Breeding Center and Highlands

Jul 11, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today we went on an all-day exploration of Santa Cruz Island. We started the day by visiting the Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoises Breeding Center, which houses both juvenile and adult tortoises from different islands and populations. Mid-morning, we traveled to a local farm and learned about coffee and raw sugar production. We also met a local family of farmers who settled around the mid-sixties on Santa Cruz Island and made it their forever home. This was a great opportunity to see how local farmers live and work in the highlands.

After lunch, we had the pleasure of seeing Galapagos giant tortoises roaming free at another local farm. Tortoises migrate every year from the coast to the highlands as soon as the rainy season is over. These giant reptiles will migrate once more to their breeding grounds at the beginning of the hot season.  Today more than sixty were spotted around the area!

We returned to National Geographic Endeavour II for dinner and had a great time listening to some typical music from the Galapagos and the Andes.

  • Send

About the Author

Gilda Gonzalez


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.

About the Photographer

Africa Berdonces


Africa grew up in the Galápagos Islands where she spent her childhood exploring with her family, surrounded by exquisite nature. She took her first scuba diving lesson with her father off the coast of Sombrero Chino Island when she was just 12 years old. That first dive opened up a new and unexplored part of the natural world to her. Africa became enchanted by local marine life and went on to become a divemaster, working as both a dive guide and naturalist in her beloved islands.

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy