Santa Cruz Island

Jul 26, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Santa Cruz contains the largest human population of all the islands in the Galapagos and is considered the economic hub of this archipelago. Today, guests onboard National Geographic Islander spent a full day exploring the bustling town of Puerto Ayora and the surrounding highlands. Our morning travels led us to the Charles Darwin Research Station where we learned about their breeding program for endangered giant tortoises as well as other important research and conservation efforts being done here. We then explored an impressive lava tunnel in the highlands and spent the afternoon looking for the Santa Cruz giant tortoise. Guests walked the trails of a local farm and spotted the often well camouflaged giant tortoise in nearby bushes. It was amazing to learn more about the behavioral ecology of these magnificent creatures in action!

We ended our day onboard, enjoying live music played on unique traditional instruments from the Andean region, and a dance performance by local artists.

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About the Author

Javier Carrion


Javier grew up on Santa Cruz island where his grandparents first arrived in the 1940´s. Veritable pioneers, his grandparents settled in the highlands where they found a place to raise their children.

About the Videographer

Joshua Vela

Video Chronicler

Joshua is our first Video Chronicler from the Galápagos Islands! He grew up on the island of Santa Cruz where he developed a strong connection with the natural world that surrounded him, and where he learned the importance of conservation.

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