back on our cruise ship.

 

LOGISTICS

Departure

Cruise ship, Santa Cruz

Duration & Distance

1 hour

3km

Cost

No extra charge

Equipment

Sun screen

Water