While on a weeklong cruise with Ecoventura, onboard MV Origin, I had the chance to visit countless destinations in the Galápagos.
On the second day of the cruise, we spent the morning at Las Bachas beach then cruised to Cerro Dragón to spend the day hiking and exploring this natural wonderland. Located on Santa Cruz island, Cerro Dragón is home to land iguanas, marine iguanas, flamingos and other shore birds.
Cerro Dragón is a must-see and was one of my favorite destinations in the Galápagos.
The Iguanas of Cerro Dragón
This beautiful island is perfect to hike around and appreciate the incredible beauty of nature. It’s home to Dragon Hill, and is also one of the best places in the Galápagos Islands to see land iguanas. Not to be confused with the marine iguana, the Galápagos land iguana is yellow/brown in color and is only found on, your guessed it, land.
We only spotted 3 along our hike, but more can be seen during different times of the year.
You might see them taking siestas on trails, lounging on the rocky beaches, or feeding on cactus. It’s a cool chance to see them in their natural environment!
There’s so much to take in around Dragon Hill. You can easily spend a full afternoon exploring the island, and that’s exactly what we did. Wandering along the lava flow on the beach and checking out the countless land and marine iguanas is a pretty great way to spend a day.
While the island of Venecia is inaccessible, you’ll be able to see it from Dragon Hill.
This untouched island is part of the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galápagos National Park conservation program, and even from a distance you’ll see marine iguanas basking on its shores.
Prickly Pear Cactus
Another one of the fun parts of hiking around Dragon Hill is checking out all of the different cacti. There are six species of prickly pear cacti around the Galápagos Islands.
Land iguanas eat them, but you can sample them too. Prickly pear cacti have three edible bits known as cactus fruit. They are the pads (nopal), the petals of the flower, and the pear (tuna).
From super hot to sweet, they all taste really different from each other.
You can find them served solo (raw or cooked) as well as in a wide range of salads, candies, jams, juices, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
More Galápagos essentials!
READ NEXT: 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit The Galápagos