Santa Cruz Island

Creatures and Creature Comforts

Santa Cruz has the largest population of all the Galapagos Islands with over 15,000 residents scattered in small villages across the island. It is also home to the largest port and offers the greatest variety of accommodations, restaurants, recreation and activities.

First morning light on the Puerto Ayora Fisherman's Pier.
First morning light on the Puerto Ayora Fisherman’s Pier.

Puerto Ayora, the largest population center and main port of the islands, has a unique charm. Its streets are busy with pedestrians and the town is the commercial hub of the Galapagos where you can find most of the creature comforts of large mainland cities such as banks, shops, restaurants and the like.

Looking towards the Santa Cruz highlands from Puerto Ayora.
Looking towards the Santa Cruz highlands from Puerto Ayora.

In town there is an amazing assortment of local restaurants that feature Ecuadorian as well as International cuisine. Almost everything in Puerto Ayora is within walking distance or a short ride in one of the quaint white pick-up truck taxis found throughout town.

Puerto Ayora water taxi.
Getting around by water taxi. Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Additionally, several fine restaurants and attractions are accessible by water taxi across the bustling Academy Bay harbor. A visit to the Fisherman’s market is a must, where you may have to haggle with Sea Lions and Pelicans over the catch of the day.

"Just got back from a 12-day trip to the Galapagos arranged thru Galapagos Alternative and everything was exceptional. From the tours, to the transfers, flights, and most importantly the people... everything was smooth. Highly recommend it!"
- Alex G.
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