Santa Cruz Island

Mar 22, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Today we visited my home island of Santa Cruz. Nowadays, it is the most populated island in the Galapagos Archipelago. In the morning we visited the giant tortoise breeding center and our guests were delighted to see the baby giant tortoises and to learn about the most successful program run by the Galapagos National Park. There was time to walk through the cozy town of Puerto Ayora. Then we went to the highlands, where we first visited a lava tube, an incredible geological phenomenon, and then headed towards a local farm known as El Trapiche. The afternoon was dedicated to observing Santa Cruz giant tortoises in their natural environment. Getting to experience these gentle giants in such close proximity is an incredible experience. Galapagos is a leading example for Conservation!

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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

Liza Diaz Lalova

Video Chronicler

Liza fell in love with the ocean as a child growing up on the Ecuadorian coast. Her passion for storytelling and photography began at the age of seven, when she began filming her friends as they recreated stories from her parents' library. Liza later combined her audiovisual passion with her love for nature by majoring in Environmental Communication and Digital Animation. In 2010, she began making documentary films, animations, and photographs aimed at inspiring communities to care for their natural habitats. Liza now lives in Galapagos, where she first came as a student in 2013, and has continued on as a volunteer for various conservation, education and arts organizations. She is now a professional conservationist and artist dedicated to inspiring and educating in small communities around Ecuador using creative audiovisual communications.

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