We spent an amazing day on Santa Cruz Island, where we learned about the conservation efforts of the Galapagos National Park Administration and the Charles Darwin Foundation. We observed some of the most important projects. The giant tortoise rearing center was started in 1968, and they have released thousands of baby tortoises from species very close to extinction. We had time to explore parts of Puerto Ayora and observe the very colorful fish market. In addition to finding fish at the market, we observed sea lions, pelicans, herons, and frigates waiting for the right time to steal a free snack.
We learned about the lifestyle of the first settlers of the archipelago, how people came to the islands, and the work they did to survive. We also observed the processes for making different products like coffee, brown sugar, and moonshine. We had so much fun learning and interacting at a family farm.
As part of our morning, students from Tomas de Berlanga School guided us and talked to us about education in the islands. This school is one of the projects that Lindblad Expeditions supports to encourage new generations in this wonderful place.
We finished our day by walking amongst the giants of the Galapagos. We explored the highlands of Santa Cruz along the migration route of these large reptiles. We were astonished to see dozens roaming free, and we had the opportunity to observe mating rituals…the only time these tortoises move faster than 300 feet an hour!