None
Galápagos giant tortoises at Rancho El Chato - Photo by Andrew Harper

Giant Galápagos Tortoise Encounter

By Andrew Harper

The Hideaway Report | November 1, 2016

Subscribe for Access

Most Galápagos itineraries include a visit to the famous Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. The station’s work, which includes breeding giant tortoises, is immensely important, and if you have ample time, by all means pay a visit and make a donation.

That said, visiting the station is rather like visiting a zoo, with the tortoises and iguanas located in enclosures. Those with limited time should forgo the station in favor of a place like Rancho El Chato. There we observed numerous tortoises lumbering through the grass and wallowing contentedly in muddy pools; they cross in and out of the adjacent national reserve unimpeded. As you can walk right up to the magnificent animals, the experience feels much more special.

Premium Content

Articles from The Hideaway Report are only available to members. To view, please log in below or join.

Member Login

Become a Member

Join Andrew Harper for access to our publications and travel benefits that can more than offset the cost of your membership.
Plans start at $395.

Follow Us

SIGN UP FOR TRAVEL NEWS