Day 7 |
Oct 04, 2013

Santa Cruz and South Plaza Islands

By Pablo Barragán, Naturalist

Weather: Sunny with scattered clouds
Air Temperature: 20ºC
Pressure: 750 hPa Wind: 7 knots

Today, our destinations were two totally different Islands… in the morning, Santa Cruz and in the afternoon, South Plaza.

When I woke up, I got a mixed feeling. In some ways, I was near to the civilization… yet still away and lost in the land of dragons. Puerto Ayora is the largest town in the Galapagos Islands, with approximately 20,000 people. It is located on the Island of Santa Cruz, where the main facilities of the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station are found.

In the morning, I was looking at one of the most incredible species to turn in to an emblematic symbol of this unique archipelago, the giant tortoise. There is a great variation of giant tortoise at Fausto Llerena Breeding Center.

After a good time walking around and teaching people about one of the most well managed programs to bring back species that are close to extinction, I had a chance to see the town of Puerto Ayora, a nice combination of nature and civilization.

About 3h30 in the afternoon, it was time to go for a visit to South Plaza Island. What a contrast from the morning. The island is populated by dragons of the Galapagos and land iguanas…everywhere, and the colors of the place: the reds, greens and yellow from the iguanas…make this place one of my favorite.

After all the explanation about the natural history of the site including geological aspects, it was already time to return to the Silver Galapagos. Good time runs so fast in such an incredible paradise.