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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!
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Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Central Islands Cruise$900$82198Oct 23, 2021Enjoy the highlights of San Cristobal, Española, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Santiago and Genovesa islands on this incredible 8-day adventure aboard the …
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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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