Santa Cruz Island

Jan 03, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


As we pulled into Academy Bay, the town dotted the shoreline with boats in the harbor and…humans! Some of our guests on board were here in the islands many moons ago – in fact several decades ago. They are here with family members, grandchildren that were not even born back then. Their memories are very, very different from what they see today.

The town of Puerto Ayora has grown up as well. It was a small town with dirt roads and now boasts paved roads, hotels of several stories high, solar lampposts, and last year our first stoplights!

But outside the town, in National Park lands, great improvements have been accomplished, although new challenges have appeared as well.

Giant tortoises have been one of the truly great success stories, so they were our focus and joy of the day!

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About the Author

Cindy Manning

Expedition Leader

Born in Lima, Peru, of North American parents, Cindy and her family subsequently lived in several South American and European countries with a couple stops in Peoria, Illinois. Cindy received a degree in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Afterwards, Cindy spent a year and a half teaching science in the Western Province of Kenya, East Africa. 

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