Santa Cruz Island

Aug 09, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Santa Cruz Island is located in the central realm of the archipelago, and is the second largest island; this is where we spent our sixth day of exploration in Galapagos.

We went out first thing this morning on Zodiacs to the town’s dock, where local buses picked us up and drove us to the entrance of the park service. After walking for awhile,  we got to the rearing center for the Galapagos giant tortoises, where we had the opportunity to see these reptiles in different stages of their lives. This center has tortoises from different islands, so we saw saddleback and dome-shaped carapace tortoises side by side.

After going by the different corrals, then we went for a walk through to the town of Puerto Ayora. Our guests had a chance to explore the town by themselves and to shop for handcrafts, or to enjoy a cup of Galapagos coffee in a local coffee shop.

Later on, we went to the highlands to visit a local farm, where we learned about the way the sugar cane juice that they produce, and how it is processed into molasses and alcohol, we also got a chance to see the way the coffee is harvested and processed.

After our visit to the farm, we headed out to a local restaurant to have lunch. After lunch, we loaded onto our buses and went to another local farm, El Chato, where we got the chance to see Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. This farm is one of the territories that the tortoises use as part of their migratory path; here we found many tortoises, both males and females feeding on the vegetation growing here.

We returned to the town and headed back to the ship, tired but happy after such an exciting day.

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About the Author

Gilda Gonzalez

Naturalist

Gilda was born in Ambato, located in the very heart of the Ecuadorian Andes. Since she was a child, she loved animals, often rescuing street cats and dogs. Her parents always made sure there were nature books and plenty of Jacques Cousteau’s videos at home. She graduated from high school with a degree in chemistry and biology. Afterwards, Gilda obtained a B.A. in tourism and hotel management in Quito. She also studied English, French and German, later spending two months in Brussels, Belgium.

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