Today we spent the day exploring the island of Santa Cruz, one of the four inhabited islands in Galapagos. Santa Cruz actually has the largest human population and is considered the economic hub of the province. Guests spent the morning learning about the important research done at the Charles Darwin Foundation. Before lunch, we visited an impressive lava tunnel in the highlands of Santa Cruz.
We spent the afternoon looking for the Santa Cruz giant tortoise in the wild in the highlands. In our search for these reptiles, we made a surprising discovery of a few species of mushrooms growing on decomposing logs. We took our opportunity to discuss the radical importance of these organisms in the ecosystem of the Galapagos.
We ended the day onboard National Geographic Islander enjoying live music and dance performed by local artists. Guests danced to Ecuadorian rhythms and enjoyed the artists playing some unique traditional instruments from the Andean region.