"Puerto Ayora" Puerto Ayora by MalenaN

Puerto Ayora Travel Guide: 69 reviews and 531 photos

With around 15 000 inhabitants Puerto Ayora is the largest town in the Galapagos Islands, and it is also the tourism centre. There are many hotels in all categories here, but they are more expensive compared to the mainland. Especially along Avenida Charles Darwin you will find hotels, as well as restaurants and souvenir shops. There are also some ATMs and Internet cafés. In Puerto Ayora there are many travel agencies organising day tours to nearby islands or to sites on Isla Santa Cruz. Besides going on tours, or a cruise, there are several places of interest nearby that you can visit on your own, like Charles Darwin Reseach Station, Las Grietas and Tortuga Bay. You can also rent bikes and go surfing, kayaking or diving (and yes, there is a decompression camber in Puerto Ayora).

Puerto Ayora is situated on the south side of Isla Santa Cruz, at Academy Bay, a protected bay where you will find the harbour full of cruise boats and fishing boats. Walking near the sea you might see Brown Pelicans, Sea Lions, the colourful Sally Lightfoot Crabs and Marine Iguanas. Amazing to see in a town of Puerto Ayora’s size.

December - May is the warm and wet season in Puerto Ayora. It is often clear, but with rain showers, and the temperature is around 24 - 31°C. Between June - November it is colder, around 17 - 24°C, and the sky is often overcast, but there is little rain.

Puerto Ayora was founded by a small group of Norwegians who settled here in the 1920s. They established a fish cannery and they built a wharf in the bay. The town is named after an Ecuadorian president, Isidro Ayora.

2011: I visited Puerto Ayora on the first day of the cruise with M/S Cachalote (before we had even been to the boat). We had a late lunch at a restaurant in town and visited Charles Darwin Research Station. After the cruise, before going back to the mainland, I stayed in Puerto Ayora for two nights and had time to visit Las Grietas and Tortuga Bay. If I had stayed longer I would have rented a bike to visit places further away from town.

2013: I visited Puerto Ayora again and spent several days here before and after a second cruise. This time I rented a bike three times to make day trips out of Puerto Ayora, I went on a boat trip to Floreana and also visted Las Grietas, Tortuga Bay and Charles Darwin Research Station again.

2014: This year I visited Puerto Ayora for eleven days in total. I made daytrips with bicycle four times, and three days I went on daytrips by boat to other islands. And of course I visited Las Grietas, Tortuga Bay and Charles Darwin Research Station again.

  • Last visit to Puerto Ayora: Jul 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (56)

Comments (14)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Malena, you have added lots of fine tips and updates since I last looked at this page. It's great that you have been to Puerto Ayora three times already.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Dec 5, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      Thank you Don! It is easy to visit many lovely places from Puerto Ayora.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2014 at 3:25 AM

    Awesome page on Puerto Ayora. Really enjoyed your nature pictures and descriptions of the foods you ate at the different restaurants. You obviously feel comfortable here as you have visited many times.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Nov 17, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      Thank you Lori! I love visiting Galapagos Islands. It amazing to see the wildlife, there are great tours to do and the atmosphere is relaxed.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Excellent travel page on Puerto Ayora. Seems to us a great location for swimming and snorkelling as well as day trips to nearby islands. Guess this is also a great place to taste good food. ~ho & pang

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Jul 26, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Thank you ho and pang for visiting my Puerto Ayora page. I like that place and Galapagos Islands very much! Right now Im in Ecuador on vaccation again, but in the highlands.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    So many great updates since my last visit! And some super photos of the wildlife and beaches especially

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Apr 4, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Thank you Sarah! I'm glad I got the chance to visit again, and I love the wildlife around town!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2014 at 1:38 AM

    Very interesting new tips and updates! It's great that on your second visit you rented a bike three times to take day trips out of Puerto Ayora.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Mar 29, 2014 at 1:47 AM

      Thank you for visiting my Puerto Ayora page Don! I really enjoyed the bicycle tours!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Thanks for another interesting page

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Mar 20, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Back for a little visit! A very complete and interesting page with tons of good information. Your photos are really excellent!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    What a beautiful place. To explore the Las Grietas would be fun! Excellent page!

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Nov 21, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      Yes, Las Grietas is a very nice place! Another nice thing about Puero Ayora is that you can see sea lions, marine iguanas , sally lightfoot crabs etc down by the piers.

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Charles Darwin Research Centre certainly is a great place to learn about the Galapagos Ecosystem and endangered species. Amazing Las Grietas and Tortuga Bay! Would gladly have an organic coffee in a relaxed ambience of Casa de Lago Café Cultural. The interior is indeed lovely!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Apr 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Another interesting page about your adventures in Ecuador. It is interesting to read that sending a postcard from the Galapagos Islands is so expensive and still takes so long.

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