El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve, Puerto Ayora

#1 of 228 in Wildlife in Ecuador
Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
Get up close to the Galapagos wildlife as you hike through El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve. For bio-protection and your own comfort, the reserve will issue you boots before you head out onto the trails, so you don't track in foreign substances. The reserve has two areas, Caseta and Chato; while trail difficulty ranges from easy to medium, expect a more challenging route through Caseta. During dry season, you can see the fascinating Galapagos turtles in the wild. Other animals such as the short-eared owl, Darwin's finches, and yellow warblers also reside here. Don't miss the opportunity to walk through the island's lava tube. If not up to hiking the whole island, you can arrange to ride horses on the reserve as well. To find out how to plan a trip to Puerto Ayora, use our trip itinerary maker.
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El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve reviews

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1,887 reviews
  • The giant tortoises were spectacular in their natural habitat. They love the mud to keep them cool. You must try the empanadas and the coffee. Spectacular!  more »
  • Seeing the tortoises in a natural environment as you eat lunch feels like Jurassic Park. We watched them move with wonder! Its on the halfway to Puerto Ayora so a good first or last stop. We went...  more »
  • This is a fabulous asset. They are saving the giant land tortoises and returning them to the wild. Go with a guide who can explain the history and the process to you the attention to detail and the science of this is very special. If you are visiting the Galapagos - this is a great spot.
  • Great place to view tortoises in the wild. There are 100s just roaming around. The lava caves on site are pretty amazing. If you are on the island of Santa Cruz and looking for something to do this is a pretty great option. There is also and outdoor restaurant on site.

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