Santa Cruz Island

Jul 04, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

Today we visited my home island: Santa Cruz. The morning started with a visit to the giant tortoise-breeding center. Here our guests learned about the hard work and dedication of scientists and park rangers, who through the decades have worked to restore the numbers of the emblematic animals of the Galapagos. Here our guests can wander around town, buy souvenirs, and take pictures of local life. The afternoon was dedicated to exploring the highlands, where big lava tubes are found, so we visited one. There was also an optional visit to a local school, a local farm, and the best part of the day—visiting the giant tortoises in their natural habitat. What a great day in paradise! Galapagos is one of the best-managed national parks in the world.

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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.

About the Videographer

Steve Ewing

Video Chronicler

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Steve fell in love with the beauty of the natural world at an early age. In addition to nature, his other main passion was telling stories though the medium of television and radio. Steve studied broadcast journalism at the University of Oregon. There, he learned how to shoot, edit, and report compelling stories using digital video.

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