On the island of Santa Cruz, dividing the dry forests of Palo Santo from the humid agricultural land on the windward side, are a pair of volcanic sinkholes called Los Gemelos, or the twins. They are often referred to as craters but their formation was caused by a collapse of the land beneath rather than an eruption of a volcano. These geologic structures are impressive to see; the lush green of the surrounding Scalesian forest contrast greatly with the immense gray and black volcanic rock walls.
Most visitors do not walk the entire trail at Los Gemelos but only the short distance between the two sinkholes. They lie on opposite sides of the main road that divides the island, making this a convenient stopping point for many tour groups. You could also hire a taxi in Puerto Ayora to make the visit. If you are a biologist, a naturalist, or a birdwatcher, you may want to ask about spending more time than the general 30 minutes or so. The biodiverse forest is comprised mainly of a species of tree unique to the Galapagos, the Scalesia pedunculata. Our guide called it the Broccoli Tree because the branches and leaves look like huge stalks of broccoli. Our short visit was rich with bird sounds, especially the soft twittering of finches. We also saw several varieties of flowering plants very close to the trail. In short, this place deserves a visit of a couple of hours for those that truly want to explore. For those with a checklist of places to visit, a short stop should suffice.
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