Day 9 – Santa Cruz Island
Today we saw Santa Cruz Island, which once again was a different sort of place to the other islands. This one felt like we had been taken to somewhere in the Caribbean. We jumped off the zodiac and saw pelicans and sea lions all around the jetty.
Firstly, we went to the Charles Darwin Research Centre, where we saw the tortoise breeding program. There was a large range of types, and it’s where we saw the most tortoises since arriving in the Galapagos. Here we were told about Lonesome George. He was the last tortoise of his species, and there was even a reward put out to find a suitable female for him so that this species could be kept alive. Unfortunately, he died in 2012, and now there is a memorial for him inside the Darwin Centre.
After seeing the centre we walked down the road to a small shop where we could pick up souvenirs to take home. This was the only place in the Galapagos Islands that we could do this.
As we head back to the coaches we found out why there were so many pelicans and sea lions on the pontoon; there was a fish market nearby. It was really interesting as the animals seemed to be quite well-behaved. We hopped back on the coach to go to get some lunch. We were treated to local food as well as some traditional music and dancing. There were so many colours all around and it was very interesting to see the indigenous Galapagos culture.
The last part of this whole trip was incredible. We were taken to see tortoises in the wild. They were everywhere – in the lakes, bog, and in the grass.
I would say that for anyone who wants a real adventure of a lifetime, but with the ease of being taken to the right places to see the wildlife, landscape, and atmosphere, should certainly go to the Galapagos by cruise.