The most populated island of the archipelago with some twenty thousand inhabitants. The airport located on the neighbouring island of Baltra is the gateway to the Galápagos for most of the visitors. About an hour journey south across the whole island lies Puerto Ayora, the largest settlement on the archipelago, which is also the centre of the Galápagos Islands. The town has modern tourist infrastructure with many hotels, a harbour, shops, restaurants and other facilities. The local harbour is a stopping and supply point for all the boats on cruises around the archipelago as well as for sailing yachts and catamarans from all over the world, for which the Galápagos are a strategic point on their voyage from Panama to Polynesia. The island offers various activities, such as one day trips around the nearby islands, diving trips, hiking, visits to the beaches or horseback riding. Puerto Ayora is the location of the Charles Darwin Research Station, which has an important role in research, rescue and preservation of this unique and fragile ecosystem.

The highlands of the Santa Cruz Island are covered with scalesia forests and a number of geological cave-like formations known as lava tunnels. The island boast a numerous population of giant tortoises, which can be observed in their natural habitat.

Other attractions offered by the island include:

  • Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white beach for swimming and sea-kayaking
  • Las Grietas, tectonic fissures filled with crystal clear brackish water
  • El Garrapatero, a secluded beach on the eastern part of the island 
  • Los Gemelos, twin collapsed craters
  • Reserva El Chato 
  • Playa de los Perros 
  • Playa la Estación 
  • Cerro Crocker 
  • Playa Bachas 
  • Cerro Dragon


Malecon Alberto Santos 1846
Bahía de Caraquez

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