Santa Cruz Island

Mar 05, 2020 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today was our sixth day in the Galapagos Islands. We visited the second largest island of the archipelago, Santa Cruz Island. We anchored in Academy Bay, and some of the guests woke early in the morning to see a beautiful sunrise on the turquoise waters of this bay. Meanwhile, other guests started their day with an excellent stretching class. We started breakfast at 7:00 a.m., and at 8:00 a.m. we disembarked at the port.

The first place we visited was the famous Charles Darwin Center and the Galapagos National Park Breeding Center for tortoises. In the Darwin Center we learned about an interesting project that is happening now in the Galapagos Island. It was about how an invasive species called Philornis downsi is currently displacing the endemic mangrove finch of the Galapagos Islands. We also stopped by the exhibition hall to see the different collections of invertebrates and vertebrates. It was a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the projects that are happening at the moment in Galapagos.

After the visit in the Darwin Center, some guests enjoyed a nice walk around to see the different attractions that the town has to offer, like the fisherman’s market. This is the place that where you can see sea lions, frigate birds, lava gulls, tourists from all over the world, and local people congregating together. We gathered again in The Rock restaurant at 10:45 a.m. and made our way to the highlands to visit to an organic farm that grows sugar cane, coffee, and chocolate. We had a great time on the farm admiring how to produce non-processed sugar, coffee, and alcohol.

After lunch we visited the tortoise reserve in El Chato 2. Here we found lots of tortoises eating, resting, and walking. It was the highlight of the day, and although it rained for a while, it didn’t matter! Part of the group decided to stay little longer in town, buying the last souvenirs to take home. Meanwhile, the rest of the group decided to go back on board, looking forward to meeting the artisans of the town and to have a great party with the local musicians. Everyone is already anxiously awaiting another great day tomorrow!

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About the Author

Charles Wittmer


Charles was raised in the Galápagos Islands. He is the grandson of Rolf Wittmer, the first person documented to have been born on the island of Floreana after his parents, Margret and Heinz Wittmer, emigrated from Germany in 1932. 

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