Santa Cruz Island

Jan 10, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

This morning we visited Santa Cruz Island. Today we were back to civilization and made good use of all the facilities of an inhabited island. The morning offered a great visit to the giant tortoise-breeding center, this is an amazing opportunity to learn about the most successful program run by the Galapagos National Park. There was time to visit the Exhibition Hall of the Charles Darwin Research Station and wander in the cozy town of Puerto Ayora.

The afternoon was spent in the highlands, with an optional visit to a local school, Tomas de Berlanga, or a short stop at a local farm, El Trapiche, all before lunch. Then we enjoyed a delicious meal at Aquelarre Resaturant and right afterwards we headed toward the giant tortoise natural reserve. We walked through a lava tunnel and had a wonderful time observing the emblematic animals of the archipelago, the giant tortoises. It was a great learning experience for all of our guests, where sustainable tourism helps in the conservation of one of the last natural paradises on earth!

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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.

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