Charles Darwin Research Station, Puerto Ayora

3.4
#1 of 113 in Wildlife in Ecuador
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
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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2,226 reviews
Google
4.3
  • One of the highlights of our Galapagos tour. The history, research and natural displays were excellent. The stories displayed throughout the facility help the visitor put into perspective the discover...  more »
  • We had a guide who took us through the facility. He explained Charles Darwin's impact on the Galapagos Islands, explained the different tortoises evolution, and the various projects of the facility to...  more »
  • The research station is an absolute must do while visiting Santa Cruz Island! Get your coffee fix and pick up a snack next to the visitor center and stop inside to get your passport stamped and to lea...  more »
Google
  • What an awesome tour of the Galapagos Islands in 2014. Great to see Charles Darwin research area and the massive tortoises.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Very informative tour and a nice complement to viewing tortoises in the highlands. Well worth the time if staying in the town of Puerto Ayora.

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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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