Disembark in Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises. In the afternoon, explore Academy Bay on a boat tour. Snorkel with sea lions and walk over a volcanic path to a crystal clear saltwater lagoon.
Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close – a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened.
This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.
Enjoy a boat tour around Academy Bay, head across the bay to La Loberia to snorkel with playful sea lions and colourful fish. After, continue on to Punta Estrada to spot a variety of birds, on the way to Playa de los Alemanes lookout for marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks, Cross a cactus forest looking for Darwin finches and lava lizards on the way to Las Grietas, a local swimming hole. The cool, bright turquoise water separates two volcanic cliffs. Fed by the ocean from one end and a river from the other, this unique brackish pool is perfect for swimming.