Reserva El Chato
Reserva El Chato
4.5
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from ₹746.84
All you need to step foot in the door.
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  • Leslie D
    Malvern, Pennsylvania46 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best place to see land Turtles on Santa Cruz but similar to free places on other islands
    Day excursion while on Santa Cruz. Very interesting but we got to see Land Turtles on all the other islands and this is similar to other free places on other islands. However, we enjoyed the tour with a few stops along the way. It is a long walk from town down a long bumpy road (we saw a few people walking from town, I recommend getting a private driver or taxi from the local bus). We had our own tour guide who was very informative. We had rain which made the turtles more active which was fun. We really enjoyed crawling into the shells at the store/restaurant at the end. They give you boots to walk around in. The only place on Santa Cruz we saw large turtles but San Cristobal had a free turtle center that showed the breading process and on Isabela you see them along the road to the "wall of tears".
    Visited May 2023
    Written 30 May 2023
  • Julia M
    Lake Geneva, Wisconsin18 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very Informative and Interesting
    The only way to enter is on a guided tour. You will be able to learn not just about tortoises but about other endemic species and conservation efforts to address some invasive species and other problems the animals face. We were able to see the persevered body of the famous Lonesome George, the last tortoise of his species. Apparently access to view him is not always open so we showed up during the right time. At the end of the tour you can go through another building that has more info about conservation projects being worked on. Overall it was the most informative tour of all the tortoise centers we visited on the islands (compared to San Cristobal and Isabela) although all 3 were very good in their own aspects. If you have some free time I would definitely recommend a visit.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 October 2023
  • Chemtrailer
    Canada404 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worthwhile
    A very interesting visit. Our travel agent informed us that many of the highland tortoise ranches are all the same: Rancho Primicias, Cerro Mesa etc .... So we just chose this one. A 25 min taxi from Puerto Ayora. $10/adult entry fee and when enough people are present they launch you off on a guided interpretive tour. We only waitee about 10 mins. Rubber boots are provided and if you're here in the wet season be sure to wear them as you'll be ankle-deep in mud. Walking amongst the giant tortoises was fascinating and the guide made it all the more interesting. There are also a couple of fascinating lave tube tunnels. The whole thing takes an hour. There's a restaurant and bar so time your visit to coincide with lunch.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 December 2023
  • Brendan S
    Arlington, Virginia2,012 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tortoises and lava tunnels
    This ranch/reserve has over 100 giant tortoises. Old, young, large, small, they roam all over the property. The trails through the reserve also include three lava tube tunnels. They are not that long or deep, but the tubes carved out of lava are a feature I hadn’t seen before. There are also a lot of birds on the ranch. I saw yellow warblers, Darwin finches, egrets and a few others.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 5 December 2023
  • Just Joe
    Napa, California203 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent experience & Guide
    Great reserve, LOTS of very old tortugas and a great bilingual Guide. Only $10 gets you a semi-private 90 minute walk through on their trails, turtles, and 2 lava tube walk-thrus. They provide tall mud boots too. I rode a bike there from PTO Aroya and back and it was awesome. Highly recommend!
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 4 January 2024
  • shalini_rao
    Boston, Massachusetts39 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent visit
    This was our first stop in Galápagos on our way from the airport to the hotel. The lunch and service were excellent - great table with view of the ranch. The group guided tour was very informative and the rubber boots provided made it easy to navigate the trails. The Lava tunnels were interesting as well. Highly recommend
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,991 reviews
Excellent
1,298
Very good
557
Average
113
Poor
18
Terrible
5

Larraine K
37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
Fantastic visit here to see the many tortoises in natural surroundings, the guides are very knowledgeable too. We also had an excellent lunch whilst visiting there is also a very good gift shop with reasonable prices
Written 11 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

shalini_rao
Boston, MA39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
This was our first stop in Galápagos on our way from the airport to the hotel. The lunch and service were excellent - great table with view of the ranch. The group guided tour was very informative and the rubber boots provided made it easy to navigate the trails. The Lava tunnels were interesting as well. Highly recommend
Written 11 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Just Joe
Napa, CA203 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
Great reserve, LOTS of very old tortugas and a great bilingual Guide. Only $10 gets you a semi-private 90 minute walk through on their trails, turtles, and 2 lava tube walk-thrus. They provide tall mud boots too. I rode a bike there from PTO Aroya and back and it was awesome. Highly recommend!
Written 4 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brendan S
Arlington, VA2,012 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
This ranch/reserve has over 100 giant tortoises. Old, young, large, small, they roam all over the property. The trails through the reserve also include three lava tube tunnels. They are not that long or deep, but the tubes carved out of lava are a feature I hadn’t seen before. There are also a lot of birds on the ranch. I saw yellow warblers, Darwin finches, egrets and a few others.
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chemtrailer
Canada404 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
A very interesting visit. Our travel agent informed us that many of the highland tortoise ranches are all the same: Rancho Primicias, Cerro Mesa etc .... So we just chose this one.
A 25 min taxi from Puerto Ayora.
$10/adult entry fee and when enough people are present they launch you off on a guided interpretive tour. We only waitee about 10 mins. Rubber boots are provided and if you're here in the wet season be sure to wear them as you'll be ankle-deep in mud.
Walking amongst the giant tortoises was fascinating and the guide made it all the more interesting.
There are also a couple of fascinating lave tube tunnels.
The whole thing takes an hour.
There's a restaurant and bar so time your visit to coincide with lunch.
Written 1 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julia M
Lake Geneva, WI18 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
The only way to enter is on a guided tour. You will be able to learn not just about tortoises but about other endemic species and conservation efforts to address some invasive species and other problems the animals face. We were able to see the persevered body of the famous Lonesome George, the last tortoise of his species. Apparently access to view him is not always open so we showed up during the right time. At the end of the tour you can go through another building that has more info about conservation projects being worked on. Overall it was the most informative tour of all the tortoise centers we visited on the islands (compared to San Cristobal and Isabela) although all 3 were very good in their own aspects. If you have some free time I would definitely recommend a visit.
Written 29 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah D
Lexington, KY7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
Our large group of 24 absolutely loved lunch and a tour of this amazing facility! We would whole-heartedly recommend a visit to anyone and would return ourselves. You will not regret it!
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ThomasDaniels
New York City, NY55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Family
Very beautiful place to be in contact with giant turtles, attended by the very kind owners themselves. The vegetation of the place is incredible, full of life and energy.
Written 18 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SJB3000
Coatbridge, UK1,864 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Attended caffateria for lunch, brought by tour guide. We had table servic, but there also appeared to be a buffet option.

Tuna, chicken curry, spaghetti, or egg plant as a main. Food and service good.

Lots of giant tortoises to watch.
Written 11 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dianedinky
Dunfermline, UK1,353 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
Well you certainly see plenty of giant tortoises! You can get close but if you venture too close they will get spooked and put their head back inside their shell. There are also only dome shelled tortoises here, not the saddlebacks (Lonesome George was the latter). Both types can be seen at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz town, and the Research place also had more information boards to go round and help educate visitors. El Chato didn't seem to have any info boards that we saw and relied on listening to a pre-walk chat with your guide.
Has a restaurant and gift shop but both were overpriced.
They will stamp your passport though so bring it along if you want that.
There are also quite a few Darwin finches in the grounds, but again, you can see these equally elsewhere.
Written 20 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Reserva El Chato - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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