We anchored in Puerto Ayora (Academic Bay) on the North of Santa Cruz. In the morning we went on a quick tour of the village and then to the Darwin Research Centre where we saw how they were trying to restore the population of giant tortoises on the various islands. This included seeing the famous George who, somewhat eerily, has been mummified and is on show in a tortoise mauseleum, and a very much alive Diego who has a reputation as a prolific father.
Relief Map of GalapagosDarwin FinchGiant Tortoise
Giant TortoisesWhite flowerDarwin Finch Poster
DiegoLand IguanaDarwin Finch
After lunch we went up to the highlands in search of giant tortoises in the wild. On the way we stopped at Los Gemerlos, where there are dramatic sink holes. We then went to a farm where many wild giant tortoises were happily wandering around, some of them providing perches for Darwin finches.
PelicanLos GemerlosGiant Tortoises
White-cheeked PintailDarwin Finch on Giant TortoiseCamilla with Giant Tortoise
David and Giant TortoiseDarwin Finch on Giant TortoiseEgret
In the evening we had a restaurant meal in Puertu Ayora and then packed for the next day.
The next morning we woke up at San Cristobal. We first went to the interpretation centre where we read about the way people have interacted with Galapagos. We then checked in at the airport before returning to the town to buy and have coffee before boarding the first flight.