This morning we'll head ashore at Puerto Ayora, the largest town
in the archipelago, situated on Santa Cruz Island. It's here that
we'll drop in on the Charles Darwin Research Station, where over
200 scientists and volunteers are working to conserve the wildlife
of the Galápagos.
Visit the breeding enclosures where you can see baby tortoises
in incubators, and look upon Darwin's famous finches with your own
eyes - these are the birds he used as a basis for his theory of
Next, try out using a trapiche - a sugar cane grinder used to
extract the juice which is then either drunk straight away or
fermented into liquor. To get to the mill you can hop on our bus,
or go by bicycle if you're feeling more active.
After experiencing the Opuntia Cactus Forest we'll enjoy lunch
in the highlands. It's an entirely different ecosystem from the
coastal plains, with moist green foliage and a cooler climate. It's
also the place where the most giant tortoises roam. You'll have the
option of seeing these giants in their natural habitat. They are
easy to spot, lumbering around, munching on grass and wallowing in
When lunch is over, instead of spotting tortoises you could
choose from several different activities, that could include
mountain biking or kayaking in Tortuga Bay. You could also hike the
1.3 miles to this beautiful bay, and stop at Playa Brava, a
beautiful snow-white beach that's a seasonal nesting site for green
On the same walk, Playa Mansa is a secluded natural mangrove
cove, with clear and tranquil waters ideal for swimming,
snorkelling or kayaking. Or you could simply enjoy the view from
the shade of a mangrove!
Due to conservation measures, numbers are limited in Tortuga
Bay, so be sure to coordinate with the Expedition Team.