trips planned today
out of 5
Trustscore rating

Best things to do in Puerto Ayora

Itinerary planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
- +
- +
- +
Where in the world: South America  /  Ecuador  /  Galapagos Islands  /  Santa Cruz  /  Puerto Ayora

Top 15 things to do in Puerto Ayora

1. Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station allows visitors to learn about natural history and wildlife conservation in the Galapagos. Conducting scientific research and providing environmental education since 1959, the center remains best known for its breeding program for giant tortoises. Visitors can view baby tortoises in incubators, which are raised here until age four and then released into the wild. Explanations in both English and Spanish shed a light on the center's projects and the global goals of conservation efforts.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Learn more about Charles Darwin Research Station
Tours including Charles Darwin Research Station:

2. Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz

Highly esteemed as one of the islands' most pristine sandy stretches, Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay features blue waters, rich wildlife, and plenty of opportunities for relaxation. Hike your way to the beach and then relax on the soft white sands, surrounded by marine vegetation and the famed local marine iguanas. Throw on your swimsuit, don your snorkeling gear, and explore the colorful underwater world of the bay's ecosystem, alive with fish and other aquatic species. You can even try your hand at surfing on the rougher waves, though keep in mind that currents and tides can be strong and potentially dangerous here.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay
Tours including Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay:

3. Las Grietas

Swim in crystal clear waters surrounded by craggy rock walls at Las Grietas. You'll find plenty of incredible nature on the path to the relatively hidden swimming spot, which you can reach by crossing a rocky lava field and walking by a cactus forest, before finally descending to the cool waters. Jump off the rock platform to make a splash, or grab your snorkel to check out the mysteries that lie beneath the surface. Don't forget to wear a pair of water-appropriate shoes, as the path can be extremely painful in bare feet.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Las Grietas
Tours including Las Grietas:
Plan your trip to Puerto Ayora
  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.

4. El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve

Get up close to the Galapagos wildlife as you hike through El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve. For bio-protection and your own comfort, the reserve will issue you boots before you head out onto the trails, so you don't track in foreign substances. The reserve has two areas, Caseta and Chato; while trail difficulty ranges from easy to medium, expect a more challenging route through Caseta. During dry season, you can see the fascinating Galapagos turtles in the wild. Other animals such as the short-eared owl, Darwin's finches, and yellow warblers also reside here. Don't miss the opportunity to walk through the island's lava tube. If not up to hiking the whole island, you can arrange to ride horses on the reserve as well.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Learn more about El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve
Tours including El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve:

5. Scuba & Snorkeling

Discover the underwater world of Puerto Ayora snorkeling and scuba diving along the seabed. In an area known for its rich marine life, you'll meet manta rays and schools of fish--you'll also stay perfectly safe under the watchful eye of an expert diving crew. Beginner classes for novices and open water certificates for the more seasoned divers are available, catering to every experience level and ensuring a fun and safe environment. You can book full- or half-day trips, with most options usually including the equipment and transportation to the dive site into the price of the package.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Learn more about Scuba & Snorkeling
Tours including Scuba & Snorkeling:

6. Samay Latin Art

Suggested duration: 1 hour
Learn more about Samay Latin Art

7. Playa de los Alemanes

Treat your feet to soft golden sand and dip into the waters of the Pacific Ocean at Playa de los Alemanes. The ocean is calm here, and with some luck you'll find some interesting marine life such as sea horses, manta rays, and turtles. Take food, water, and sunscreen as there are no restaurants nearby and shade is minimal.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Playa de los Alemanes
Tours including Playa de los Alemanes:

8. El Garrapatero

Journey through a protected environment and observe the animals in their natural habitat at El Garrapatero. As you walk through the trail to the beaches, keep an eye out, as you can often spot finches and lava lizards along the way. Once on the beach, walk along the shore until you reach the lagoon, where pink flamingoes often nest and eat. Since the area is protected, do not expect restaurants nearby; be sure to bring your own water and food.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about El Garrapatero

9. Metropolitan Touring, Baltra

Explore Metropolitan Touring and its abundance of wildlife, a great opportunity to intimately observe a vast range of animals in their natural habitat. Leisurely wander along the trail which homes large colonies of nesting frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. Keep an eye out for the remarkable mating rituals these birds are known for. At the isolated Bachas beach, snorkel along a protected cove where you can find large schools of fishes, sharks, sea lions, rays, and turtles. Stop at a small nearby lagoon to see feeding flamingos.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Metropolitan Touring
Tours including Metropolitan Touring:

10. Santa Cruz Fish Market

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about Santa Cruz Fish Market

11. Fishing Charters & Tours

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Fishing Charters & Tours

12. Galeria Exotico Ecuador

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Galeria Exotico Ecuador

13. Maki-Art Gallery

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Maki-Art Gallery

14. Playa de La Estacion

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Playa de La Estacion

15. Rancho Primicias, Santa Cruz

Admire the gentle giants of the Galapagos at Rancho Primicias. Explore the ranch lush with fruit trees and populated by cattle, goats, and giant tortoises. The tortoises are calm and relaxed and will not be frightened if you walk up near them, so the site provides the chance for some great photo ops. Observe the creatures as they roam around the ranch munching on greens and playing in the water. There is also a souvenir shop and a cafe restaurant (known for fresh passion fruit juice).
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Rancho Primicias
Tours including Rancho Primicias: