Puerto Ayora Travel Guide

  • Puerto Ayora
    Puerto Ayora
    by MalenaN
  • Sports & Outdoors
    by MalenaN
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Puerto Ayora Things to Do

  • Three daytrips with bicycle

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Charles Darwin Research Centre: other...

    Following Fabian’s tour we were free for the rest of the morning. Chris and I walked back through the grounds, stopping to look at the various plants – the centre also maintains a native plant garden of species endemic to the Santa Cruz arid and coastal zones. We watched a Cactus Finch at close quarters in one of the Opuntias and then had a brief...

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  • Fish market

    Puerto Ayora’s fish market is really little more than a few stone counters set by the side of the road in the middle of town, backed by the harbour. The fish can come directly from boat to counter to shopping bag. As a tourist you’re maybe unlikely to be shopping for fish, but just the same, this is a spot worth visiting. The activity here (gutting...

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  • Charles Darwin Research Station

    Charles Darwin Research Station is situated in the outskirts of Puerto Ayora, at the east end of Avenida Charles Darwin. It was established in 1964 and it is the headquarters of the Charles Darwin Foundation. Here more than 100 scientists, students and volunteers are working with research and conservation projects to protect the Galapagos ecosystem...

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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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  • Tortuga Bay (Turtle Bay)

    At Tortuga Bay there is a beautiful long white sandy beach (Playa Brava). There are strong currents in the sea so this beach is not for swimming, but some people are surfing, kayaking and sunbathing. If you want to swim there is a smaller protected beach (Playa Mansa) in the end of Tortuga Bay. At Tortuga Bay you will probably see Marine Iguanas...

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  • Fish market

    The fish market in Puerto Ayora is situated at Pelican Bay and it is interesting to stop here for a while and watch the fishermen take care of today’s catch while the pelicans surrounds them waiting for left-overs from the fish. I have seen pelicans around fishermen before, but once I was here there was also a sea lion standing next to the young...

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  • Beaches for swimming near Puerto Ayora

    There is a small beach in front of Finch Bay Hotel. This beach is called Punta Estrada Beach and as it is protected in a bay the water is calm and good for swimming. When I passed this beach the first time on my way to Las Grietas I didn’t have any swimwear with me, but I thought I could make a stop the next day to snorkel along the edge of the...

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Puerto Ayora Hotels

Puerto Ayora Restaurants

  • Casa de Lago Café Cultural

    On my last day on Galapagos Islands (2011) I had a late lunch and then there was not enough time left of the afternoon to rent a bike or take another walk to Tortuga Bay, so I decided to find a café where I could sit down and read for a while. Casa de Lago Café Cultural was perfect for that. I only had a coffee and sat comfortably in an armchair...

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  • Rincón de Alma

    Rincón de Alma is a restaurant with a good location near the park, on Avenida Charles Darwin. Here you can sit at one of the outside tables and watch people go by. I decided to come here for lunch on my last day on Galapagos Islands, as I had seen, when I passed by earlier, that they had a good lunch offer. I came to the restaurant four minutes...

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  • Descanso del Guia - Restaurant by the...

    Among the restaurants I ate at in Puerto Ayora (during my visit in 2011) I liked this one the best. It was busy at lunchtime and people shared tables. Service was good and there seemed to be several regulars there. The first time I ate here was while I waited for the speedboat to Isla Isabela, and I ordered lunch at the counter and also a mango...

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  • Restaurant Cevichería Guille

    After the second cruise with Cachalote (which I did in 2013) I was going on to Isla San Cristobal. After I had bought the ticket and left my luggage I went to look for a place to eat lunch in. Restaurant Cevichería Guille looked nice I decided to eat there. The restaurant is situated on the small quiet street, Av Opuntia, just behind Av Charles...

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  • Kale

    At lunchtime you can find several restaurants with cheap set lunch menus in Puerto Ayora, but in the evening it is more difficult to find a cheap place to eat in. Kale, which is situated on Islas Plazas, just off Av Charles Darwin has got fast food for a reasonable price. I ate here one evening and ordered chicken. I got two plates, one with rice...

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  • Galapagos Deli

    Galapagos Deli is situated on the quiet street Tomas de Berlanga and it was just round the corner from my hotel. So, because the location was convenient and as they opened for breakfast early I had breakfast here almost all mornings while in Puerto Ayora, all mornings except one which was a Monday and then Galapagos Deli is closed. The breakfast...

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  • Lo & Lo

    When I visited Puerto Ayora in 2013 I often ate breakfast at Galapagos Delí, but one morning, a Monday, it was closed. I went to Lo & Lo which is situated next doors and ate breakfast there instead. I ordered an American Breakfast and it included eggs, coffee, bread, butter, jam and a fruit juice. I had scrambled eggs and they were too greasy. The...

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  • D’Mar y Cris

    D’Mar and Cris is situated on Avenida Charles Darwin, next to Rincon de Alma (there is a small cevichería inbetween). I came here two evenings and ate the same at both occasions. I ordered fish, which was served with some potatoes and vegetables. To drink I had naranjilla juice once and a passion fruit juice (maracuja) the second time. While I...

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  • Pizza Eat

    Pizza Eat is situated opposite Hotel Sol y Mar on Av Charles Darwin. There are a few tables outdoors, but I sat inside. You buy the pizzas over the counter so you can see how they look like before ordering. I bought a vegetarian pizza slice. There was lots of cheese, zucchini and mushrooms (not canned ones) on top of it and it was thin. It tasted...

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Puerto Ayora Transportation

  • Speedboat between Puerto Ayora and San...

    On my previous visit to Galapagos Islands I had heard it was good to purchase the tickets for the speedboats one day ahead of departure. Therefore I had planned to stay in Puerto Ayora one night after the cruise before going to San Cristóbal. I changed my plans and hoped there would be a ticket available on the same day I had arrived back to Isla...

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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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  • Speedboat between Puerto Ayora and...

    Before coming to Galapagos I had read that it is good to buy the ticket for the speedboat a day in advance during high season. As I visited in July and was going to be aboard a boat the day before my departure I was a bit worried not to get a ticket, but the travel agent I had booked the cruise with luckily made a reservation for me. The office of...

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Puerto Ayora Shopping

  • 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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  • 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 souvenirs

    If you want a souvenir of your time in the Galápagos Islands, Puerto Ayora is a pretty good place to search, as it has everything from the really excellent to the truly tacky! The main street, Avenida Charles Darwin, is lined with shops, all of them targeting the tourist (whether staying on town or, like us, stopping off here while on a cruise). We...

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Puerto Ayora Warnings and Dangers

  • Sending postcards from Puerto Ayora

    It is expensive to buy stamps for postcards on Galapagos Islands (same price as in the rest of Ecuador though). For Europe the stamp for one postcard is $2.25 (July 2011), so make sure to bring a lot of cash to the post office if you have many postcards to mail.And it can take a very long time before the postcards reach their destination. The...

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  • What ever you do... Don't Drink the...

    I took 31 kids to the Galapagos Islands and we had a great time. However, 12 of my group got sick and we suspect it came from the water. Please be extra careful when traveling to this very special place.

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  • Puerto Ayora Hotels

    18 Hotels in Puerto Ayora

    352 Reviews and Opinions

Puerto Ayora Sports & Outdoors

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    by MalenaN Written Mar 16, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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 longer jog along the beach or turn around, as I did, and follow the same trail back.

    In the beginning of the trail you must register (it opens at 6am) and you must also sign out when you return. I didn’t have the copy of my passport number with me when jogging, but it was already I the book since I had visited for a walk the afternoon before.

    When I visited Puerto Ayora in 2013 I noticed that the vegetation along the trail was drier then when I had visited two years earlier, even if it was the same time of the year, June/July. There had probably been less rain that year.

    Coming back to Puerto Ayora after a cruise and a visit to Isla San Cristobal I had planned to do some more jogging here, but unfortunately I had got a fever by then.

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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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Explore Deeper into Puerto Ayora
Il Giardino
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Water taxi
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Coffee time treats
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Garrapata
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Turtle Bay - free and fair
Things to Do
Darwin Center
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Four to choose from
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Map of Puerto Ayora

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