If you are staying at a lodge in the Galapagos Islands rather than cruising, you are likely to be based in Santa Cruz. Although Santa Cruz lacks the isolated sense of wilderness of outer islands such as Genovesa Island and Fernandina Island, there is plenty of wildlife to discover on the coast and in the highlands. The Charles Darwin Research Station is a 10-minute walk from the centre of town, and worth a visit. This is the headquarters of the Charles Darwin Foundation, and the up-to-date exhibitions are presented with facts and findings from resident biologists. In these critical days of climate change, you don’t get much closer to front-line conservation than this.