Dec 14, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we visited Puerto Ayora, located on Santa Cruz Island. This town is the center of the economic activity in the Galapagos archipelago. Nowadays more than thirty thousand people live here. In the morning we visited the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station, both founded in 1959. The Charles Darwin Research Station provides critical advice to guide the management and conservation strategies implemented by the Galapagos National Park.
At the Galapagos National Park we visited the tortoise path, a new exhibit that highlights critical issues such as the control and eradication of invasive species and the conservation efforts to restore critical populations of land tortoises and finches. We also visited the Lonesome George exhibit, the last tortoise of Pinta who passed away in 2012, to remind us about the fragility of the islands.
Later in the afternoon we travelled along the humid zone, to visit El Trapiche, a locally-owned farm, to observe the elaboration of coffee, chocolate and liqueur. Then we went to El Aquelarre for lunch. Finally, we visited El Chato II, a farm where we observed the land tortoises of Santa Cruz Island roaming freely in their natural habitat, and learned about the ecology of this healthy population of approximately 8000 individuals.
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