Galapagos National Park

Jul 12, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today we visited Puerto Ayora, the capital of tourism of the Galapagos Islands. Early in the morning, we visited the Galapagos National Park headquarters and the Charles Darwin Research Station. We learned about the conservation efforts to restore several species of giant tortoises, including the species from Floreana that was once considered extinct. 

We also visited Lonesome George exhibit to learn about the consequences of species extinctions. On the other hand, Super Diego, a giant tortoise from Española, has been able to produce more than 2000 offspring, what an inspiration for conservation, we saw him this morning. 

In the afternoon we traveled by bus to El Trapiche, a locally owned farm, to learn about the production of chocolate, coffee and moonshine. We had a great time learning from the owners, Don Adrian and his family. Afterwards we traveled to restaurant Aquelarre, a beautiful setting to have lunch and observe the beautiful highlands. Finally, we travel to El Chato II to walk amongst one of the most numerous populations of giant tortoise in the wild. We observed them feeding, and resting.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza


Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

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