Today we visited my home island, Santa Cruz. Puerto Ayora town is located in the southern part of Santa Cruz Island, and here we find the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park and the famous Charles Darwin Research Station. We used this opportunity to visit the giant tortoise breeding center and learn firsthand about the conservation efforts to protect the Galapagos Archipelago. There was even time for shopping and wandering in the cozy town. In the afternoon, we visited the highlands, stopping first at a local farm, called El Trapiche, then we all enjoyed a great meal served at a restaurant Aquelarre and the rest of the afternoon was spent at the giant tortoise natural reserve. Here our guests had a great time observing the gentle giants in their environment. It was a fantastic day!
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today was our last day in paradise. The Galapagos brought magic to our souls and minds. We all bonded as one, even though we came from different places. It still seems unreal, this adventure, this journey of discovery through time. We have traveled from the youngest island (Fernandina) to one of the oldest in the archipelago (San Cristobal Island). Today, we opted for a fun Zodiac ride to search for red-footed boobies. Soon after, we landed on a green olivine beach for a 1.5-mile walk. The volcanic scenery was spectacular. The peaks of tuff high in the sky made this site unique. We saw many red-footed and blue-footed boobies. Chicks, juvenile, and adults feeding and taking care of their young. Back on the beach, we had fun swimming and playing with a small colony of sea lions, our ever-present friends. We rounded off our last full day in the islands by visiting Cerro Brujo for a beach walk. Getting to Galapagos was not easy, which adds to our appreciation of this destination. Our expedition is now over. Life goes on, but perhaps some of us are changed by everything we saw. Farewell, amigos.