Travelling around the Galapagos, you will see the importance of conservation work firsthand. But to meet the scientists and learn in detail about their research, you need to come to Santa Cruz. The Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park both have their headquarters here, and you can also visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Santa Cruz is a dormant volcano with a giant lava tunnel 2 km long. You can walk through this natural tunnel, and if you are interested in the island’s geology, your guide will take you to see Los Gemelos, the two huge holes formed when the magma chamber collapsed.
Black Turtle Cove is within a mangrove estuary on Santa Cruz, and it is strictly protected by environmental regulations. You can sail here in a dinghy so long as the engine is switched off, and will be surrounded by pelican, sea turtle, and ray. The island is also home to the El Chato Tortoise Reserve, part of the national park, where you can see giant tortoise in the wild.