Santa Rosa Lava Tubes

Useful Information

Location: Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz Island, The Galápagos Islands.
Open: Los Túneles: all year daily 8-17.
El Mirador: not restricted.
Fee: Enter the Island: Per Person USD 80.
Los Túneles: Per Person USD 3.
El Mirador: free.
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: None, bring a torch.
Dimension: Los Túneles: L=1 km.
Guided tours: self guided, on daytrips probably guided by the tour guide
Photography: Allowed without flash
Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Lava Tube on Galapagos. Public Domain.

The Galapagos islands are of volcanic origin, and some of them have lava tubes. The caves at the town Santa Rosa are open to tourists and may be visited. There are various day trips which include a visit of one of the tubes, and short trips to the caves and back are offered too. It is also possible to hire a taxi which brings you to the cave. Some of the farms around Bellavista have restaurants which are visited by tour groups, and if they have also a lava tube it is possible to visit those too.

Los Túneles or Tuneles de Lava near Bellavista are signposted from the town. They are about 1 km long and are even a little developed, there are steps, a rough trail, and some kind of emergency light. We recommend to bring your own light anyway. Part of the cave is very low so it is necessary to crawl, so you should bring appropriate clothes. The cave is rather dry, but you might get dirty anyway. Of course, it is also possible to avoid the low parts and only visit the spacious ones.

El Mirador is about 2.5kn from the town. It is a stop on many tours, but it is also possible to visit this cave without guide. The cave is on the ground of the Galapagos National Park and the access is not restricted. This cave is one of the smaller ones, and it is short enough that no lamp is needed, as there is always sufficient daylight. It is home to white owls which can be seen on a visit.

The Salasaca tunnels are located on the farm of Señor Arias 5 km northwest of Santa Rosa.