El Chato Tortoise Reserve

Top choice wildlife reserve in Isla Santa Cruz (Indefatigable)

Image by RPBMedia Getty Images

South of Santa Rosa is El Chato Tortoise Reserve, where you can observe giant tortoises in the wild. When these virtually catatonic, prehistoric-looking beasts extend their accordionlike necks to feed, it’s an impressive sight. The reserve is also a good place to look for short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, Galápagos rails and paint-billed crakes (these last two are difficult to see in the long grass). The reserve is part of the national park and a guide is required.

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