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Charles Darwin Research Station

3,254 Reviews

Charles Darwin Research Station

3,254 Reviews
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Ave Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora 200350 Ecuador
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Join Online our Giant Tortoise Tour with an Expert in the Galapagos
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Join Online our Giant Tortoise Tour with an Expert in the Galapagos

8 reviews
Embark on a virtual trip to the Galapagos Islands, without leaving the comfort of your own home, on a guided tour that focuses on the island’s giant tortoises. While traveling all the way to the Galapagos is out of the question for many, by joining this tour (hosted on Zoom) you can discover the dynamic destination without any of the regularly associated costs.
$15.00 per adult
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Faye G wrote a review Jul 2020
Brea, California467 contributions116 helpful votes
We spent a day on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. We went to the Charles Darwin Research Station as part of our tour. It was incredible. Lots of exhibits. We enjoyed seeing the baby turtles and how they are saving them and then the old giant land tortoises too. Lots of birds, iguanas and so on.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Myo M wrote a review May 2020
Coquitlam, Canada18,279 contributions542 helpful votes
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It was about an hour & a half spent at this site where I did get to cover "quite a bit" of ground which was mostly by walking along the trail called Ruta de la Tortuga (meaning Path of the Tortoise) with these "display decks" to go through (with roofs above like small wooden shelters where there are info displays inside) as well as just individual display signs right alongside the trail, and from all of which I would say was some nice amount of knowledge gained of the "flora & fauna" of these islands, but yes especially the knowledge of the Islands' famous "giant tortoises" (such as about their brink to extinction back in the 1960's which was actually when this research station came into existence to start a "captive breeding program", about the one named Lonesome George who was the "largest ever" tortoise that existed but never produced an offspring, and about another big one named Diego who unlike Lonesome George was a "very reproductive" tortoise with about 800 children!). Also, to get to know here is about the man who this place was named after (by reading a number of info displays about Charles Darwin's trip to these islands in his youth and those about his subsequent writings of the evolutionary theory & such based on some of his findings on these islands); and yes also should not be missed is a photo-op with Darwin's "sitting statue" (on one of the "display decks" as mentioned above but this one is at an area apart from the Tortoise Path). And, just as enjoyable as walking the Tortoise Path was to see those "giant tortoises" themselves (about 20 of them in total in about 4 or 5 outdoor enclosures) although yes that experience was "later eclipsed" (actually on the right next day) by the visit to El Chato Reserve where I saw about twice as many as the number here and which were just "roaming freely" on the spacious grounds of that site (just in the interior of this island by a half-hour-or-so taxi ride from here in Puerto Ayora). And also worth stopping by at just off the entrance area of this site (or which may just be considered as part of this site) is Playa de la Estacion which although just a "tiny beach" is not bad for sunbathing or just sitting down (but "not ideal" for swimming with some "rocky surface" underwater as I found out when I came back another day just for a swim) and which to my knowledge is the "closest beach" from the downtown waterfront (just a 15-to-20-minute walk as compared to the walk of about an hour to the "long beach" at Tortuga Bay). So if coming from the "touristy waterfront" lined with plenty of souvenir shops & a number of restaurants/cafes, it's just straight to the "east end" of Avenida Charles Darwin (which covers that waterfront for its entire stretch of about 1 km) and a little beyond to the "entrance area" of this site (the small road leading to the site).
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Date of experience: December 2019
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301lisa33 wrote a review May 2020
Coventry, United Kingdom1,358 contributions225 helpful votes
This place is very close to town. It provides a close view of tortoises. (Lonesome George is here, stuffed, in his own climate-controlled building.) But the exhibits cover other things too. There are informative displays. A little staid and jaded: small, compact and rather crowded
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Cherie C wrote a review May 2020
Sydney, Australia503 contributions112 helpful votes
When visiting Santa Cruz, you can't not make a visit here. Get yourself a guide and wander around and enjoy and learn about the tortoises and visit the museum. We walked from town, which was an easy walk, just not in the heat in the middle of the day.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Sylvie L wrote a review Apr 2020
Toronto, Canada37 contributions4 helpful votes
We walked from our hotel, not that far from town and lots to see on the way. Good way to get exercise after the plane ride and the bus to Puerto Ayora! Nice way to see our first land iguanas and enjoy the waterfront. There is a small free public beach on the way. Tons to see. Enjoyed the different sizes of tortoise. Many pavilions, linked to the park. We went late afternoon after checking in but we could have used a bit more time.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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