SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Jun 14, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we visited the most populated island in the Galapagos Archipelago: Santa Cruz. The morning was spent at the giant tortoise-breeding center, where our guests learned about the most successful program of restoration of endangered populations ran by the Galapagos national park. It was a day with plenty of activities, including time in town, an optional visit to a local school, a visit to a farm, all this happening before lunch, which was served in the highlands. Then we boarded the buses and went to the giant tortoise natural reserve. We saw the gentle giant tortoises in their natural environment and walked through a lava tube. It was very important for our guests to learn about the conservation efforts in order to keep this paradise for the future generations. Galapagos is a perfect example of conservation in action!

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About the Author

Wilo Castaneda

Naturalist

Wilo was born and raised in the Galápagos Islands. From an early age, he was fascinated by outdoors activities, and excelled at basketball, cycling, swimming, and snorkeling. In 1999, he trained to become a Naturalist Guide for Galápagos National Park and in 2002, he trained to become a Diver’s Guide for the Galápagos Marine Reserve. He has since worked as a guide on board various ships, gaining an intimate knowledge of all the island’s most-visited sites. Wilo enjoys scuba diving with large schools of hammerhead and whale sharks all around the archipelago. 

About the Photographer

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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