Manzanita Ranch is a top destination in the Galápagos to see the famous Galápagos giant tortoises. There are more than a dozen species on the island, and the amount of tortoise roaming free at this destination is astounding: tortoises that are several feet tall number in the hundreds. Being the largest living species of tortoise, an individual can weigh more than 900 pounds. Also, with a lifespan of more than 100 years, it is one of the longest-lived vertebrates; at least one Galápagos giant tortoise has been documented as living 170 years.
The destination is much more wildlife viewing than zoo-like as the tortoise are not caged or fenced in any way. Taking a tour is a good way to learn the history of the animals while seeing them in their natural habitat. The species itself can take credit for the destination's name, as galápago is spanish for tortoise. In case you missed evolutionary teaching, the viewing of these tortoise (along with other wildlife on the islands) contributed to Charles Darwin's development of the theory of evolution in the 1800s.