Puerto Ayora Independent Excursion

Tour/Activity in Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador

About this activity

Explore Puerto Ayora with our local tips!

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Laguna de las Ninfas

You can follow our local tips to discover the best of Puerto Ayora on your own and adapt the itinerary to your own pace. Our excursion recommendation will take you on a one day journey through some very interesting spots and through our favourite places to eat on the Island.

The journey will start with the Laguna de las Ninfas (Nymphs Lagoon), a small lagoon surrounded by flourishing mangrove. We advise you to go in the morning as it is with the sunlight that you can better appreciate the gorgeous turkish colour of the water in between the branches of the mangrove vegetation and a few animals that make of this ecosystem their home. A peaceful wooden dock walk has been installed all around the lagoon, allowing you to walk along the main lagoon and across other smaller lagoons. The walk invites you to focus on your senses and connect with the peaceful atmosphere of the place. The landscape at this small mangrove oasis is really a must-see in Puerto Ayora!

Best breakfast with a view!

Breakfast? Brunch? Lunch? Depending on if you are an early beard or you like to start your day a little later you can interchange these two first recommendations.

5 to 7 minutes walk from the Nymphs Lagoon, just in front of the main tourist harbour, you will find the Proinsular supermarket. What most tourists don´t know is that it also has a cafeteria with tables on the 3rd floor from where you can enjoy a (very good) breakfast or a variety of snacks and sandwiches, while enjoying of a perfect view over the harbour of Puerto Ayora.

Charles Darwin research station

Walking about 25 minutes along the Malecon (seaside) of Puerto Ayora, you arrive to the other end of the town, to the famous Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you can visit the information center, the museum and a tortoise hatchery. During the visit, you can learn about the different species of Galapagos turtles and the breeding program, observe yellow land iguanas eating Opuntia leaves and learn about the various endemic plants of the Galapagos archipelago.

Best coffee in Puerto Ayora!

After all that you learned in the Charles Darwin station, we believe it is time for a little treat, and we have the perfect place for it! 10 minutes walk from the research station, returning on your previous path, stands one of the most hipe places of Santa Cuz: 1835 Coffee Lab. Here you can enjoy the best variety of coffees prepared with local grains. From martini expresso to flat whites, you can also enjoy more traditional options, but you will definitely be tempted to try one of their pastries or cheesecakes. Bon appetit!

The fishermen´s harbor

You can´t leave Santa Cruz without enjoying the natural show of the Fishermen´s harbour!
Every day, around 5 pm the fishermen arrive to land their catch of the day and prepare it to be sold in the market and to local restaurants. Attracted by such a tasty commodity, also friendly resident pelicans and sea lions come to catch and sometimes steal some fresh fish! From the sea to the table (also for them)!

Los Kioskos seafood

Of course, we saved the best for the end! This is one of the best-kept secrets of Puerto Ayora´s locals! "Los Kioskos" meaning the kiosks is actually Charles Binford street that every evening, from 6-7 pm becomes a street food festival for seafood lovers (mainly but not only)! The restaurants along this street arrange tables and chairs that customers can share while enjoying a great variety of dishes. The best here is to try the local seafood products that are freshly caught and also very affordable! We are sure you will be delighted by the local gastronomy and the authentic experience!

Wildlife & Nature
Landscapes & Sceneries
City Life
Cuisine