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“Convenient place to view giant tortoises ”
Review of Reserva El Chato

Reserva El Chato
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US$1,682.00*
and up
8-Day Galapagos Adventure: San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Isabela Island
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 21 June 2014 via mobile

If you are staying at Puerto Ayora and thinking of what to do with half a day, NY advice is to book a highland tour. For the cost of USD35 (the cab driver will be the guide), you get to view large sink holes (from collapsed magma chambers), misted forest covered with moss and lichens, and of course, the Tortoise Reserve.

For a fee of USD3, you get to wear a pair of rubber boots. The grounds can get very muddy and the boots are definitely a must have.

I was able to view 7 - 8 tortoises in the 'wild' within an hour or so and get up close to these creatures. The tortoises do not like this peering into their face too much and express their displeasure by hissing and withdrawing their heads.

Do note that the Tortoise Reserve is bounded by farms of all kinds; particularly cow farms - a clear sign that these creatures' existence has to be shared with man.

Thank IamQingfa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 June 2014

This is a good place to see the wild tortoises up close and personal. I enjoyed seeing them out "in the wild". However, we also saw tortoises on the roads and near our hotel so it's far from your only chance. The lava tunnels were interesting, but basically just a cave with some lighting. Plan on wet conditions, or borrow a pair of the boots they provide.

1  Thank Pam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2014

We visited the Reserve with the naturalist on the Floriana yacht prior to our cruise. There was a storm that caused one of the trees to fall onto the road but our group all helped out and cleared the tree.

We saw several male and female tortoises, a short-eared owl (rare sighting as they normally come out at dusk and at night), fruit trees, caterpillars and visited one of the lava tunnels (bring a flashlight - very dark and slippery). You definitely need a guide because signage is very scarce. At the end of the lava tunnel, there is a building that houses restrooms, a small restaurant and a parking lot.

1  Thank Dushi-NY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Our only other sighting of giant tortoises was of two young ones (maybe 20 yrs old) on Isabella island so we were thrilled to see several at this location. There were 4 or 5 in and around a muddy pond bed, one pair was breeding. They ranged in age from apx. 30 yrs to over 100 yrs. and there was plenty of opportunity for photos. We were also able to go into a lava tube which was fascinating. They also had local coffee for sale and fantastic bananas for snacking.

1  Thank LuckyPenny8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Definitely worth the trip to go see these giant reptiles in the wild. We saw quite a few and it was interesting to learn more about their habitat.

Thank wendi404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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