Take a Stroll Down Avenida Charles Darwin in Puerto Ayora

Located on the southern coast of the Galapagos island of Santa Cruz, Puerto Ayora is the largest port in the area and is home to quite a number of people. Puerto Ayora is known for the high standard of living that is enjoyed by its residents. A relaxed atmosphere pervades the town and tourists will find that, though they might be busy taking in the sights, they will still be able to unwind. Services such as telephones and grocery stores are readily available and there is even a local radio station.

The waterfront is filled with souvenir shops, travel agents, restaurants and hotels. Everywhere you will find items such as t-shirts sporting pictures of the blue-footed booby and amazing carvings of tortoises. Pelican Bay is a great place to watch fishermen building boats and sorting their catch while hungry pelicans look on. The late afternoons become a sporting affair with rounds of volleyball and soccer being played by locals. As the sun sets you will be able to make your way to one of the many restaurants, bars or discos. Here you will find yourself surrounded by locals, tourists and scientists, which means that the atmosphere is never dull and the night scene is constantly changing. Most of the places of interest are situated on Avenida Charles Darwin which is the town's main road.

Puerto Ayora was first discovered when a few shipwrecked sailors arrived after battling their way through the islands indigenous cactus forests. They were rescued six months later but no initiative was taken to develop the bay. In the 1920s, a small group of Norwegians made their way to the shores of Puerto Ayora under the impression that they would find fertile soils and minerals such as gold and diamonds. They originally landed on Floreana, but after a few of them died they gave up and some made their way to Academy Bay in Puerto Ayora and began to build houses. It wasn't long before they built a wharf and fish cannery. Though they suffered some trials, it wasn't long before the ground work for this city was laid down.

Puerto Ayora is popular as a starting point from which to tour the surrounding islands. It also has a lot to offer in the way of attractive bays and small, natural swimming pools. Tortuga Bay is noted for its spectacular sunsets and strong undertow. Las Grietas Gorge is a great place for swimmers. To get up close and personal with the local iguanas, you might try heading to the trail near the Tomas Fischer dwelling. To see the beautiful aquatic life of the waters you might try a tour in a glass-bottomed boat. There are also quite a few birds to spot as well as a large population of sea lions that share the coast with Puerto Ayora's human inhabitants. Scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, cycling, mountain biking, horse riding, kayaking and windsurfing are all popular activities and equipment is readily available for hire. You may well find that Puerto Ayora is your ideal holiday destination.


User Comments & Reviews: 1 Comment(s)

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Stine Jakobsen - 2010-01-24 12:25:24

I strongly recommend Puerto Ayora. Went there in november/december '09 as a volunteer working at a small indian school. Spent the weekends on small trips to the surrounding islands Floreana, Cristobal and Isabela. But the island of Santa Cruz has a lot to offer as well: the Darwin Centre (giant tortoises, iguanas, etc), the lava tunels, beautiful beaches, los gimelos (sink holes) etc. And as well, lots of great bars and restaurants and really nice and helpful people!

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