Juan Manuel Garcia-CDF

Charles Darwin Exhibition Hall

Exhibition Hall

Opening hours

Free admission.

Open Monday to Sunday, from 08:00 to 18:00 (including public holidays).

A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) must include our Exhibition Hall, where we showcase our over 60 years of scientific research in the archipelago, part of our natural history collections, rotating exhibitions, and much more.

We hope that this “peek” into the work that we do to protect the future of the Galapagos will inspire you to become a steward of conservation. After all the learning, take a few minutes and have some fun - including your opportunity to take a photo with Charles Darwin, or a giant tortoise!

Must See

Camilo Cruz-CDF

Charles Darwin and the Galapagos

A naturalist, geologist and biologist. Get to know this multi-hyphenate, and how the Galapagos with its combination of unique geology, location on the equator and remoteness helped create an environment which undoubtedly inspired Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Theory of Endemic Species.

Camilo Cruz-CDF

Showcase of Challenges and Scientific Research

From the establishment of the Breeding and Repatriation Program for Giant Tortoises in 1965 to more recent programs, get a glimpse of the pressing challenges facing the Galapagos, and the scientific research and conservation actions taken by the Charles Darwin Foundation and CDRS.

Camilo Cruz-CDF

Natural History Collections

CDRS is home to four natural history collections (herbarium, terrestrial invertebrate, marine invertebrate, and vertebrate) comprising more than 135,000 specimens of endemic, native and introduced species. A small sample of this is on display in the Exhibition Hall.

Sala de Exhibiciones-baja
Juan Manuel Garcia-CDF

Whale Skeletons

Around 24 species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) have been recorded in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. While you may not always get the chance to see them in the wild, you will not be able to miss the enormous Bryde’s whale skeleton, as well as the skeleton of a Dwarf Sperm whale, in the Exhibition Hall.

Juan Manuel Garcia-CDF

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

We can also organize special behind-the-scenes visits of our complete collections in our Special and VIP visiting packages in exchange for a donation. This can include a talk with a scientist of your choice, or even a visit with our Executive Director or Science Director. Donation packages vary by visit type.

Fun to Do

Camilo Cruz-CDF

Take a Photo with Charles Darwin

Although Darwin visited the Galapagos in 1835, he has more than left his mark on this archipelago. Popular with all visitors, there are a few areas in the CDRS where you can spot statues/images of him. So, go ahead and take that photo of you and Darwin!

Carlos Espinosa-CDF

Support Us by Visiting Our Donation Point/Gift Shop

Bring home a specially designed, well-made souvenir at our gift shop, and you would have contributed to our mission to protect the Galapagos Islands. There is something for everyone - hats and bandanas to protect you from the sun, books and games for the kids, and more!

Camilo Cruz-CDF

Get Your Passport Stamped & Send a Digital Postcard

Remember to bring your passport and collect a unique giant tortoise stamp. The Galapagos is not just a nature lover's paradise. The unique landscape, flora and fauna have also made it a photographer’s dream. Send a free digital postcard to family members, friends or even to yourself from a carousel of 12 digital postcards.

Camilo Cruz-CDF

Take a Break at the Cafeteria

Enjoy a snack or an ice-cold Galapagos craft beer at our outdoor cafeteria, amid our native garden. When you are recharged, step up to the lookout tower which offers an impressive view of the CDRS campus, the ocean, the town of Puerto Ayora, and Mount Crocker - the highest point of Santa Cruz Island.

Juan Manuel Garcia-CDF

Stroll our Native Garden

Take a leisurely walk through our native garden, and try to spot endemic flora like cacti and the critically endangered Scalesia affinis, native of Puerto Ayora with its beautiful heart shaped leaves and fragrant flowers. If you are lucky, will see Mockingbirds, Flycatchers, Darwin’s finches, different types of herons, a multitude of insects and sometimes even marine iguanas.


Baby tortoise
Carlos Espinosa-CDF

Fausto Llerena Breeding Center

Named after the park ranger of “Lonesome George”, the last of the Chelonoidis niger abingdonii, the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center breeds turtles which are then reintroduced to their natural habits on various islands in the Galapagos. Visitors can join a guided “The Tortoise Route” experience by the Galapagos National Park Directorate, with the first tour at 08:00 and the last at 16:45 each day.

Carlos Espinosa-CDF

Station Beach
(Playa de La EstaciĂłn)

On your way into CDRS, you will pass Station Beach - a small beach popular with locals. Take a detour on your way back to town to sunbathe or cool off in the waters (your choice) and enjoy the view of Puerto Ayora from the white sands of the beach at the same time.

Rashid Cruz-CDF

La Ratonera Beach
(Playa la Ratonera)

Past the Exhibition Hall to your right after the native garden, you will find a short walking trail to La Ratonera Beach where you will definitely spot more than a couple of marine iguanas sunbathing on the trail or disguised as rocks around the beach. Popular with local surfers, this is another spot that you can chill or get into the waters.

Andres Cruz

Protect Galapagos, Impact the World

The impact you make on this small ecosystem of enormous biodiversity is part of a larger footprint you are leaving for the world's future. Join us on our mission to safeguard one of our planet’s most important natural treasures through science and conservation action by making a donation today. Thank you for making an impact with us.