Charles Darwin Research Station, Puerto Ayora

#2 of 228 in Wildlife in Ecuador
Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
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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3,261 reviews
  • We had Andres as our naturalist guide and he was fantastic. Our 6/8yr old boys loved it and his energy kept them engaged during our visit. Remember your passports for the stamp!  more »
  • A worthwhile visit to understand the importance of the biodiversity of the Islands. The turtle breeding program is fantastic!  more »
  • We were keen to go to the centre. Whilst the centre was good and informative, the entry was via the national park. Here we were informed that we had to get a guide. We were not permitted to enter until we paid $10 each. ($110 US that we had not planned for). If we went in by 2 or 3, no fee, but because they new we were together w had to pay. We feel that $110 us for 1 hour guide time was a complete con. We had no opportunity to object as the local authorities were there. We did enjoy the guide Anna the tour, but still felt very burnt.
  • This is a great way to spend a part day in Puerto Ayora. There is no entry fee and you can do it on your own. If you aren’t doing a tour, there is an option to hire a guide for about $10 USD per person - there will be a table set up outside of the loop. But the walk is easy and there is signage to tell you about where you are and what you are looking at. There are marine iguanas lounging in the road. This is a great spot to learn about the giant tortoise breeding program and there a lot of tortoises to see. There are also gazebo type structures with benches and educational materials along the loop. The well preserved body of the famous giant tortoise “lonesome George” is on display in a temperature controlled room. Once you complete the loop there is an exhibition center will more information on the Galapagos and whale skeleton and a gift shop.

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