Day 7 |
Oct 11, 2013

Santa Cruz Island, Highlands & Charles Darwin Research Station

By Dries Degel, Naturalist

Weather: Sunny with scattered clouds
Air Temperature: 24ºC
Pressure: 959 hPa
Wind: 5 knots

In the morning we arrived and anchored off Academy Bay, which is at Santa Cruz Island.

After a 45 minutes bus ride we arrived to the area called “the twins,” which are two geological formations. The twins are in fact two craters, or sinkholes, located at both sides of the road connecting the northern with the southern part of the island.

After we walked through the endemic forest called scalesias, we enjoy bird watching warblers, mockingbirds, flycatchers, and Darwin finches. We had the opportunity to visit a private property located at the boundary between farming areas and the National Park area. We walked around and found quite a few giant tortoises grazing and walking slowly, we were really impressed by the number of these big reptiles, and they looked almost like rocks everywhere. The weather was excellent and the soil was not damp or muddy.

In the afternoon, we walked the paved streets of Puerto Ayora going to the famous Charles Darwin Research Center, in which I saw some pens containing a lot of baby tortoises from different islands. We stopped for a while in front of the Lonesome George Corral, the home of the most famous giant tortoise in Galapagos because it was the last one of Pinta Island. But he is not there anymore, because George died 24th June of last year, with only the two females living with him remaining in the pen.

After, we had plenty of time going and walking to visit the main town of Santa Cruz Island called Puerto Ayora. During our long walk into the village, we found the fish market in which they were selling lobsters and different kinds of commercial fish.

In the town, there was a triathlon being run and we were so glad to see so many people on the streets cheering the contestants competing and celebrating.

One more day in these beautiful islands with another superb sunset.