Early in the morning, National Geographic Islander II anchored in Academy Bay, Santa Cruz Island. Ready to start an adventurous day, we landed ashore and took a bus ride to reach the highlands region of Santa Cruz. El Trapiche farm offered us a great chance to meet people, especially the owner, Mr. Adriano. He is always very happy to meet our guests and teach them all the processes needed to create sugar cane liquor, coffee, and chocolate. We enjoyed the opportunity to learn all the details of this business, built by one of the first pioneers of Galapagos, in his own words and sense of humor.

To continue our endeavor, we visited a lava tunnel. Walking inside this amazing volcanic formation was great, especially for our young explorers.

A delicious lunch was waiting for us at El Manzanillo Ranch. After we regained our energy, it was time for our first encounter with the Galapagos giant tortoises that visit the highlands of Santa Cruz looking for food. Taking pictures of them surrounded by green vegetation was a great and unique experience.