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Puerto Ayora

(3.9/5 based on 10,000+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: beaches, wildlife areas, nature
The largest settlement in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora offers visitors to the islands an array of facilities and things to do. The town serves as the main port of call for many tourists, and the pleasant waterfront plays home to a significant population of sun-loving sea lions and waterfowl. Attractions in Puerto Ayora include white sand beaches, snorkel-friendly gorges, and even a research station named in honor of Charles Darwin--all within easy reach of the town center. For access to the area's wild coastal ecosystems, arrange a boat tour of Santa Cruz island and the surrounding Galapagos islands. Bars, restaurants, and shops, though on a small scale, provide decent entertainment for a town of this size. Add Puerto Ayora and other destinations in Ecuador to your travel itinerary using our Ecuador travel itinerary planner.
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Where to stay

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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