Santa Cruz Island
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 23 Dec 2021

Santa Cruz Island, 12/23/2021, National Geographic Endeavour II

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II
  • Galápagos

This morning we woke up in the middle of the archipelago to visit Santa Cruz Island. Today was tortoise day! This island is home to two species of dome-shaped carapace tortoises. Their carapace shape is connected to the place where they live and feed: the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. To get to them, we have to use coaches to reach the cloud forest of the island, a very different place from what we have seen all week, a place where plants take all our attention.

In the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, we hiked through forest of scalesia, or daisy trees. After the scalesia forest we went to a ranch called El Manzanillo, owned by a local family that happened to buy land right on the migration route of the tortoises. Here we got to share our morning with tortoises feeding, walking, and resting in their natural habitat.

In the afternoon we visited a beautiful sandy beach where we got to relax and do come stretching with our wellness specialist. It was an exciting and beautiful day on Santa Cruz Island!

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