Santa Cruz Island

May 09, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

This morning we woke up at Academy Bay, Santa Cruz Island. We visited in the morning the famous giant tortoise-breeding center and learned about the big conservation efforts to preserve this unique Archipelago. Our guests walked through Puerto Ayora town and bought souvenirs and stop by the busy fishermen’s market; here you get to observe the interaction between the locals, pelicans, frigates and sea lions! The afternoon was spent at the highlands; we walked inside a lava tube, drank a shot of a local moonshine, visited a local school and wandered around the emblematic animals of the Islands, the giant tortoises. After dinner, our lounge changed its setting for the performance of a local group of musicians. We ended a perfect day listening to the sounds of Andean flutes, charango, drums and guitar for the delight of everyone.

  • Send

About the Author

Vanessa Gallo


Vanessa Gallo’s grandparents arrived in the Galápagos Islands in 1936, making her the third generation of her family to live and work in this magical archipelago. She left the islands for the capital city of Quito for high school, where she discovered that learning foreign languages was one of her main interests. Coming from a family of naturalist guides, it was not a surprise that she also became one at the age of 17. Vanessa left the islands once again for Switzerland, where she earned a diploma in tourism and strengthened her language skills and knowledge of the travel industry. She has also travelled extensively to destinations including as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Canada, the Canary Islands, Mauritius, and many European countries.

About the Videographer

Mark Coger

Video Chronicler

Growing up in a military family, Mark Coger has been traveling most of his life.  While living in Japan, he developed his passion for videography.  He began his venture in the field of video production by filming numerous events for a local high school and the military community before moving to Southern California, where he obtained his degree in filmmaking at California State University Northridge.  From there, he went on to produce and direct his first major short film, An American Journalist which was screened at the Method Film Festival.

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy