One of four inhabited islands in the archipelago, Santa Cruz offers interesting landscapes and diverse people. Today our guests learned about the rearing program for giant tortoises, and they had the opportunity to observe hatchlings and saddle-backed tortoises at the breeding center. Guests enjoyed time to mingle with local people and see what life is like in such a special place. While visiting the fishermen’s dock, guests observed sea lions and pelicans alongside the catch of the day. In the highlands, we visited a family-run coffee and sugarcane plantation. We learned about the origins of the plantation, the process used to harvest coffee, and the production of moonshine.

We enjoyed lunch at the Manzanillo Ranch in the highlands of Santa Cruz. The ranch is a family-owned restaurant situated by the tortoise reserve. As the cherry on top of an already great day, we got to see the dome-backed tortoises endemic to Santa Cruz Island. It was an amazing afternoon as we observed these giant creatures roaming in the lush forest covered in lichens and epiphytes.