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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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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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Top Highlands Cruises and Tours Deals for 2021-2022

Trip NameSaveFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Central and Western Islands$2044$42498Jun 12, 2021Enjoy the Galapagos Islands aboard the Galaxy in 8 days, where you will explore a magical landscapes with unique wildlife like giant tortoises, …
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Western Islands$1171$35096May 17, 2021Embark the Alya on this 6-day catamaran cruise of the Western Galapagos Islands, visiting some of the most popular sites including the Tortoise …
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Southern Islands$1171$35096May 22, 2021Discover all the magic the Southern Galapagos Islands have to offer on this 6-day cruise. Sail through one of the most mind-blowing ecosystems on …
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Central Islands Cruise$900$82198May 22, 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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Northern Islands Cruise$400$51295May 25, 2021Board the Elite for a 5-Day sailing expedition across one of the most unique archipelagos on the planet, the Galapagos Islands. Experience the beauty …
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Private Charter - Family Cruise to the Southern Islands Aboard Origin & TheorySavings$1690008May 23, 2021Spend 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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