Santa Cruz Island

Feb 21, 2020 - National Geographic Islander


Giant Tortoise Day through and through. Morning started with a visit to the rearing center operated by the Galapagos National Park Service, then a bit of free time in town exposed all our guests to the strange, yet familiar life in town. A fish market – but with a twist – a bar, buses, roads, bicycles. Then up into the highlands, into a lava tube, then a small private farm where a few known products are grown and prepared by simple means – cane sugar, molasses and hooch!

In the afternoon, we were totally focused on the giant tortoises of this land who graze their way up and down the flanks of the island in accordance to temperature and the abundance of food – in turn dependent on the rains and moisture of the year’s climate. This year we have been receiving a fair amount of rain, but nothing out of the normal. A mating pair at the end caught all our attention – and cameras were going full force!

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About the Author

Cindy Manning

Expedition Leader

Cindy was raised in a family that was fortunate enough to live in many different countries across the globe. During her formative years, she counted Latin America and Europe as home, with periods in-between living in Illinois and Indiana, where she attended Earlham College.

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