Puerto Ayora Travel Guide

  • Tortuga Bay
    Tortuga Bay
    by MalenaN
  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN
  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN

Puerto Ayora Things to Do

  • Four daytrips with bicycle (2014)

    When I visited Puerto Ayora in 2014 I made four daytrips with bicycle. One day I cycled to Rancho Chato 2 and another day to both Cerro Mesa and El Garrapatero. I also went to El Manzanillo with bicycle and to Los Gemelos. For three of the bicycle tours I rented a bike at Comercial Pinguino next to Hotel Darwin on Av Baltra. The bikes there were...

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  • Three more daytrips to other islands

    When I visited Galapagos Islands in July/August 2014 I made three daytrips to other islands from Puerto Ayora. Here is some information about those tours:Snorkelling tour to Isla Santa Fe and a visit to Playa Escondida (Isla Santa Cruz)I did not know there were daytrips to Isla Santa Fe which included a walk on the island, so I booked the Santa Fe...

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  • Ceramic Garden – Mosaics

    One day walking around in Puerto Ayora I came across a lovely little mosaic garden. It was the mosaic arch that caught my attention and then I saw a small sign next to it saying there was a Ceramic Garden inside. I love mosaics, so of course I had to have a look. The Ceramic Garden is situated outside the walls of a house, between Av Charles Darwin...

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  • The path to Tortuga Bay

    I think it is worth taking your time when walking the trail to Tortuga Bay as there are a lot to see along the way. It is common to see Ground Finches, Cactus Finches, Mockingbirds, Galapagos Flycatchers and Lava Lizards. I have also seen a Galapagos Dove here. Last time I visited Galapagos there were also some butterflies. The wasps can be...

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  • The path to Las Grietas

    The trail to Las Grietas from Angermeyer Point is 662 metres long. The first part is easy to walk, but after you have passed Finch Bay Hotel it becomes rockier, and here it is good to wear good shoes, not flip-flops. However, I have heard that since 2014 the trail to Las Grietas is closed for 4-5 months. And I guess it is because they are doing the...

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  • Around the pier after dark

    Also after dark it is nice to walk around by the pier. Looking down in the water you can often see small white tipped reef sharks, sea lions and schools of small fish. On the railing of the piers you can see sea birds like pelicans and striated herons. On Av Charles Darwin opposite the pier there are two trains for children going on short rides...

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  • Las Grietas

    Las Grietas is a long fissure in the lava rock. Here freshwater filtered down from the highlands meet salty water entering from the sea, making the water in the ravine brackish. It is a very nice place for swimming and snorkelling. The water is very clear, but can be a bit cold. Some people dive or make somersaults from the high cliffs. When you...

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  • La Laguna de las Ninfas

    La Laguna de las Ninfas is a small lagoon with clear emerald-green water, surrounded by mangrove vegetation. When I visited Puerto Ayora in 2011 there was only a small jetty here, at the end of the road. When I came back in 2013 they had made a wooden boardwalk around part of the lagoon. It is an interpretation trail with some signs along the trail...

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  • Three daytrips with bicycle (2013)

    When I visited Puerto Ayora in 2013 I rented a bike three times and made daytrips out of Puerto Ayora. One day I cycled to Media Luna and walked to Puntodo, another day I cycled to Los Gemelos andRancho Primicias, and another day I cycled to El Garrapatero. I will make tips about those places on my Isla Santa Cruz page.I rented the bikes from two...

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  • Playa Mansa (Tortuga Bay)

    The long white sandy beach at Tortuga Bay is not a good place for swimming as the currents can be very strong. If you want to swim you should continue to Playa Mansa. To get there you walk to the end of the beach at Playa Tortuga and take the path to the right. At Playa Mansa the water is calm and it is a good place for sunbathing and swimming. If...

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  • Daytrip to Floreana

    When I was in Puerto Ayora in 2013 I decided to take a day tour to Floreana. I had visited Florean two years previous, but then the visitor sites Cormorant Point and Post Office Bay while on a cruise. The day trips are not allowed to go there but go to Puerto Velasco Ibarra and the highlands, and some time for snorkeling is also included. In Puerto...

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  • Charles Darwin Research Centre: Giant...

    The Charles Darwin Research Centre is run by the Charles Darwin Foundation, an international not-for-profit organization set up under the auspices of UNESCO in 1960, following the centenary of the publication of Darwin’s “On the Origin of the Species” (published in 1859). The aim was to contribute to the conservation of the Galápagos Islands. A...

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Puerto Ayora Hotels

  • Finch Bay Eco Hotel

    Barrio Punta Estrada S/N, Puerto Ayora, 00000, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Angermeyer Waterfront Inn

    Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

    Av. Charles Darwin y Piqueros , Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

Puerto Ayora Restaurants

  • Angermeyer Waterfront Inn – La Cueva de...

    Several late afternoons I have taken a water taxi over to Angermeyer Waterfront Inn to have a beer on their wooden deck by the harbour. I have really enjoyed sitting here relaxing after a day full of activities. It is a calm place that time of the day and you have a good view over the activity in Academy Bay. A large beer was $6 (July/August 2014)....

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  • Restaurant at the Fish Market

    Most afternoons/early evenings you can eat fish from today’s catch at the fish market. Every time I have eaten hear they have told me they only have fish filet. I have seen other people eating complete fishes, but they sell out first. Anyway, I have always been happy with the fish filet. The fish takes up half the plate and is served with rice,...

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  • Restaurant at Calle de Los Kioskos

    Something I hadn’t seen on my two previous visits to Puerto Ayora was that they sold whole fish and lobster at several of the restaurants along Calle de Los Kioskos. They had the same big red fish (brujo) that is sold at the fish market and of course I wanted to try it. At the restaurant where I had stopped (I’m trying to find out the name of it)...

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  • Café Hernán

    The last evening during my first visit I went to Hernán´s. I ate a creamy vegetable soup and a fruit salad, and drank an orange juice. With tax and service I paid $11.80 (July 2011). The food was good and the location too. Café Hernan is situated where Av Baltra meets Av Charles Binford, it is a busy corner and good spot for people watching. What I...

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  • Beer at Red Mangrove

    At Red Mangrove Adventura Lodge there is a sushi restaurant. I didn’t come here to eat, but to drink a beer on the waterside deck one late afternoon. When I sat down there were no other costumers there but soon others arrived, and I think they were all hotel customers. I ordered a Pilsener beer, and as at Angermeyer Point, it was $5 for a beer...

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  • Restaurant at Sol y Mar

    Sol y Mar is an expensive hotel on the waterfront. They have a restaurant and bar by the water and I have eaten here once. It was a quiet evening and I got one of the tables just by the water. It was very dark at my table, while another table seemed to be in the spotlight.I ordered pasta with seafood and it was very good. To drink I ordered a...

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Puerto Ayora Transportation

  • Speedboat between Puerto Ayora and...

    Update July 2014: I had planned to go to Isla Isabela the same day I arrived to Galapagos Islands, so when the bus arrived in Puerto Ayora I directly crossed the road and went to Cabomar’s office, afraid that there was not going to be any tickets available. Luckily there were still tickets available for the 14.00 boat. The ticket was $30. As last...

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  • Water taxi

    If you are going to Las Grietas or one of the hotels on the south side of the harbour you should take a water taxi across the harbour. The taxi boats leave from the new pier and if there isn’t one there when you arrive, one will soon come. As soon as there is one passenger they leave, so you don’t have to wait for other people to fill up the boat....

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  • To Puerto Ayora from Baltra Airport

    The first time I arrived to Baltra was with plane and I was going on a cruise. We (the people going on the cruise) were met at the airport by our guide and, as we were visiting the highlands on Santa Cruz and Charles Darwin Research Station before boarding the boat, we took a bus from the airport to Canal de Itabaca. Frequent ferries are crossing...

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Puerto Ayora Shopping

  • Saturday Market

    The market on Isla Dancan (the road) is busy on Saturday mornings. You can buy fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and more. There are several stands were you can buy cheap meals and I bought a fried empanada with cheese. It was $0.60. I didn’t see many foreigners here but mostly locals. This market is several blocks inland from the sea. To go here you...

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  • Souvenirs in Puerto Ayora

    There are many souvenir shops along Av Charles Darwin in Puerto Ayora, and here you can find souvenirs of different quality. There are things like fridge magnets, mugs, t-shirts, jewelry etc. The first time I visited Galapagos Islands I looked for a t-shirt but I didn’t find one that I liked. Around Charles Darwin Research Station there are also...

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  • Shopping for other things than souvenirs

    In the south end of Av Charles Darwin there is a supermarket where you can buy bread, yogurt, water, wine, sweets, toiletries, some vegetables and fruits etc. I have also been to a supermarket on Av Baltra. On Av Baltra there are also several smaller grocery stores, pharmacies, a hardware store and more. Once I was looking for a new watch (a cheap...

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Puerto Ayora Local Customs

  • Ecuavoley

    Every day in the late afternoon men are playing ecuavoly, a kind of volleyball/beach volleyball with origin in Ecuador, at the volleyball courts by the pier. There are always lots of people watching, both locals and tourists, and I have heard betting is taken place. There are three players in each team, and so far I haven’t seen any women...

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  • Churches in Puerto Ayora

    Puerto Ayora is a quite large town with a population of about 18 000, so of course there are a lot of churches in town. Most churches are Roma Catholic. One of the Catholic churches is the church next to the harbour (picture two and three). In that church there are some nice coloured glass windows with motives from the sea around the islands. I...

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  • Dance performance

    One evening when I passed Pelican Bay there was a dance group there and they were just going to start their performance, so I stayed and watched for a while. It was the local Centro de Danza Galapagos that were performing traditional dances, and it seems they are doing so every Saturday evening at Pelican Bay, next to the Fish Market.

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Puerto Ayora Warnings and Dangers

  • Cold in the water

    It can be very cold in the water around Galapagos Islands, especially in June, July and August when I have visited, so when snorkeling it is good to wear a wetsuit. When I was on a cruise in June/July 2011 it was fine with a shortie and I could be in the water for an hour without problems. However, when I did another cruise in July 2013 I got very...

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  • Money

    There are ATMs in Puerto Ayora at a few places; next to the supermarket by the harbour, at Banco del Pasifico on Av Charles Darwin and at Banco Pichincha on Av Baltra. Usually they work but as anywhere else you can find machines that are temporary out of order. If you plan to travel from Puerto Ayora to Isla Isabela you need to withdraw money...

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  • Where is the beach?

    One time when I came to Tortuga Bay to have a walk on the long beach I was very surprised to see that most of the beach was under water. The waves came all the way up to the fence by the sand dunes. You are not allowed to walk on the other side of the fence as that is protected area, because the turtles come up here to lay eggs. Well, it was...

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Puerto Ayora Sports & Outdoors

  • Rent a bike

    There are several places in Puerto Ayora where you can rent a bike. The price in July/August 2014 was $10 for half a day and $15 for a full day. In Puerto Ayora there are bicycle lanes along Av Charles Darwin and Av Baltra. From Puerto Ayora to Santa Rosa in the highlands they are constructing a bicycle road parallel to the main road. I don’t know...

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  • Surfing around Puerto Ayora

    Isla San Cristobal has better surf places than Isla Santa Cruz and Puerto Ayora. But you can surf here too. There are surfboards to rent in Puerto Ayora. I have seen people surfing in Tortuga Bay many times, and met people along the 2.5 km long trail carrying their surfboards. Tortuga Bay has a beautiful and quiet beach. By the beach there is a...

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  • Jogging

    When I was in Puerto Ayora in 2013 I went jogging along the trail to Tortuga Bay twice, or three times. I went jogging early in the morning before breakfast and at that time there were many other people out jogging along that trail as well. The trail is paved and it is 2.5 km long. Reaching the beach at Tortuga Bay you can either continue for a...

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Puerto Ayora Favorites

  • Wildlife in town

    You don’t have to go outside town to see wildlife. If you stroll around the two piers you will definitely encounter sea lions, marine iguanas and different birds. On the old pier I have seen sea lions lying on the benches. That is not something you can see everywhere! Among the birds that I have seen around the piers are pelicans, great blue...

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  • Wildlife at Tortuga Bay

    You don’t need to go on an expensive cruise or daytrip to see wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. A nice and easy thing to do is to walk the trail to Tortuga Bay and walk along the beach till the end of the path. You will for sure see lots of birds and marine iguanas. Along the 2.5 km long paved trail from Puerto Ayora to Tortuga Bay it is common to...

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  • Memories of Charles and of George

    One inhabitant we did not see at the Charles Darwin Research Centre was Lonesome George, arguably at one time the most famous tortoise in the world. Sadly he had died a few months before our visit, in June 2012. George was thought to be the sole surviving member of the Pinta subspecies (Chelonoidis abingdonii), and scientists had tried for many...

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