Santa Cruz Island

Nov 20, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Today was very special for all naturalists on National Geographic Islander because we not only got to show guests our home island, we also had a great “giant tortoise day.” Santa Cruz is home to the National Park and Charles Darwin Foundation Headquarters. Our first visit this morning was to the breeding center, a very successful project which is the result of the collaborative efforts between these two entities. Our home island houses a very healthy population of tortoises, with roads to access tortoise migration routes. On our way to one of these routes, we stopped at the largest lava tube on the island - 700 meters long! We also visited a local family owned sugar cane and coffee farm and learned about their products. We ended our day on a migration route, fulfilling lifetime dreams of seeing beautiful Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild!

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About the Author

Gianna Haro


Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

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