Santa Cruz Island

May 18, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


On our sixth day of the expedition, we finally encountered civilization. We awoke at Academy Bay and there were several smaller and larger ships close to us. This is the best place to see the great conservation efforts in order to preserve this unique Archipelago. The morning was spent at the giant tortoise-breeding center and our guests learned about the most successful program ran by the Galapagos National Park service. There was time to explore the cozy town of Puerto Ayora, plenty of shops are found here and the always picturesque fishermen’s market. On board of buses we went to the highlands to visit a local farm, “El trapiche”, and a lava tube. A delicious lunch was served at Rancho El Manzanillo and here our guests after lunch were delighted with a nice walk to observe Santa Cruz giant tortoises in their natural environment. It was a moment of joy and peace at heart.

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About the Author

Vanessa Gallo

Naturalist

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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