What to do in Puerto Ayora? A Galapagos travel guide

playa de los alemanes puerto ayora

You are about to travel to Galapagos and you are wondering what to do in Puerto Ayora? Don't worry, in this practical guide we will explain the best places, beaches, activities and places to eat in Puerto Ayora. Puerto Ayora is located on Santa Cruz Island, the second largest island of the Galapagos Islands archipelago. It is located on the south coast of the island.

The town has a wide range of services for visitors, including hotels, restaurants, souvenir stores and travel agencies. It is a common starting point for cruises and excursions exploring the surrounding islands.

Travel through Puerto Ayora on one of our comfortable Galapagos cruises, contact us now!

The region around Puerto Ayora is famous for its rich marine life. Divers and snorkelers have the opportunity to observe a great variety of marine species, including sharks, sea turtles, tropical fish and sea lions. Meet the Fauna of the Galapagos Islands here .

What to do in Puerto Ayora

In this guide, we share with you the top 5 things to do on your trip to Puerto Ayora. We suggest ideas for adventures such as diving, snorkeling, and more.

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station

Puerto Ayora is a common starting point for tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. It offers a variety of attractions and activities, such as the Charles Darwin Tortoise Breeding Center, The Charles Darwin Research Station, where giant Galapagos tortoises can be observed, and the Charles Darwin Research Station, which conducts research and conservation projects in the archipelago.

One of the must-do activities in Puerto Ayora is to visit this station, which focuses on the conservation and study of Galapagos wildlife. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the giant tortoises are most active. General admission usually costs around $6 per person. You can complement your visit with a tour of the nearby Tortoise Breeding Center.

centro charles darwin puerto ayora
Charles Darwin Research Station

Discover Los Alemanes Beach

Get to the Los Alemanes Beach, it is a 20 minute walk from the center of Puerto Ayora. It is a perfect place for swimming and sunbathing. Expert tourists suggest you visit the Germans' beach in the afternoon to avoid the midday heat. Admission is free, but be sure to bring your own snorkeling gear if you want to explore the marine life.

playa de los alemanes puerto ayora
Los Alemanes Beach - Puerto Ayora

Hike to Tortuga Bay Beach

Tortuga Bay is one of the most famous beaches in Galapagos. The best time to do this hike is early in the morning to avoid the scorching sun. The hike takes about 45 minutes from the center of Puerto Ayora. Admission is free, but you must register at the entrance. After enjoying the beach, you can walk to the opposite side to visit the Shark Channel, where you can sometimes see reef sharks.

Playa tortuga bay galapagos turismo actividades en las islas galápagos
Tortuga Bay Beach

Comer en el Mercado de Comida de Puerto Ayora

Another of the things you can do in Puerto Ayora is to visit the Puerto Ayora Food Market that comes to life. Here, you can taste delicious local dishes at affordable prices. The recommendation is to try the lobster or the fresh seafood ceviche. The average price per meal is usually around $10-20 per person. It is an excellent way to experience the local gastronomy.

Excursion to Bartolome Island

Organize a full day excursion to the Bartolome Island, which offers some of the most iconic views of Galapagos. The excursion usually starts early in the morning and returns in the afternoon. You can expect to pay around $150-200 per person, which will include boat transportation, guide, and lunch. In Bartolome, you will have the opportunity to hike to the lookout point, snorkel in Sullivan Bay, and see penguins and white-tip sharks.

isla bartolomé galápagos
Bartolome Island - Galapagos

You can also opt for an all-inclusive Galapagos cruise and visit Puerto Ayora and 5 other destinations. See all the options for Galapagos cruises here .

General recommendations when visiting Puerto Ayora

Here are some general recommendations for your visit to Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos Islands:

  • Respect for Nature:Galapagos Islands: The Galapagos Islands are a unique place in the world due to their biodiversity. Respect conservation regulations and avoid touching or disturbing wildlife. Do not leave garbage or plastics in the natural areas.
  • Protect the Island:When visiting beaches, do not take shells, corals or sand as souvenirs, as this may disturb the ecological balance. Leave everything in its place.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: The sun in Galapagos can be very strong. Wear sunscreen, a hat and appropriate clothing to protect yourself from sunburn.
  • Drinking water: Do not drink tap water. Use bottled or purified water for drinking and brushing your teeth.
  • Book beforehand:: If you plan to do specific excursions or activities, such as diving or visits to the islands, it is advisable to book in advance, especially in high season.
  • Cash:Take enough cash with you, as not all places accept credit cards. You can find ATMs in Puerto Ayora, but they do not always work properly.
  • Local time zone:Please note that the local time in the Galapagos Islands may be different from the Ecuadorian mainland. Be sure to adjust your watch if necessary.
  • Be careful with food and water:Eat in reliable places and avoid raw foods or unpurified water to prevent gastrointestinal illnesses.
  • Internal Transportation: If you plan to move around the island, you can rent a bicycle, take a cab or use public transportation. Ask your accommodation for local options.
  • Photographic cameras:Don't forget to bring a camera or phone with good photographic capacity, as you will find many opportunities to capture the beauty of nature.
  • Local Information: Talk to locals and tour guides for tips on activities and places to visit. Local information is very valuable.
  • Snorkeling equipment:If you like snorkeling, consider bringing your own equipment. Although you can rent it in Puerto Ayora, sometimes it is more comfortable to have your own equipment.
  • Emergency plan:Inform someone of your itinerary and daily activities, especially if you plan to hike or hike alone.

Remember that the Galapagos Islands are a fragile and special place. By following these recommendations, you will contribute to the conservation of this unique ecosystem while enjoying your visit to Puerto Ayora and its surroundings. Learn about the requirements to enter the Galapagos Islands

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