Today we woke up in Academy Bay, the main port of Santa Cruz Island. We came all the way to this island to finally see one of the most amazing creatures in the Galápagos. After a delicious breakfast we got ready for our adventure: first we headed to the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center. Here we witnessed the saddleback morphotype of giant tortoises, and baby tortoises that were less than a year old. We learned so many interesting things about these wonderful creatures, including all the efforts made by the National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station to keep Galápagos as pristine as it is.

The Galápagos Islands became a National Park more than sixty years ago. When this happened we realized that the giant tortoise population was in critical danger, with only around 10,000 in existence. After all this time breeding them and recovering their ecosystems, nowadays in the wild those numbers have nearly tripled.

After our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, we had some free time in town to see how people live in Puerto Ayora. Afterward we headed to a few destinations in the highlands: some guests went to Tomás de Berlanga School, while others visited a hydroponic farm and a sugar cane farm.

And of course, we couldn’t end our day without the best experience on the island — seeing giant tortoises in their natural environment. We went to Rancho El Manzanillo for that, where we also enjoyed a great lunch surrounded by them!

When we came back on board our guests had the opportunity to meet local artisans, enjoy a cultural show, and eat a delicious dinner. We were all thrilled with the cultural and environmental experiences this day held. What a great day we had!