Puerto Ayora

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Puerto Ayora is the largest town in the Galapagos Islands. It is on the southern side of Santa Cruz island, and is connected by road and ferry to the airport on Baltra Island.

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  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
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  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Puerto Ayora

  • Charles Darwin Research Station, Avenida Charles Darwin (Located at the end of the road on the eastern edge of town). 6AM to 6PM M-Sa. Has extensive exhibits on the natural history of the islands. The breeding programs at the station allow visitors to see many iguanas, tortoises, and other animals in various stages of their lives. Until his death in 2012 the station was also home to Lonesome George, a tortoise found on Pinta island who was believed to be the last of his sub-species. George became a symbol of the park and for many years was known as the rarest creature in the world. Free.

Charles Darwin Research Station

Galapagos National Park

Tortuga Bay Beach

Las Grietas

El Garrapatero Beach

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About Puerto Ayora


Though a small town it has the best infrastructure in the Galapagos with the largest number of hotels, restaurants and stores. Other services include grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, boat supplies, a small hospital and a hyperbaric chamber. Puerto Ayora is home to the Galapagos National Park, the Darwin Foundation and the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Due to Santa Cruz central location within the islands Puerto Ayora is the best base for those people wishing to visit the Galapagos while staying on shore.


  • Tortuga Bay. A beautiful white sand beach located a 30-45 minute walk from the west side of town.
  • Las Griatas
  • Bay Tour
  • Darwin Station

Scuba diving

Diving in the Galapagos isn't cheap - count on paying at least $150 per dive.

  • Academy Bay Diving, Av Charles Darwin (Across from the volley ball courts),  59385859405, e-mail: galapgs_academybay@hotmail.com. 7AM-8PM. Professional and experienced guides, excellent equipment and local knowledge. Offers diving trips, day tours, cruises and more.
  • Scuba Iguana, Av Charles Darwin (close to the entrance of the Darwin station),  05 2526497, e-mail: info@scubaiguana.com. One of the first dive companies in the Galapagos. Scuba Iguana has their own boats and dock.
  • Sub Aqua, Av Charles Darwin,  05 2526350, e-mail: sub_aqua@accessinter.net. Located across from the fishermans dock, Sub Aqua offers daily dive trips.
  • Macarron, Av Charles Darwin,  05 2524080, e-mail: info@macarronscubadiver.com.ec. One of the most professional and experienced divers in Galapagos, Macarron's equipment is high quality and he often leads the daily dive trips himself.


  • Angermeyer Point (take a water taxi to the private dock on the other side). With the most scenic view in Puerto Ayora, meals are served both inside and outside waterfront. Angermeyer Point is a popular destination for groups or those wanting to celebrate with a romantic meal.
  • Red Mangrove Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Av Charles Darwin (Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge). dinner only 6PM to 9PM. Maki rolls, sashimi, sushi and other Japanese dishes along with exotic drinks served waterfront.
  • La Dolce Italia, Av Charles Darwin (Front of the Port Captain). Lunch and Dinner. The island's Italian Restaurant.
  • Garrapata, Av Charles Darwin. Open 9AM -10PM M-Sa. Outdoor covered dining serving seafood and pasta dishes.
  • Hernan Cafe, Av Charles Darwin y via Baltra (Located in front of the park). One of the more popular restaurants in town with a variety of breakfasts, sea food, pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and ice creams. Best coffee in town, also has WiFi.
  • Isla Grill, Av. Charles Darwin (opposite Banco Pacifico). Excellent seafood grills, pizzas and cocktails. Always full and for a good reason! Free WIFI.


The water quality in Puerto Ayora is poor so visitors should only use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. This advice comes from the scientists at the Charles Darwin Station which study the water on the island.

Puerto Ayora nightlife is not comparable to many tourist destinations. It is more relaxed. There are several bars and discos where you can go out and have a good time.

  • Limón y café, Av. Charles Darwin. Chill out with a beer or play some pool or tablefootball. There is also small dance floor to watch the locals dance salsa or for non-locals to try to dance it.
  • Bongo Bar (The Bongo), Av Charles Darwin (upstairs from Garrapata). nightly except Sundays. Drinks, music, videos and pool one of the most popular destinations in Puerto Ayora.
  • The Rock, Av Charles Darwin. Clean, well lit and comfortable place to enjoy a drink and enjoy a conversation.


Ecuador uses the U.S. Dollar. Bring bills in smaller denominations. $100 bills are not accepted in the Galapagos or Ecuador.

The Banco de Pacifico is on the road towards the Darwin Station. It gives cash advances, changes cash or cashes in travellers' cheques. It will not always work, so bring at least enough money to survive the first few days.

Banco Pichincha has recently opened a branch on the road heading towards Baltra. The lines are normally much shorter than at Banco de Pacifico making it easier to get cash advances or other transactions.

There is a Banco Bolivano ATM machine located in front of the main dock. As with some ATM's in Ecuador you are limited to a $300 per transaction limit and you may need to do several transactions in order to get the amount of money you desire.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Puerto Ayora on Wikivoyage.