This place is situated in the South East zone of San Cristobal, 22.4 km from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. One can access the place by driving from the Port and the bus takes around 40 minutes.
It is close to mount Cerro Colorado and that is the origin of its name. This is one of a few places where the plant Calandrina Galapagos can be found, an endemic species of the Island that is on the verge of extinction.
This Raising center was built to increase the population of giant tortoises, Geochelone Chatamensis, under conditions that are similar to the natural habitat of this species and thus to support the development of tourism on the Island.
The infrastructure was integrated into a large enclosure of 1415 m2 and it includes a visiting center (that consists of an Interpretation Center, a conference room, a souvenir shop, a snack bar, toilets, and the administration office), a raising center (nurseries and a herpetology lab), walking trails, and two living quarters.
There were two populations of giant tortoises on San Cristobal, one in the northeast of the island that at the moment is home to some 1400 individuals and from where the first tortoises raised at Cerro Colorado were taken. The other one was in the south of the Island, next to the Cerro Colorado raising center. This population became extinct because of the overhunting by the whalers in the XIX century.
The population of land tortoises in the northern part of the island is seriously threatened because of the presence of introduced animals (mainly wild goats, rats, and cats), that have been impossible to eradicate despite all the efforts to do so.
In the Interpretation Center an explanation of the origin and evolution of the population of giant tortoises on the Island (Geochelone chatamensis) is provided, as well as of the relationship between the tortoises of the area of San Cristobal and other tortoises of the archipelago. There is also information on the current status of the population of giant tortoise and why this area is essential to guarantee the survival of this species.
Different species of native and endemic plants of the Galápagos can be found along the trial, such as cats claw (Zanthoxylun fagara), manzanillo or poison apple (Hippomane mancinella), matazarno (Piscidia carthagenensis), romerillo (Macraea laricifolia), lechoso (Scalesia penduculata), chalá (Croton scouleri), acacia (Acacia sp.) and guabillo (Psidium galapageium). Also, associated with these plants there are different types of birds such as mocking birds (Nesomimus melanotis), wabrels (dendroica petechial), small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa), tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), and flycatcher (Myiarchus magnirostris).
To access this site you must arrange for guided excursions with local tour operators.
Hiking, photography and filming.