Charles Darwin Research Station, Puerto Ayora

3.5
#2 of 135 in Wildlife in Ecuador
Charles Darwin Research Station allows visitors to learn about natural history and wildlife conservation in the Galapagos. Conducting scientific research and providing environmental education since 1959, the center remains best known for its breeding program for giant tortoises. Visitors can view baby tortoises in incubators, which are raised here until age four and then released into the wild. Explanations in both English and Spanish shed a light on the center's projects and the global goals of conservation efforts. Make Charles Darwin Research Station a part of your Puerto Ayora vacation plans using our Puerto Ayora trip itinerary builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2,306 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 16, 2017
    Very near the town of Puerto Ayora is the Scientific Center Charles Darwin was very surprised by the good care of the place. Access is free and there are many guided and interactive zones, explore the place will take you an hour approximately. To close the experience be sure to visit the mausoleum of the Lonesome George the last of its species of giant tortoise who lived and died in this place after a life of over 100 years. This place reminds us and teaches that human beings can make major changes to improve the life of our planet, but we need everyone's help. If you visit the station Charles Darwin do not forget to leave your contribution or buy a souvenir to help the maintenance of the place. Ideal for a visit with children!
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  • August 15, 2017
    We felt fortunate to have Nature Galapagos help us arrange our accommodations and activities for our 8 day land based tour of the Galapagos. In Puerto Ayora, we walked from our lovely Hotel Fernandina...  more »
  • August 15, 2017
    Very interesting displays and information about the Galapagos flora and fauna.Lots of baby Giant Tortoises to see as well as adults of several species.Could easily spend half a day here.  more »
Google
  • July 9, 2017
    Here we are in the entomology section of the Charles Darwin station very interesting and valuable entomology collection.
  • February 24, 2017
    What an awesome tour of the Galapagos Islands in 2014. Great to see Charles Darwin research area and the massive tortoises.
  • December 18, 2016
    Very interesting and informative. You have the opportunity to learn about the fauna of the Galapagos. As well as seeing a variety of large Galapagos tortoise.
  • November 24, 2016
    They don't post their hours anywhere - which are 830-1230 and 230-539 - so everything was closed when we got here. All the buildings are offices only and there's nothing to see. We walked around for an hour and didn't see much. Maybe it's better when the offices are open but very disappointed.
  • September 13, 2016
    This is a good free activity about a 25 minute walk from central Puerto Ayora. There is information on Darwin's voyage, an area to see tortoises and access to a beach where there are dozen of iguanas and crabs. A nice place to spend a few hours.

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Where to stay in Puerto Ayora

As a popular jumping-off point for Galapagos visitors, Puerto Ayora receives loads of tourists, and therefore features many of the accommodation options you might expect from a major destination. Though there are types of lodging to suit all kinds of budgets, prices in general tend to be higher in Puerto Ayora than in mainland Ecuador. The more upscale hotels catering to wealthier visitors lie along the waterfront in the vicinity of Avenida Charles Darwin, and offer excellent access to the sea, port, and restaurant scene. Consider renting out a private apartment room or staying in a smaller-scale hotel a few blocks back from the ocean in order to cut down on costs, as the city itself is easily walkable.
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