Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station
4
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
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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  • karina d
    Manchester, United Kingdom217 contributions
    Ecuador
    Was unsure about taking the tortoise tour but did in the end. Probably the best tour we took. Very informative about the tortoises and other aspects of Galapagos flora and fauna. The National Park guide Stefan was excellent. Nice beach nearby with plenty of shade.
    Visited January 2023
    Written February 6, 2023
  • Margaret M
    Santa Fe, New Mexico31 contributions
    Good Place to Start
    We began our time in the Galapagos at the Darwin Station, learning about the islands and seeing some of our first animals. The guide for the walking tour was through and informative. Our family loved getting to the beach at the research station.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 6, 2023
  • SJB3000
    Coatbridge, United Kingdom1,618 contributions
    OK
    Arranged by tour company and brought by their guide. A series of talks by the guide against large photo boards, explaining The Beagle and Darwins theories. A museum and gift shop. Baby turtles in concreat tanks and a stuffed "Lonesome George"
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 15, 2023
  • GBJ-Cookies
    South Shields, United Kingdom1,577 contributions
    Interesting
    This was our first experience of the Galapagos Islands as we visited two hours after touching down. Our guide was our very own G Adventures CEO who gave us a fascinating insight into the important work carried out here by the 200 or so scientists who work here. Stars of the show are of course the giant tortoises and the baby tortoise incubators. We also learned about the different vegetation that is found around the islands and got to see the taxidermied "Lonesome George" the last of his kind. There is a gift shop and cafe and the place is about a twenty minute walk from the centre of Puerto Ayora.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 14, 2023
  • Annabelle F
    Fgura, Malta5 contributions
    Worth a visit
    Very informative tour along the ruta de Las Tortugas. Our guide Andre was very helpful in explaining basic facts about the Galapagos & their importance. Great to see the impact on conservation that the breeding centre are having. The clip, photography exhibition & artefacts inside the research centre are worth a visit.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 8, 2023
  • Chemtrailer
    Canada344 contributions
    Worthwhile
    A good way to start out your vacation of the Galapagos archipelago on Santa Cruz island. The interpretive center is interesting and free. It offers some basic natural history of the islands. The $10/person guided tour of the "Ruta de Tortuga" is worth it. We had a great tour guide who was fluent in English and the entire tour took us two hours: the tortoise walk and the interpretive center. Of note: the guided tours have start times and are coordinated by language: Spanish or English. We thought we could walk up, pay and head out with a guide. Instead we had to wait 45 mins for the 11:00 am English tour.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 30, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
3,372 reviews
Excellent
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1,050
Average
743
Poor
206
Terrible
63

Amy K
4 contributions
Dec 2020
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TrewinDorset
Christchurch300 contributions
Apr 2022
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

borbac3
Palm Springs, CA19 contributions
Jan 2020
Did this wonderful tour yesterday(1-2hrs).Have been thinking about it all day today. Paid the $10 for a tour guide well worth it. The amount of information conveyed by the guide and the research station is phenomenal(in English and Spanish).It makes you aware of the various situations facing our environment. What the station has been able to accomplish(with turtles and the environment) is inspiring and you leave with hope on what can be done when good research practices are put into place. The station is not only effecting Galapagos but the world by the sharing of information and practices. I give The Charles Darwin Research Station my highest recommendation for a visit (and it’s free).
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caroline1154
Israel61 contributions
Sep 2022
The tours cost $10 each which was fine but were were on a bilingual tour. There was no available tour just in English. I think it is a pretty poor show not to offer the main tourist attraction on St. Cruz in English. Most of the tour was standing around information boards while the guide pretty much just read out the boards, and then we had to wait for him to do it all over again in Spanish. After that we were quite rushed along when we got to the tortoise pens. The museum was quite underwhelming, felt like it had been set up 30 years ago and nothing much updated since then. Don't miss El Chato if you go here - it's a totally different and much more satisfying experience.
Written October 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

product-of-canada
Toronto, Canada2,367 contributions
Jul 2022
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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

The_Sojourners
Carlisle, PA14 contributions
Jan 2020
We were a party of 9 when we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station, in Puerto Ayora. This is a very interesting place to visit and you pass a nice beach before you enter or leave. You should definitely visit if you have time. We would all give the research station a five-star rating if it had not been for the over hard sell and lies that you had no choice but to hire a guide to visit the station. If you want a guide I think they would be really good and knowledgeable. The little guide office you pass as you enter the park demanded we could not enter without a guide because it is in a national park. Being we were a party of 9 that would cost $90.00. When we politely informed her that we only wanted to see what was free we were told that the only thing we could see was a beach just up the road. I knew before we arrived that we could see all that the research station had to offer on our own and that everything at the research station was well marked with information boards in English. The guide office kept lying and insisting the guide was mandatory. We finally just walked away from the guide building and had a very nice visit at the research center and the little beach. Before leaving the center, we gave them a nice donation for their great work. So, if you want to see the research station without a guide just do it. The guide office was overbearing and beyond just selling their services and are a discredit to the research stations good work and also to the guides who work there.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

skifans
cornwall62 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
A must visit to understand why the Galápagos Islands are so important to the world . A very informative place which is easy to walk around with plenty of signage and historical information as well as up to date details on what the resident scientists are currently doing to save not just tortoises but all the animals of this magical place. You may well be approached on arrival at the entrance to employ a guide but it is not necessary and access to the local beaches are located off this area. There are lots different tortoise enclosures with various species which they are breeding to then release on to the different islands. It is a very educational place and gives you some sense of how important Darwin theory’s are today. A must visit for all visitors.
Written February 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Han
38 contributions
Jun 2022
I highly recommend paying $10 to have a naturalist guide take you through part of the research station. You get to see a lot more, like the taxidermied George and a bunch of very young tortoises! The museum is small but interesting. I think the tour from the guides really makes the experience.
Written November 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephanie P
Laurel, MS145 contributions
Oct 2021 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tobias
Munich, Germany75 contributions
Jan 2022 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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