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Giant Land Tortoise

Highlands Cruises & Tours

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Just a short drive from the golden sands of the Santa Cruz beaches, find yourself in a completely different habitat as you explore the many attractions of the highlands on the Galapagos Islands. Visit a local hacienda, where giant tortoises roam freely, grazing tranquilly on the highland vegetation. Then it's off to the lava tunnels, where you can walk through naturally formed caves left when lava flows hardened. You next stop is a trek through a dense scalesia forest to twin sinkholes that formed when the massive calderas of extinct calderas collapsed. Though it takes just under an hour to cross the entire island of Santa Cruz from the northern Itabaca Channel through the highlands to Puerto Ayora on the southern shore, the highlands are a world of their own, just waiting to be explored. Contact us to start planning!
Best Galapagos Cruises & Tours

Top 10 Highland Tours of Santa Cruz for 2024-2025

Best Galapagos Cruises & Tours

10 Best Highland Luxury Tours of Santa Cruz for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Western Islands$44006Dec 11, 2023Embark the Alya on this 6-day catamaran cruise of the Western Galapagos Islands, visiting some of the most popular sites including the Tortoise …
Volcanic Wonders$92508Dec 10, 2023On this comprehensive 8-day tour of the Galapagos Islands aboard the M/V Origin, see unusual wildlife such as marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, …
Northern Galapagos Catamaran Cruise$49495Dec 12, 2023The Ocean Spray luxury catamaran takes you on a 5-day Galapagos Northern Islands cruise, exploring Genovesa, South Plaza, Mosquero, and Santiago. …
North & Central Islands$48205Dec 12, 2023Enjoy an extensive adventure into the unique world of the Galapagos on this incredible 5-day journey. Admire the incredible natural beauty of this …
Central Islands Cruise$89908Dec 2, 2023Discover the highlights of San Cristobal, Española, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Santiago, and Genovesa islands on this incredible 8-day adventure aboard …
Private Charter - Western Islands Aboard Ocean Spray$887906Dec 2, 2023Experience Galapagos penguins, Elizabeth Bay, and more on a cruise through the Western Islands aboard Ocean Spray. Enjoy hiking, snorkeling and …
Private Charter - Beyond Darwin's Footsteps Aboard Grace$1470008Dec 12, 2023Close encounters with nature highlight this 8-day private Galapagos cruise onboard the Grace. The islands are teeming with animals that are eager to …
Beyond Darwin's Footsteps$85008Dec 9, 2023This 8-day adventure aboard Grace offers close encounters with wildlife. The islands are full of creatures that love to interact with visitors. …
Private Charter - Islands Circumnavigation - West Aboard Ocean Spray$1186908Dec 16, 2023Circumnavigate the Western Islands of the Galapagos on this 8-day private charter cruise aboard the Ocean Spray. Explore striking volcanic landscapes …
Northern Islands$56435Dec 4, 2023Board the La Pinta and sail through the Northern Islands of the Galapagos. This 5-day adventure takes you to Santa Cruz, Bartolome, and Genovesa. …

Top 3 Highlands Cruises and Tours Deals for 2024-2025

Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Western IslandsSavings$55698Dec 8, 2023Journey to the western islands of the Galapagos on this 8-day cruise on the Seaman Journey.
Beaches and BaysSavings$92508Dec 3, 2023Spend 8 days cruising the Southern Islands of the Galapagos and visiting a variety of islands such as San Cristobal, Española, Floreana, and Santa …
Private Charter - Beaches and BaysSavings$1890008Dec 3, 2023Spend 8 days cruising the Southern Islands of the Galapagos on your own private yacht, visiting a variety of islands such as San Cristobal, …
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Santa Cruz Highlands Travel Guide

Getting to the Highlands
All of our cruises and tours of the Galapagos Islands are all-inclusive, so you will never have to worry about transportation. If you are touring the highlands as your first stop after arriving, then you may meet a taxi after crossing the Itabaca Channel from the Baltra Island airport. The taxi will take you right to your Highlands visitor site. Traveling from Puerto Ayora, you will likely arrive with your travel group on a motor coach or open air bus.

Activities in the Santa Cruz Highlands
  • Los Gemelos- Meaning "Twins," in Spanish, these two massive sinkholes are a sight to behold, where you can hike through a scalesia forest to see the extinct remains of two volcanoes that collapsed.
  • Lava Tunnels - Another impressive volcanic feature of the highlands are the lava tunnels, naturally hollowed out geologic features that created tunnels when the flowing surface lava hardened over hot magma that continued to flow underneath.
  • El Chato Ranch- Walk through the green pastures of this highland hacienda where giant tortoises roam in their natural habitat.
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