Santa Cruz, Galapagos
More iguanas, tortoises, a pier that lights up at night, sea lions that laze about and some white sand beaches. Santa Cruz is an expensive, but nice spot to stay in the Galapagos.
Before and after my cruise in the Galapagos I stayed in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. From the airport it is two buses and a short boat ride away, but beware of bus times when you try to return to the airport. It ended up being an expensive taxi ride back for me.
The Galapagos prices are similar to USA or European prices so it’s a place that you really only want to stay if you’re doing things each day to make it worthwhile. Towards the end I shortened my trip a bit, but not enough as I still had 3-4 days after my cruise where I felt like I was just wasting money.
There are definitely a few good things to do that don’t cost in Puerto Ayora.
Charles Darwin Research Station and Tortoise Breeding Centre
If you fancy seeing a few tortoises and land iguanas – if you didn’t manage to see the vast amount on other islands then this is a suitable spot to visit.
A 40 minute walk out of town in the heat can get tiring, but with a bottle of cold water and sunhat it can be nice. When you arrive at the first beach, keep walking to your right and you’ll meet a bunch of marine iguanas before turning right again towards a nice calm lagoon.
This is a short boat taxi and walk away from Puerto Ayora. I was made to feel uncomfortable and overcharged for the boat taxi, but it should usually only be 60 cents. When you arrive you’ll be able to test out your snorkel through the clear blue waters to the deep bottom. Its a small stretch of clear water surrounded by tall cliffs either side. In the weekends it gets super busy with people jumping off a mini pier into the water.
Puerto Ayora Pier at night
At night the pier lights up different colour to attract sea life. Sometimes you’ll even see a shark or stingray!
Further along from the pier I was luckily enough to stumble across some sort of dance festival one night to get a bit of an experience in Ecuadorian culture.
That is the end of the Galapagos for me. After VivaColombia changing my flights unexpectedly I ended up having to spend an extra 2 nights in Quito, Ecuador before flying to Colombia. Less be said the tiny refund was not worth the bank fees and the free flight after all my complaints also wasn’t worth the pain that VivaColombia are.
Onwards to the green and hot diverse country of Colombia. Looking forward to coffee and the Caribbean coast!