Santa Cruz Island

Sep 26, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II


This is a mandatory stop for every traveler visiting the Galapagos, since this island is the base for the two most important organizations that promote and conduct conservation, research and science in the archipelago. The Galapagos National Park and The Charles Darwin Research Station have been allies in conservation for the last five decades. The first one is the main authority for the islands, it manages and creates regulations for extractive and non-extractive users, while the second one conducts research and promotes conservation in the whole archipelago.

Our visitors enjoyed an informative visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, learning more about conservation and science conducted in the Galapagos, specifically with the giant tortoises in their captive breeding program.

After the visit, our guests had some time in town to visit the fishermen’s wharf, where pelicans, sea gulls, sea lions and frigatebirds gather to wait for the catch of the day. Later on in the morning, we visited a local school, that we as National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions support as one of our grantees, and finally some of our guests enjoyed their visit at a local organic farm called El Trapiche. This organic farm produces coffee and sugar cane and highlights the way of living of the early settlers in the highlands.

In the afternoon, we visited the giant tortoise reserve, where our guests had close encounters with these unique life forms roaming in the grass. After exploring the reserve, we visited a lava tunnel with interesting geological features, taking us back to a time when Santa Cruz Island was volcanically active.

What a great day on this fantastic island.

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About the Author

Socrates Tomala

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Socrates was raised on Santa Cruz Island located in the heart of Galapagos Archipelago.  After a childhood filled with swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing and volunteering in conservation projects, he grew very passionate about the outdoors and the natural world. 

About the Videographer

David Pickar

Video Chronicler

David Pickar is a native of Portland, Oregon. He studied anthropology at the University of Oregon, then spent several years working as a field archaeologist. Participating in excavations in countries like Jordan, Belize and Italy and in every corner of the US, allowed him to witness culture and the environment from an unusual perspective.

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