Santa Cruz

Nov 29, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Today we woke up in the middle of the Galapagos Archipelago in Santa Cruz Island. We anchored in Academy Bay, named after the California Academy of Science, who visited the Galapagos Islands in 1905. Santa Cruz is home to the National Park Headquarters and the Charles Darwin Foundation. These entities have worked together to create the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, one of the most successful breeding programs in the world. This morning we visited this center and observed baby and adult giant tortoises.

In the afternoon, we stopped by a local sugar cane and coffee farm named El Trapiche Ecologico. Here, we learned how Galapaguenos used to make different sugar cane products such as firewater or moonshine before they had electricity. The afternoon had a very special ending with the visit to a tortoise migration route. Spending time with these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat made for a truly magical day in the enchanted islands!

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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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