Charles Darwin Station
Near the Playa de la Estacion, a small, rocky beach in the Galapagos Islands, stands a living monument to Charles Darwin and his impact on the world of science. Galapagos cruises and luxury yacht charters stop in the ocean just off the Playa, allowing visits to this amazing resource. Darwin Station conducts studies on the environmental impact of visitors such as tourists and scientists. Another task is to monitor habitat conditions like food and water levels, pollution and the impact of invasive species on the fragile Galapagos ecosystem. For those wanting a complete experience on their visit to the Galapagos yacht charters is probably the best option.
Darwin Station, established in 1964, is operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation in support of over 100 scientists that are working constantly to conserve the land and sea ecosystems of the Galapagos archipelago. Part of the Galapagos National Park of Ecuador, the Foundation maintains satellite offices for Darwin Station on Isabela and San Cristobal islands, in addition to the main station in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. Home to a collection of over 95,000 specimens, this is the most complete catalog available for the native species of the Galapagos.
The Station is home to the Natural History Interpretation Centre, which educates visitors in the stunning biodiversity seen only in the Galapagos. There are a number of Galapagos cruises that swing past Darwin Station, including luxury yacht charters which include diving and snorkeling among species like parrotfish, butterfly fish, damselfish and sea rays. According to the Ecuador National Park Service, you can swim with turtles, marine iguanas and baby sea lions, while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Playa de la Estacion. Most of the Galapagos yacht charters put visitors ashore at Puerto Ayora, where they can follow the main road east to the Station.