charles darwin research centre


Our first stop, during our trip to the Galápagos Islands, was to the Charles Darwin Research Station. We set out in hopes of seeing some giant tortoises.

We met 'Lonesome George', who is approximately 60-90 years of age and he is not into the ladies. George, a Pinta Island tortoise, was found in the 70's is considered to be the rarest creature in the world. Since there are no other tortoises of his kind, the research station has been trying to breed him with two female tortoises of different subspecies - but it's just not happening.

The main objective of the research station is the conservation of Galápagos terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The tortoise breeding that is conducted there is an example of this.

After walking through some muddy terrain and spotting Lonesome George from afar, we were stopped by this guy:

He didn't seem to want to interrupt our walk and got out of the way:

If you're interested in donating to the Charles Darwin Research Foundation, you can do so here.

You Might Also Like


  1. Anonymous28.2.10

    Those massive turtles remind me of you two. They are beautiful and they are carrying their homes on their backs!

  2. Anonymous28.2.10

    Love the giant tortoises! I "rode" one back when that was actually allowed here in the US in the Black Hills of South Dakota when I was young. {You can't ride them anymore! ;}

    I "check-in" with you guys reguarly! Glad you're having such a great time! Can't wait to see what's up next!

    Lindsay in KANSAS

  3. they are the most adorable things ever.
    kind of like you two.

  4. These tortoises are like from the dinosaur age - magical! And i like your blog ;)

  5. I have been following this blog of yours since the beginning and although I do not comment much I just wanted to say thank you for posting about your journey... I am able to live vicariously through you two... xoxo

  6. Of all your stops so far, this is the one that makes me the most jealous. I used to work at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and worked with the live animals. My favorite by far was the old man tortoise. Adorable creature :-)

  7. That's a very big boy! I especially like the details in the 2nd to last picture :)

  8. So you heard about Lonesome George, how about the story of Dieguito?? These creatures are just massive!

  9. I've always wanted to go here! The Galapagos Islands look like a pretty spectacular place. Did you enjoy Ecuador? My friend traveled all through the country for a month last summer and LOVED it!

  10. Anonymous2.3.10

    i'm not really sure why, but i abso love turtles. had a few as a kid but, believe it or not, they would usually "run away".
    hmmm, what does that say about me as a pet owner?
    come to think of it, i really loved The NeverEnding Story as a young one and the sneezing turtle always made me laugh.
    looks like i just figured it out.
    awesome shots, as usual...

  11. Is it weird that I now want one of these guys? I watched a show about big turtles the other day and now I just really want one.

  12. Thanks everyone for the kind words.

    Marisa - The turtle that was found at the San Diego Zoo? We don't know too much else about it.

    {lovely little things} - We didn't explore too much of Ecuador, but we liked the parts that we did. There's an Ecuador link on the side of the page (under Where We've Been) that takes you to all our posts about the country.