Santa Cruz Island

Sep 05, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we visited my home island, Santa Cruz. Puerto Ayora town is located in the southern part of Santa Cruz Island, and here we find the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park and the famous Charles Darwin Research Station. We used this opportunity to visit the giant tortoise breeding center and learn firsthand about the conservation efforts to protect the Galapagos Archipelago. There was even time for shopping and wandering in the cozy town. In the afternoon, we visited the highlands, stopping first at a local farm, called El Trapiche, then we all enjoyed a great meal served at a restaurant Aquelarre and the rest of the afternoon was spent at the giant tortoise natural reserve. Here our guests had a great time observing the gentle giants in their environment. It was a fantastic day!

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About the Author

Vanessa Gallo

Naturalist

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 Photographer

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

About the Videographer

Rodrigo Moterani

Video Chronicler

Rodrigo Moterani was born in Brazil in 1976. After spending his teen years playing with camcorders and VCRs, Rodrigo ended up working in the field of television journalism and video production in his home country. He graduated with a degree in communications in 1997.

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