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Trip Planner:   South America  /  Ecuador  /  Galapagos Islands  /  Santa Cruz  /  Puerto Ayora  /  El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve

El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve, Puerto Ayora

4.6
#1 of 262 in Wildlife in Ecuador
Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
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Get up close to the Galapagos wildlife as you hike through El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve. For bio-protection and your own comfort, the reserve will issue you boots before you head out onto the trails, so you don't track in foreign substances. The reserve has two areas, Caseta and Chato; while trail difficulty ranges from easy to medium, expect a more challenging route through Caseta. During dry season, you can see the fascinating Galapagos turtles in the wild. Other animals such as the short-eared owl, Darwin's finches, and yellow warblers also reside here. Don't miss the opportunity to walk through the island's lava tube. If not up to hiking the whole island, you can arrange to ride horses on the reserve as well. To find out how to plan a trip to Puerto Ayora, use our trip itinerary maker.
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El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve reviews

TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,974 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Seeing these ancient creatures roam freely throughout the property was a highlight of a trip to the Galapagos. Our guide through Exoticca (Marlon) was so-so and the downpour during our visit with no.....  more
    Seeing these ancient creatures roam freely throughout the property was a highlight of a trip to the Galapagos. Our guide through Exoticca (Marlon) was so-so and the downpour during our visit with no.....  more »
  • The galapagos island must visit Turtles that live to be 130 years and more Walk among them in their natural habitat You can actually see if you fit in one of their shells Lonesome George was... 
    The galapagos island must visit Turtles that live to be 130 years and more Walk among them in their natural habitat You can actually see if you fit in one of their shells Lonesome George was...  more »
  • Liked it! Nice experience and definitely amazing coffee provided there before the tour. It was nice to have a guide to explain few things about the turtles and the sanctuary as well as the lava... 
    Liked it! Nice experience and definitely amazing coffee provided there before the tour. It was nice to have a guide to explain few things about the turtles and the sanctuary as well as the lava...  more »
Google
  • Great place to see giant tortoises in Santa Cruz. We visited the place as a group and had our own guide. Rubber boots were provided. Short walk 30-40 minutes to see the huge turtles and the lava tunnel. Decent lunch was included. Impressive giant tortoises.
  • It was cool to see these giant tortoises, and the setting is different than the rest of the islands we saw. The bathrooms were clean, and they had refreshments and food for purchase. I like that they provided boots for us to wear because it can get so wet and muddy. There was a lava cave which was cool to see. It was probably our least favorite excursion though.
  • We had a few hours between ferries going from San Cristobal to Isabela. This was the perfect excursion to fill that time instead of hanging around in town. $40 cab ride, and the driver waited to take us back when we were done. You get to see the Giant Tortoises up close and in their natural environment along with the lava tubes.
  • The entry cost $5 with an additional tip you have to pay to your guide (we left $15 for a group of 3 people). You can eat here (we recommend the muchines) and drink tea or coffee for free. Very nice staff. We loved meeting the Gal√°pagos turtles.
  • The El Chato Ranch is a beautiful place to walk around and see the famous giant tortoises of the Galapagos. We met several of the tortoises and we were able to get within about 6 meters of them per the rules of El Chato (no closer, don't disturb the wildlife). We took a bus in and we had a nice time walking around the ranch and then walking through the Lava Tunnels

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