The Tour visits the main spotlights of the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island: El Chato or Primicias Reserve , the Lava Tunnels and Los Gemelos.
But the best option to do this tour, is from the airport right after your landing. To make the most of your time, we can schedule Highlands Tour right after leaving the airport, since the places we are going to visit are halfway from the Itabaca Canal to Puerto Ayora, where the Santa Cruz Island activity is concentrated.
If you take the Pick up airport option, we will be waiting for you outside the airport to help you take the bus airport and to cross Itabaca Channel. On the other side of the Island, in Santa Cruz, a car will be waiting for you to start the tour. Do not worry about your baggage, we will take care of it while you enjoy the Highlands. When the tour is finished, our driver will drop you off at your hotel.
El Chato Reserve and Rancho Primicias
Both venues are a private reserve on Santa Cruz Island where there is a large population of Galápagos giant tortoises in their natural and free state. Within the reserve, there are green trails filled with giant tortoises. Inside the reserve you can also enjoy a delicious lunch of typical Ecuadorian food and take pictures with the shell of a giant tortoise.
The entrance fee to El Chato reserve and Rancho Primicias is $5.
Santa Cruz lava tunnels are also part of the attraction of the Reserva el Chato and Rancho Primicias. These tunnels are natural formations of past volcanic eruptions. It is an impressive path created by nature of approximately 2000 meters, but it can only 250 m can be accessed due to security measures.
Lava Tunnels visit is one of the reasons why Highlands tour is totally worth it. The natural cavern is impressive on the inside. It is humid, so it is recommended to wear sports shoes and walk with care since it can be a bit dark despite the lighting that has been placed.
You can see a quick summary of this tour in our Instagram and Tiktok accounts
Los Gemelos in Santa Cruz are two craters that were formed when the islands were active and had a lot of volcanic activity that generated several eruptions. Los Gemelos are two large subsidence with very green areas. It is not allowed to eat in this area since the seeds can fall in the crater and germinate, as well as it is not recommended to get close to the edges of the crater.
The view from this point is impressive and you can admire the great dimension of these craters where at some point millions of years ago there was lava.
Here you can see endemic birds flying freely and observe the forest and vegetation as well.
After this tour we will take you to your hotel in Puerto Ayora so you can continue enjoying Santa Cruz Island.