The Highlands, Santa Cruz

Jun 29, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


Today´s wonderful adventure takes us to Santa Cruz Island and begins with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where our first encounter with the “Giants of the Galápagos” took place. Impressive specimens of different islands awaited us at the breeding center, where one of the main goals is to preserve the population of land tortoises in the whole archipelago.

After some shopping time on the main capital of Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora, and a quick snack and cool drinks at The Rock Restaurant, part of our group visited the Tomás de Berlanga local school for book donations, while another group visited a majestic tunnel originated by the devastating action of a giant lava flow.

The owner Adriano and the employees from El Trapiche, a family farm dedicated to the production of sugar cane juice, coffee, and even moonshine, allowed us to observe and understand the different stages that lead to the elaboration of their high-quality products. A fabulous lunch at Rancho el Manzanillo provided energy for the next walk to see giant tortoises from a closer and different perspective—here they rest and walk free in the wild.

Back on board the ship food, Galapaguenian art, and music were the main attractions of the night, providing an animated and perfect ending to our day.

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About the Author

Gabriel Tapia, Naturalist

Gabriel Tapia, Naturalist

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