Ecuador | Tourists helps pay for preservation in Galápagos NP, but getting rid of their trash vexing
The equatorial rays and humidity welcomed me after I stepped off the plane in Baltra, a small island in the Galápagos that, save for the airport, was otherwise deserted. Waves lapped up against the reddish-brown sand. Small lizards with red bellies darted between the prickly Opunti cacti that dotted the earth. After a short boat ride through the Itabaca Channel — during which I marveled at the opalescent, turquoise waters — I arrived on the island of Santa Cruz and hailed a cab to go to the town center.
Tourists who visit the Galápagos usually pass through Santa Cruz, the most populous and central island in the archipelago. As we made our way through the highlands, our driver kept pace with the cars in front. Suddenly the vehicles in front of us began to slow down. Our driver pointed to the small shoulder on the side of the road and said, “Tortuga.”