Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station
4
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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8:00 AM - 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
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About
Headed by a team of more than two hundred scientists, educators, research volunteers and support staff, this world-wide foundation is dedicated to preserving the Galapagos ecosystems.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
3,337 reviews
Excellent
1,294
Very good
1,038
Average
740
Poor
204
Terrible
61

TrewinDorset
Christchurch262 contributions
We visited as part of a tour to see the tortoise breeding and research station, then returned on our own to explore at our own pace. You can only visit the tortoises with an NP guide so there is a charge, the rest though is free.

The marine centre unfortunately was closed when we visited, but we enjoyed the museum & exhibits that were open. Also the walk to and from, stopping at the 2 little beaches with lots of iguanas and birds.
If walking from the town, there's also a little (free) ceramic garden on the right before you get to the CD station & museum. Shady & pretty for a few photos, very unusual and creative.
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Steve C
California10 contributions
Only reasons to go: See baby tortoises, lonely George's taxidermy body & underwhelming science posters.

Too long of a "tour" for the little amount of information and "live things" to see. Exhibits (really only posters) seemed dated and no depth to them. The intro movie was a waste of time.

The whole place seemed to exist to get more money from tourists to support the research (?) going on there.

So much potential which just misses on delivery. Avoid, or go and tell the guide you only have 30 min and only want to see the baby tortoises.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michele Theresa
Columbus, OH266 contributions
Couples
We visited the giant tortoises in route from the airport to our hotel in Puerto Ayora. Even though I read mixed Trip Advisor reviews about the Charles Darwin Research Station, we always had intention of visiting the giant tortoises on arrival as well as the Charles Darwin Research Station. We’re glad we did. Both experiences are quite different. The experience at The Research Station is more educational and their focus is on supporting the young tortoises until their shell hardens and they can protect themselves from predators compared to the other sites that have the giant tortoises, the tortoises are many years in age. The Research Station provides a behind the scenes view to feedings and how the staff cares for the tortoises. We had the opportunity to purchase souvenirs in the gift shop area, where we know our purchase will support the tortoises. If you’re uncertain about visiting or which site to visit, I’d recommend adding the Research Station to your itinerary.
Written August 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

product-of-canada
Toronto, Canada2,267 contributions
Yes, I would say it is worthwhile visiting this attraction in Puerto Ayora. But note that what was once free admission pre-pandemic is now a $10 USD/person.

The reason for my poor rating is that tourists visiting the islands have already paid a $100 USD/person Galapagos National Park Entrance fee at the airport. Charging additional fees for government-run establishments like this facility and Las Grietas is exploiting tourists.

What's next? My guess is that there will soon be a $10 fee/person in the near future to enter Tortuga Bay Beach.
Written August 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tobias
Munich, Germany58 contributions
Couples
Its supposed to be free. Its not anymore. You have to pay 10 Dollars per person to go with a guide you dont need and even want.
The tour is originally without a guide, and you have a lot of information on boards there.
Dont come to see turtels, they are in caves.
Written January 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Amy K
4 contributions
I decided to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station but didn't have a lot of time. I quickly researched and found out I don't need a guide and can visit for free, which was great because I didn't have a lot of time. Just before entering the Center I was stopped by a station with a guide (they looked really official) I was told I can't enter the center at all without paying for a guide so I turned around and went back. I researched a little more and went back to the center, this time saying, no, and walking right past these people. I got a little farther and another guide told me I couldn't go in. I kept trying to look around but every time I saw a guide on a tour they told me I wasn't allowed to be there and I needed to leave. I would have gotten a guide if I had more than 20 minutes to look around. A guided tour is over an hour. I wish they would just charge admission rather than allow random guides to stop and harass people.

It would have probably been a much more positive experience if the guides working tours would have allowed me to stay, or if I had time to get a guide and do a full tour. It is extremely weird that you are allowed to tour the center without a guide for free, but if you don't pay a guide you will be constantly yelled at by guides that are working.
Written December 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stephanie P
Laurel, MS128 contributions
Solo
Learning about all the different tortoise species and what is being done to protect them was very interesting. My guide Cesar was born on Santa Cruz and has lots of knowledge regarding the tortoises and species protection. The Galápagos is doing a lot to protect not just their tortoise population but all endemic species. This is very important work and research that every country should be doing. It was a very interesting morning and a wonderful learning experience.
Written October 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Emilia
Berlin, Germany81 contributions
Solo
Great visit to learn a little about the research and conservation efforts done in the islands.

Note that the main exhibition hall can be accessed free of charge, despite the park authority checkpoint where they will try to stop you and tell you that you need to have a guide (and pay 10$ per person) to walk along the "way of the turtle" path. There are also 2 beaches that are accessible freely, and a viewpoint with a statue of Darwin and some information about him and his famous journey.

In the Exhibition Hall, there is a main exhibition, with a skeleton of a whale, a short video and exhibition of artifacts and documents from the library.
There is also the souvenir shop, where the overcharge, similar to what can be found in most stores in town, at least goes to a good cause as donation to the research centre.

Don't miss on the smaller exhibition hall, dedicated to sea life! Interesting facts about sharks, and a corner for children activity.
Written July 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GoFSUSeminoles
22 contributions
We opted to take the $10 tour with a very knowledgeable national park guide and learned quite a bit about the breeding program. While on tour we were excited to see Galapagos tortoises of various ages. The visitor center was interesting and there is a gift shop on site. And don't forget to get your "passport" stamp before you leave!
Written May 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kevin K
Dublin, Ireland49 contributions
Visited here to but presents, the t-shirts, caps and jackets are top quality and fairly priced.

Nearly didn't get to the shop, you enter the station with an information point, then guides try to sell you a tour of the turtles for $10 a person, aggressively enough to make you think that unless you do their tour that you can't visit the actual station itself. Ignore them and keep walking, the station itself has a great cafe as well.
Written April 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Charles Darwin Research Station (Puerto Ayora) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Sun - Sat 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
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We recommend booking Charles Darwin Research Station tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 63 Charles Darwin Research Station tours on Tripadvisor



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