Santa Cruz Island

Nov 15, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Today we visited Santa Cruz Island, and in the morning, we went to the giant tortoise breeding center, where it was feeding time. The giant tortoises were restless as they were anticipating the lush green leaves that were finally brought to the feeding platforms. Our guests learned a lot about the conservation efforts in order to reestablish the numbers of the emblematic animals of the Galapagos Archipelago. Then there was time to spend in the cozy town of Puerto Ayora and help the local economy. We boarded the buses and headed to the Highlands; the first stop was at the lava tube and then we paid a visit to a local farm, known as El Trapiche, where they grow sugar cane and coffee among other produce. It was fun to try the moonshine and a good cup of coffee. After lunch at Rancho El Manzanillo we all enjoyed a walk among the Santa Cruz giant tortoises, where every guest was able to have a one-to-one, as there were so many tortoises up there.

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About the Author

Paul McFarling


Paul is British, born of an English father and a French mother, and was brought up in West London, England. In 1984, he came to Galápagos twice to visit his brother, who was a Naturalist Guide there at the time. This sparked off a yearning for these addictive islands, and so sure enough, Paul followed in his brother’s footsteps. He obtained an Honour’s Degree in Environmental Biology from Swansea University, before starting to guide here in 1992. Since then, he has combined his work here with another passion: world history.

About the Videographer

James Napoli

Video Chronicler

Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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