You cannot leave the Galapagos without having seen the world famous Galapagos giant tortoise. Being probably the best known of all the Galapagos animals – this ancient creature has even given the archipelago it’s name; “Galapago” is the spanish word for tortoise and may derive from the word for saddle, referring to the distinctive saddle-like shell of some of the tortoises. Galapagos giant tortoises can weigh up to 250 kg. and live for upto 200 years – or even more. They are thought to belong to just one species, Geochelone elephantopus, with 14 different races or sub-species, three of which are believed to be extinct. This incredible creature will give you a whole new view on the term “time”. During the dry season they can be seen in their natural habitat in the highlands. The Darwin Research Station also offers an opportunity to watch these fascinating animals.