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“See the Tortoises”

Rancho El Manzanillo
Ranked #10 of 83 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: Ecuadorean
Restaurant details
Reviewed 30 December 2017 via mobile

First learn about the plodding wonders you’ve seen on the ride in through the well-done display. Then exchange your shoes for boots if it’s muddy and take a walk around. There are lots of tortoises and it’s an easy walk. We saw citrus and cedar trees, as well as the manzanillo (alkali apple), and cattle egrets.

Go early if you can, the crowds come later.

Relax in the airy restaurant for a while and enjoy a glass of their ginger lemonade.

Thank Susan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 14 of 61 reviews

Reviewed 11 September 2017

We visited Rancho El Manzanillo on Santa Cruz Island for the Giant Tortoise Reserve, not for the restaurant. As part of a Metropolitan Touring cruise itinerary we stopped here to walk around the grounds with our Naturalist guides. We walked around the reserve on grassy areas as well as dirt trails through wooded areas to view the tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises were moving about the grassy areas, eating and wallowing in the small pools of water throughout the reserve. It was quite fascinating to watch them and we saw many different sizes of tortoises. At one point, the Naturalists said we could take a photo of ourselves crouching down within a safe distance from a huge tortoise, which of course was a fun thing to do and a good memory to have.

After we walked all around the reserve we stopped in the open air restaurant for snacks of fruit and juice, both of which were very fresh and nicely presented to our group. In this area there is a wall with educational information about the tortoises as well as a small gift shop on the premises. We were told to wear comfortable shoes so we wore our hiking boots which were perfect. We were heading to Machu Picchu after Galapagos so these were our shoes of choice that day, but good walking sneakers would work well also. The tour guides offered knee high rubber boats, if need be, as some people had flip flops on which are not good for this terrain.

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Thank greattripsrw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2017

We came here with our two small children. It was a wonderful wonderful place and I highly recommend coming here over the other tortoise reserves (such as el chato). This is a small family run farm. If it is muddy, they have big rubber boots to borrow while you are walking around. Just lie in a hammock and have the tortoises walk by. See them in the grass and in the mud and in the water. See tortoises crossing the dirt road on your way into the property. It is wonderful to see so many tortoises happy in the wild.
The food is amazing, extremely reasonably priced, and there are so many options, whether you are a child or meat eater or vegetarian or have an allergy, there will be something for you. They make a wonderful juice/tea and also have water. You get a choice of appetizer (soup or salad or ceviche) and a wonderful main and amazing desserts (although after all your lunch, you may no longer have room for the desserts). Then walk off your lunch around the property.
Not only is there amazing giant tortoises and wonderful food, but they also regularly donate to the Charles Darwin Research Station, who's research and work is so important for the Galapagos Islands. They also have a shop with things from the research station that you can buy. When I found out about them regularly donating to the research station, that made me like this place even more, as they are really concerned about the Galapagos and care for it.
On the way out of their driveway, you can stop at two small lava tunnels. One is lit up and the other is not, but you can still make it through without a flashlight.
If I could rate this place as 10 stars, I would, as the experience was really perfect. Highly highly recommend.

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2  Thank mtngirl38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2017

I agree with other reviewers' assessment that Rancho El Manzanillo should be listed as an attraction/"thing to do" more than a restaurant. We had a very nice meal, with very good service, but the tortoises stole the show! We hiked for about an hour and saw many, many tortoises of all sizes. Such a thrill seeing them in their natural habitat! Having the ranch as a home base with clean bathrooms, food, gift shop, and other features was nice.

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Thank Amarantah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2017

The family that owns this farm is really friendly and offers very good service to visitors. The farm is maintained very nicely and the Galapagos giant tortoises roam freely around the property. This weekend we explored their small lava tunnels as well. The food at their restaurant is very nice and better than the other farms. They offer 3 dishes. Entree, main and dessert. Service is professional, clean and food very tasty. My friend is a vegetarian and they catered for her at lunch. I actually wanted to try her food too. To get here you have to take a taxi from Puerto Ayora.

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Thank paoladiazfreire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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