Charles Darwin Research Station, Puerto Ayora

3.6
#2 of 125 in Wildlife in Ecuador
Charles Darwin Research Station allows visitors to learn about natural history and wildlife conservation in the Galapagos. Conducting scientific research and providing environmental education since 1959, the center remains best known for its breeding program for giant tortoises. Visitors can view baby tortoises in incubators, which are raised here until age four and then released into the wild. Explanations in both English and Spanish shed a light on the center's projects and the global goals of conservation efforts. Put Charles Darwin Research Station on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Puerto Ayora trip itinerary site .
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Charles Darwin Research Station Reviews
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  • It’s a great introduction to how Charles Darwin arrived at the theory of evolution. It is also a great place to see the tortoises. Their small interactive museum is fun.  more »
  • The museum is very interesting, I whish they had more information around other animals. Is too focused on turtles  more »
  • The Charles Darwin Center has... turtle hatchery. It is the best Center of the three islands. Facilities are maintained, and the path that organizes the tour is signposted every now and then with useful information on the formation of the Islands and the conformation of native species. Towards the end, is the famous souvenir of the last male tortoise of do not know what species, Lonely John (John Lone), who refused to play (do not understand at all if it is an embalsamanda or made of plastic: for the case is the same). The issue is intriguing: I asked if they had preserved genetic material from the sample and was told Yes. Would do not use it it for use in assisted reproduction? Apartentemente can not because the other species of turtles are not compatible. And cloning (Argentina, my country, is famous for the cloning of horses for polo) is that if cloned to the venerable John Lone, the result would be a copy "with the same defects", he said.? I understood that the defect was his refusal to play. I was not encouraged to protest because I am not sure that the comment "homophobia" could apply in relation to animal species, but in any case, I kept thinking about me. As a bonus track, access to the Darwin Centre allows you to visit a very beautiful beach of volcanic stones, with views of Puerto Ayora.
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  • We learned so much at the Charles Darwin Research Station. We went on a tour with our Galapagos National Park naturalist guide who gave us more insight to the displays and tortoise pens. The tortoises were arranged by age/size - small, medium, large and it's hard to say which ones were our favorite. It's a well-laid out and clean facility that included an informative museum and great store. We loved getting our passports stamped with the Charles Darwin Research Center logo too. This is a must see place in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Great place to see the giant tortoises and history of the Galapagos Islands. Admission is free.
  • You have to visit this place. Very interesting
  • Here we are in the entomology section of the Charles Darwin station very interesting and valuable entomology collection.
  • What an awesome tour of the Galapagos Islands in 2014. Great to see Charles Darwin research area and the massive tortoises.

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Where to stay in Puerto Ayora

As a popular jumping-off point for Galapagos visitors, Puerto Ayora receives loads of tourists, and therefore features many of the accommodation options you might expect from a major destination. Though there are types of lodging to suit all kinds of budgets, prices in general tend to be higher in Puerto Ayora than in mainland Ecuador. The more upscale hotels catering to wealthier visitors lie along the waterfront in the vicinity of Avenida Charles Darwin, and offer excellent access to the sea, port, and restaurant scene. Consider renting out a private apartment room or staying in a smaller-scale hotel a few blocks back from the ocean in order to cut down on costs, as the city itself is easily walkable.
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