El Chato Tortoise Reserve
Here, you can admire the endangered Galapagos tortoises, the largest species of tortoise in the world! – Observe these exotic Galapagos animals as they are, in the wild, where you can get up close and personal. The giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands are famous for their impressive size (some weigh over 500 pounds) and their long life spans (averaging more than 100 years).
Located south of Santa Rosa is El Chato Tortoise Reserve, where you can observe these giant tortoises in the wild. When these virtually catatonic, prehistoric-looking beasts extend their accordion like necks to feed, it’s an impressive sight. The reserve is also a good place to look for short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, Galápagos rails and paint-billed crakes. These last two are difficult to see in the long grass. The reserve is part of the national park and a guide is required.
While visiting, including a visit to the famous Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. The work at Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park, which includes breeding giant tortoises, is immensely important, and if you have ample time, by all means, pay a visit.
While 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 beautiful Rancho El Chato. There we observed numerous tortoises lumbering through the grass and wallowing contentedly in muddy pools. They will cross in and out of the adjacent national reserve unimpeded. Here, you can admire the endangered Galapagos tortoises, the largest species of tortoise in the world! Observe these exotic Galapagos animals as they are, in the wild, where you can get up close and personal.
The Galapagos tortoise definitely leaves an impression, with its prehistoric looks and odd, extendable neck!
The experience at El Chato Tortoise Reserve is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.