Santa Cruz Island & Highlands
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 30 Sep 2021

Santa Cruz Island & Highlands, 9/30/2021, National Geographic Endeavour II

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II
  • Galápagos

Today we visited Santa Cruz Island, home to one of the species of the emblematic Galapagos giant tortoise. This island also has about 18,000 human inhabitants, but the main draw are the giant tortoises who roam the highlands. Another highlight in this green forest are flocks of Darwin’s finches.

 

We started our day with a bus ride along the road at Itabaca Chanel on the north side of Santa Cruz to reach the cloud forest and visit a geological formation called Los Gemelos. Here, we spent time exploring the giant daisy forest and the volcanic pit craters located in the middle of the misty forest.

 

Later that morning, we reached a fascinating region full of green trees, ponds, and grasses. Here we spent time exploring the forest and its giant tortoises until lunch was served at Manzanilla Ranch, where we enjoyed local cuisines as the giant tortoises moved about freely while munching on their own meals.

 

After lunch, we started our journey back to the ship, which soon navigated to our second visitor site, Bowditch Bay on the western side of Santa Cruz. in the late afternoon we landed on a small beach great for relaxing and swimming. We stayed on this white sandy beach until sunset, enjoying the last moments of our visit to the second largest island of the Galapagos.

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