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Sightseeing By Road - The Highlands...

A typical land-based tour of San Cristóbal will take in the following sites which can be visited by taxi or van, alone or in the company of a guide. The land-based sites include:

  • El Progreso with some detours to
    • Tarzan House,
    • Cobos House & Mill
    • Mirador \ Lookout points
  • Lagoon El Junco (crater lake)
  • Galapaguera Cerro Colorado (tortoise sanctuary)
  • Puerto Chino (beach)

The regular “Highlands Tour” can be undertaken in half to three-quarters of a day, starting at around 8:30 AM and ending between 1:00 and 3:00PM.

San Cristobal - Highlands Tour

Groups up to 4 can take a taxi, with or without a guide. 5 to 12 will need a van and any more than that: a bus. Note that a group of 8 or more will also need to be accompanied by a naturalist guide.
For further information  - Please see Costs & Reservations.

El Progreso

El Progreso is only 6 km inland from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. At an elevation of just over 300m, the climate and vegetation are completely different. While the shore is hot and arid, little more than rocks and cactus in the dry season, the highlands are green and lush with year-round rain and abundant fresh water.

El Progreso, with a population of around 500, is the longest surviving community on the islands. It was, at one time a penal colony and later the center of a sugar cane plantation, under the direction of the infamous Manuel Cobos, ultimately murdered by his “employees” (slaves). The ruins of the house and mill are one of the more significant sites of historic interest on the Island.

El Progreso is surrounded by small, privately owned farms. Whereas in many countries, the population heads to the beach on weekends, here on San Cristóbal, everyone heads for the highlands. After making the trip yourself, you will understand why

The Tarzan House, in Progreso, is a popular spot with adults and children alike. Built in, reputedly, the world’s largest ceibo tree. You can stay the night in the branches. There is also a room excavated into the roots. There is an entry charge of a couple of dollars and it makes an entertaining and refreshing break during a Highlands tour.

Highlands Waterfall
Tarzan House

Leom Dormido

Tree & Vines




Lagoon El Junco (Crater Lake)

9km beyond El Progreso, at 700m elevation, is Lagoon El Junco. El Junco is the only freshwater lake of significant size in the archipelago and is the source of water for the population of San Cristóbal.

The lagoon, in the crater of a long extinct volcano, is about 270m wide and the depth varies from 1 to 6 m depending on the rains. It iss worth a visit for the panoramic vistas as much as for the lagoon itself.

El Junco Steps
El Junco




Galapaguera Cerro Colorado

The Galapaguera is a tortoise breeding centre, 21km from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on the same road as El Junco.

It is also called Galapaguera Semi-Natural because it provides a natural but protected environment for adult tortoises as well as hatching and growing pens for the juveniles.

Feeding time at the Galapaguera is around 9:00AM, 3 times a week.

Tortoises Feeding
Tortoise in Pool




Puerto Chino

Just 2km beyond the Galapaguera is the beach of Puerto Chino. The road stops just a few hundred yards short of the beach itself and the journey is completed on foot.

Puerto Chino is a deep and wide white sandy beach, with good, sometimes excellent, surfing. It is especially good for novices as the bottom is sandy rather than rocky.

Surf at Puerto Chino
Beach at Puerto Chino



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Contact Us:



+593 5 252 1613 or 0816
+593 99 654 9948 (Sean)
+593 99 643 4823 (Maria Elena)