Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz Highlands, Charles Darwin Station

Tour/Activity in Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Discover the highlands of Santa Cruz with a nature guide and visit Charles Darwin Station.

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Santa Cruz Highlands

This tour takes you from the port city of Puerto Ayora into the highlands of Santa Cruz. As you venture into the higher altitude areas, you will notice the changes in the vegetation as the climate becomes wetter and warmer. The earth in the upper altitudes is rich in minerals. Coffee plantations and fruit orchards line the streets. Here you can observe the famous Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild.

The Scalesia zone between 250 and 600 meters altitude offers the opportunity to discover many endemic tree species not found in the Ecuadorean jungle. The twin craters, Los Gemelos, are also in this zone. However, they are not craters in the technical sense, rather 70 meter vertical gullies, carpeted with lush vegetation.

Charles Darwin Research Station

In the afternoon, visit the well-known Charles Darwin Research Station, which houses an information center, a museum and a tortoise hatchery. During the tour you will learn about the different species of Galapagos turtles and the breeding program, observe yellow land iguanas eating Opuntia leaves and learn about the various endemic plants of the Galapagos archipelago.

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