Santa Cruz Island

Places to Visit in Santa Cruz Island

  • Puerto Ayora – the most populated urban center in the Galapagos Islands. 
  • Tortuga Bay – a white sand beach.
  • Playa Mansa – a beautiful lagoon.
  • The Highlands – well known for the lava tunnels as well as large populations of giant tortoises, whom roam free amongst the guayabillo, pega pega, and grasses of the humid zone.
  • Garrapatero Beach – a breathtaking expanse of sand where iguanas and flamingos lounge, and 30 minutes from Puerto Ayora.
  • Las Grietas or “The Cracks” – a place where deep ocean water runs through a crevasse between two tall cliffs. There is swimming, diving, and snorkeling here. Visiting Las Grietas is a great option that is easily accessible by taking a cheap boat taxi.
  • Bachas – a calm beach area just north of Puerto Ayora. 

Local Eateries & Bars to Visit

  • Fish Market – is in the center of town at the waterfront. When open, men and women are bustling around cutting up huge fish, weighing piles of lobster and completing other tasks essential to a fish market.
  • The Bongo Bar – enjoy the nightlife Santa Cruz has to offer, which is open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. The bar has a wide variety of clientele that includes locals as well as tourists and naturalist guides who take their guests around the islands, and serves some of the best sushi in the Galapagos.
  • Buganvilla – open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m, this outdoor cafe has lots of fanciful decoration. You will see fairy lights and fountains along with recessed areas with couches.  Buganvilla often has live music, a pool table and a foosball table.
  • Limón y Café – an outdoor bar where the younger people go. This is one of the most popular spots in Santa Cruz. There is a bar and wooden tables. There is card playing, pool tables, and television with subtitled movies.
  • Garrapata – an open-air restaurant that offers Ecuadorian and international dishes. It is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • El Amanecer – a nightclub and a liquor store. It is open late at night when the other nightspots close.
  • La Panga – a disco in Puerto Ayora that closes at 3 a.m. It has a full bar with drinks of a local flavor. The music is Latin, pop and electronic. There are also comfortable lounge booths and a pool table.
  • Madera Fina – usually has an older crowd. It is open from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends and has a full bar.  

Bursting With Vegetation and Wildlife

Authentic Local Eateries

Swimming, Diving, Snorkling

Ancestral Communities