Plaza Sur: A Quaint Gem in the Galapagos Archipelago

Tucked away in the southwestern part of the Galapagos archipelago, Plaza Sur Island may be small in size, but it packs a punch in terms of biodiversity and unique landscapes. In this installment of our Galapagos Islands series, let’s uncover the hidden treasures of Plaza Sur, a destination that invites visitors to explore its rugged beauty and encounter an array of fascinating wildlife.

Geology and Landscape

Plaza Sur, or South Plaza, is a geological marvel shaped by uplifting tectonic activity. Its dramatic cliffs, sculpted by the forces of wind and water, provide a picturesque backdrop to the island’s vibrant flora and fauna. The island is divided into two parts: Plaza Norte (North Plaza) and Plaza Sur (South Plaza), with Plaza Sur being the most visited.



One of the first things that greet visitors is the vibrant red carpet of Sesuvium, a succulent plant that blankets the island. The contrasting colors of the red carpet against the turquoise waters create a stunning visual spectacle.

Opuntia Cacti

Plaza Sur is dotted with towering Opuntia cacti, offering nesting sites for various bird species. The cacti play a crucial role in the island’s ecosystem, providing food and shelter for the resident wildlife.


Land Iguanas

Plaza Sur is renowned for its population of yellow-brown land iguanas. Visitors can observe these prehistoric-looking creatures basking in the sun or browsing on the vegetation, showcasing their unique adaptations to the arid environment.

Sea Lions

The rocky shores of Plaza Sur serve as a haven for sea lions. Watch as these playful marine mammals frolic in the waves and rest on the sun-soaked rocks, providing ample opportunities for intimate encounters.


The island is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, and frigatebirds soaring above. The cliffs and cacti offer nesting sites, allowing visitors to witness the fascinating behaviors of these avian inhabitants.


Hiking Trails

Plaza Sur offers well-marked trails that lead visitors through the island’s diverse landscapes. Hiking along the cliffs provides panoramic views of the surrounding seas and the opportunity to observe wildlife up close.


Explore the underwater world around Plaza Sur with a snorkeling adventure. The crystal-clear waters teem with marine life, offering a chance to swim alongside colorful fish, sea turtles, and rays.


Plaza Sur, with its captivating landscapes and diverse wildlife, stands as a testament to the Galapagos’ ability to surprise and delight at every turn. This quaint gem invites travelers to step off the beaten path and immerse themselves in the raw beauty of nature. From land iguanas to playful sea lions, Plaza Sur offers a unique and intimate Galapagos experience that leaves a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to explore its shores.


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