The Giant turtles of the Galapagos Islands

August 15th, 2022 – Axel Baquerizo

How long do Galapagos turtles live?

The Galapagos turtle is one of the most special animals of the Archipelago. They are well known throughout the world because they are endemic animals of the Galapagos.

These reptiles are among the longest-lived of all land vertebrates, averaging more than 100 years. Galapagos tortoises are also the largest tortoises in the world: some specimens exceed one and a half meters in length and weigh up to 250 kilograms.


What makes these turtles so interesting?

Tourists love to be around these wonderful creatures, as they are super friendly, and are very good company. You may find them on walking trails, on the Galapagueras, and even next to where you stay. 

In our tours that start in Baltra Island – Santa Cruz, we take our clients to visit these huge friends: We will meet you at the airport at Baltra Island and transfer you to Santa Cruz Island. Then we will visit “Los Gemelos” volcanic formations and a PRIVATE RANCH where we will visit the famous Galapagos Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat.


What do the Galapagos turtles eat?

If you were worried that the turtles would devour you, calm down, because their primary diet is based on fruits and vegetables and even cacti. Please, when you visit them, don’t offer your cookies.

The simple lifestyle of Galapagos tortoises includes feeding on grass, leaves, and cacti, sunning, and sleeping for over 16 hours per day. It may go up to a year without food or water due to its slow metabolism and capacity to store enormous volumes of water. By distributing plant seeds in their excrement, Galapagos tortoises have a significant impact on the development of their habitat.


When is the best time to see Galapagos tortoises?

The good news is that they can be seen all year round on these wonderful Islands. In behavioral terms, mating season is usually in the dry season (June to November) in the highland.  After several hours of mating, the female moves to a region with sand that is dry and barren. She excavates a hole there, laying anywhere between two and sixteen eggs. They are laid in the lowlands during the rainy season (January to April). After the eggs hatch, which takes around 130 days, the baby turtles must swim to the surface.

Young turtles’ sex is determined by the temperature of the nest, and warmer nests typically give birth to more females.

If you want to enjoy the experience of meeting the Galapagos Turtles BOOK NOW one of our tours and start the expedition with Smart Galapagos Europe!



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