Galapagos Alternative


Santa Cruz Highlands Tour

Giant Tortoise Galapagos Alternative Tours

The Highlands of Santa Cruz offer a lush contrast to the beaches and arid lowlands found elsewhere on the island. With one of our Naturalist Guides as your escort you will visit some of the highlights of the 'Parte Alta'. A stop at the twin craters Los Gemelos is one of the first s ights on your highlands tour. A visit to the Moreno family farm, Las Primicias, provides the opportunity to marvel at the celebrated Giant Galapagos Tortoise roaming in its natural habitat. You can also explore a cavernous underground Lava Tunnel where you can view one of the geological wonders of our volcanic islands. You will also be able to explore some of the "backroads" of Santa Cruz on the way to Puerto Ayora.

Tour Highlights and Inclusions:

Aerial view of Los Gemelos - Galapagos AlterNATIVE South Plaza Island Tour-Land Iguana

English Name: Santa Cruz Highlands         Spanish Name: "La Parte Alta"

Location & Geography: The island of Santa Cruz has a maximum altitude of 2,835 ft (854 meters). The higher elevation areas are also known as the “parte alta”. Due to the altitude and precipitation, the highlands provide a cool respite from the equatorial sun and the perfect habitat for the Giant Galapagos Tortoise and other land animals and plants. The Giant Tortoise was almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century. Today, extensive conservation efforts continue to salvage these populations. The highlands are also ideal for bird watching, as almost every bird in the Galapagos has been spotted on Santa Cruz. In addition to the flora and fauna, there are some fascinating volcanic features in the highlands as well. Los Gemelos is a formation where a subterranean lava tunnel has collapsed creating two gigantic almost identical craters. There are also a number of large lava tunnels that can be accessed from various points on the island.

Terrestrial Wildlife: Giant Tortoises, various Finches and other bird life.

Difficulty: Moderate Light walking along grass and muddy paths. Entrance to the tunnels requires some stairs. The paths in the tunnels are more technical and can be slippery due to mud.

You will need: closed shoes with socks, rain jacket/outer layer, water, sunscreen (boots available upon request).
You will tour the Santa Cruz Highlands en route from the airport. You should have your shoes and rain gear available.

Los Gemelos Galapagos Alternative tours
Start time: afternoon Duration: Half-Day Origin: Santa Cruz Embarcation Point: en route to hotel
Group Size: n/a Vessel Type: Taxi Activity level: Leisurely Total Tour Time w/taxi: ~4 hrs

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