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The most populated island (around 15,000 inhabitants) offers much to do. In addition, its central location means that you can travel by boat from here to the rest of the islands that can be visited (Isabela, Floreana, San Cristóbal). Even if you are told that many places are only accessible through a tour, you can do all the following on your own:

  • Puerto Ayora. Stroll through the streets of the most popular city of the Islands, where all tourist activity (restaurants, shops, etc.) and entertainment are concentrated. Good place to meet locals and travelers and eating (if you want to treat yourself, lobsters are delicious).

  • Charles Darwin Research Station. A walkway from Puerto Ayora is this station with interpretation panels and a breeding center for giant tortoises (and other interesting native animals). Just outside there is a nice beach.

  • Turtle Bay (Tortuga Bay in Spanish). A short walk from the city is this magnificent beach featuring fine-texture sand (and turquoise waters) of several kilometers inhabited by hundreds of marine iguanas, turtles, sea lions and different species of birds. After this beach there is a beautiful bay of calm waters (great for swimming) with mangrove vegetation type.

  • El Garrapatero Beach. This wonderful beach, away from any settlement, is the perfect setting to spend one or several days in peace in connection with nature. Just behind it there is a small lagoon inhabited by flamingos and other birds. You can camp for free (previously requesting permission).

  • Reserve El Chato, Rancho Primicias. Here the famous giant tortoises await (those that gave name to the archipelago). Impressive to see these calm beings, walking slowly, grazing or, simply, hidden in their shells. The place also has a lava tunnel.

  • Los Gemelos (The Twins). Two craters formed by a series of eruptions when the islands were still active. The setting is beautiful, in the Scalesia forest.

  • Villages: Bellavista, Santa Rosa. What a better way to penetrate the island culture than visiting authentic places, away from tourism. You can get to these towns by bus from Puerto Ayora.


Guided tours:


  • Snorkeling/diving on the reefs off Santa Fe Island

  • Snorkeling around North Seymour

  • Excursions to beaches and mangroves around the island

  • Day trip to Floreana

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