Santa Cruz Island, located at the center of the Galapagos archipelago, is the most popular among tourists because of its proximity to the airport on Baltra.
I stayed there for my time in the Galapagos and did day tours to the others islands. It was the best option as I had only 5 days there but if you are thinking of spending more time I’d definitely recommend staying on the other islands as well, all of them have something special to offer.
We decided to book Hotel Ninfa to have a bit of rest as this was our final stop after 5 weeks travelling through South America. The hotel was great and in walking distance of all restaurants, shops and activities in Puerto Ayora.
There a lot of things to do in Santa Cruz, but I put together 7 things to do that I loved!
1⃣ Explore Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora is the port town to Santa Cruz and much like the rest of the Galapagos has animals everywhere. Sea lions, sea birds, iguanas, all just around you! It’s so cool! You can just walk around, enjoy the crowds and eat delicious seafood.
2⃣ Visit the Fish Market
This is something that it’s fantastic to do, not because of the fish but because of the animals around the fish!
3⃣ Spend some time in Charles Darwin Research Station
In a walking distance of about 15 minutes from Puerto Ayora we found the Charles Darwin Research Station that provides insight into the evolution of flora and fauna. They also explain some of the conservation programs and education within the Galapagos.
4⃣ Visit the Tortoise Breeding Center
In here the tortoises are raised in safety until they are big enough to be released into the wild.
5⃣ Spend an afternoon in El Chato reserve
Giant tortoises walk free in here and it’s amazing to see them right up close to you.
6⃣ Lava Tunnels
These tunnels were formed when surface lava cooled and solidified, while the underground hot lava continued to flow resulting in the end in a cave.
7⃣ Tortuga Bay
The trail to Tortuga Bay was not easy! 2.5 Km to go, 2.5 Km to come back and on the way there 1 hour walking under high temperature, made me very grumpy ????!! But once there I had no words, the beach it’s so beautiful and there was no one else there which made it very special ????!