Went with a group on the "Galapagos Explorer" cruise (HIGHLY recommended!) This research station is located on the island of Puerto Ayora, Ecuador. We got to see Lonesome George a year before he died, which is now a bittersweet memory. Trips here are monitored closely by the government in Ecuador, and your subsequent visits are limited due to the fragile ecosystem. We went in December, which is Summer there. Snorkeling and diving with sea turtles, sharks and sea lions are opportunities not to be missed. The water is clear, and the marine iguanas are everywhere. Friggate birds in the air, and orange land iguanas. Baby seals everywhere you step. It doesn't get any better for an animal lover! There is a ton of souvenir shopping and several good restaurants on the island within minutes walk from the station.
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