Santa Cruz Island

Apr 10, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

We woke up at Academy Bay, Santa Cruz Island. This is the most inhabited island in the Galapagos Archipelago; more than twenty thousand people call Santa Cruz Island their home nowadays. In the morning we visited the famous giant tortoise breeding center. This is the most successful program run by the Galapagos National Park Service, and one of the most visited sites in the Galapagos. Today we were very lucky, the tortoises were very active. We even saw tortoises from different islands. After this awesome visit, there was time to wander around the cozy town of Puerto Ayora. Afterwards, we took buses and headed towards the highlands. We had a lot of fun visiting Don Adriano’s farm; here we learned about sugar cane and coffee. Then we had an exquisite lunch at Aquelarre Restaurant and the highlight of the day was the unique experience of walking among the emblematic animals of the Galapagos, the giant tortoises in their natural habitat! It was a great day, full of new experiences that will last in our memories forever.

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About the Author

Vanessa Gallo


Vanessa Gallo’s grandparents arrived in the Galápagos Islands in 1936, making her the third generation of her family to live and work in this magical archipelago. She left the islands for the capital city of Quito for high school, where she discovered that learning foreign languages was one of her main interests. Coming from a family of naturalist guides, it was not a surprise that she also became one at the age of 17. Vanessa left the islands once again for Switzerland, where she earned a diploma in tourism and strengthened her language skills and knowledge of the travel industry. She has also travelled extensively to destinations including as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Canada, the Canary Islands, Mauritius, and many European countries.

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