There are many things to do and places to visit while you are in the town of Puerto Ayora. In addition to tours, there are many activities to keep you busy during your stay.
Here are some of the most popular!
- Lava Tunnels – From town we can help organize a taxi to the famous lava tunnels, approximately 20 minute ride from hotel. Here you can climb and hike through volcanic tunnels that were formed many years ago. They are more than 1km in length and were formed when the outside skin of a molten-lava flow solidified. When the lava flow ceased, the molten lava inside kept flowing , emptying out the solidified skin and thus leaving the tunnels. The tunnels have electric lighting (flashlights/torches can also be hired) This is an enjoyable visit and also a nice cool way to escape the hot weather. Entry fee may apply.
- Charles Darwin Station – The Charles Darwin Research Station is approximately a 30 minute walk from El Castillo. It is the operational center of the international non-profit Charles Darwin Foundation. The visitor center contains exhibits dealing with climate, geography, flora, fauna and the current conservation efforts. The most well-known is that it is here you can find a breeding center for giant tortoises. There is also species of Iguanas, and vegetation made of cactus’ and endemic Galapagos trees and bushes.
- Tortuga Bay – Tortuga Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in Galapagos. It is a MUST visit during your stay in Puerto Ayora. You can walk to the entrance from El Castillo within 10-15 minutes, or take a taxi ($1 ride) to the path entrance. From here, it will take you roughly 40 minutes to walk to the beach (2.5 kilometers, 2 miles). The path goes through an arid zone and many land birds can be seen along the walk. It is well worth the walk and here you can see marine iguanas, and also sometimes sea turtles and white tip sharks swimming in the ocean. A definitely interesting point of interest to visit! There are two beaches here. The first you arrive to is Tortuga Bay where there are strong undercurrents and it is recommended for only strong swimmers. Continuing to walk north along the beach will take you to Playa Mansa. This beach is calm water where you can snorkel or rent a kayak if you would like. It is here that you may be able to find sea turtles, rays, and white tip reef sharks.
- Garrapatero Beach – Garrapatero is another beautiful beach that is a bit further located 19km northeast of Puerto Ayora. It can be reached by boat or taxi. From the parking, it is 1km to the beach. In addition to the beach, there is a lagoon where flamingos and white-cheeked Pintail Ducks can sometimes be observed.
- Highlands and Tortoise Reserve – There are a few farms located here in the highlands, which are also turtle habitats that guests can visit. Here you can observe the Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural environment! Many serve food and allow guests to walk the grounds in search of the tortoises. A cab ride from the hotel is just 20 minutes away. Entry fee may apply.
- Las Grietas – Las Grietas is a natural swimming area with cool crisp water to swim and snorkel in. Las Grietas is located on the other side of the bay. A short $0.80 taxi ride from the pier and follow the signs. The path is over volcanic rock, so make sure to wear shoes on this 20-minute trek. We recommend going very early in the day as for it can get very crowded with locals and tourists. Be sure to bring a snorkel with you.