We had an extra day to spend on the Galapagos as we wanted to go scuba diving. However, my ears were playing up so decided to see giant tortoises in the wild instead on the island of Santa Cruz where we were staying. You can easily see these beauties in the highlands about thirty minutes drive from town on a private property called Primicias Ranch. The tortoises here are a lot more active and free to roam in and out of the ranch and into the national park. On our way there we saw them crossing the road, eating the same grass as cows and also just hanging out in the open fields.
The area accessible to the public is quite large in space and takes about forty five minutes to navigate through. Here you can get pretty close to them and whilst some are shy and will retreat back into their huge shells, some are happy as Larry and couldn’t care less about tourists.
If you’re into cheesy photos then afterwards you can crawl into an empty shell to have your photo taken and despite the encouragement of our taxi driver, we decide against it. What we did check out afterwards were the lava tubes that once had red hot lava gushing through them thousands of years ago. Parts of the tunnel are illuminated so you can see the varying textures, colours and geological layering (is there such a term?) throughout the 400m tunnel. I didn’t know much about them before but they were cool to check out.
If you by any chance make it over here and have a day extra then I would definitely recommend coming here.