Santa Cruz Island, centrally located in the Galápagos Archipelago, is one of the most visited and inhabited islands. The island’s main town, Puerto Ayora, is the hub of activity, offering a range of amenities, including restaurants, shops, and hotels. Santa Cruz is renowned for its diverse ecosystems, from coastal mangroves to lush highlands, and serves as a vital center for conservation and research efforts in the Galápagos.


  • Charles Darwin Research Station: Visit this iconic research facility and breeding center for the endangered Galápagos tortoises. The station provides insights into ongoing conservation efforts and the unique biodiversity of the islands.
  • Tortuga Bay: A pristine beach known for its fine white sand and turquoise waters. It’s an excellent spot for swimming, kayaking, and observing marine iguanas and shorebirds.
  • El Chato Tortoise Reserve: Explore this highland reserve where giant tortoises roam freely. The area also features lava tunnels that visitors can walk through, offering a glimpse into the island’s volcanic past.
  • Las Grietas: A series of deep fissures in the volcanic rock filled with clear, cool water. It’s a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling in a unique and serene setting.
  • Los Gemelos: Two large sinkholes or pit craters located in the highlands, surrounded by a Scalesia forest. The area is ideal for hiking and birdwatching, with a chance to see finches and other native species.
  • Garrapatero Beach: A secluded beach perfect for relaxation, swimming, and kayaking. The beach is also home to a variety of bird species and marine iguanas.
  • Bay Tours: Take a boat tour around Santa Cruz Bay to visit nearby islets and explore hidden coves. These tours often include snorkeling stops where you can see colorful fish, sea turtles, and playful sea lions.

Nearby Attractions:

  • Santa Fe Island: Known for its unique species of land iguanas and beautiful bays, Santa Fe is a short boat ride from Santa Cruz. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and wildlife viewing.
  • North Seymour Island: Famous for its colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds, North Seymour offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching and observing sea lions.
  • Bartolomé Island: Known for its iconic Pinnacle Rock, Bartolomé offers stunning views and some of the best snorkeling in the Galápagos, with clear waters and abundant marine life.
  • Plaza Islands: Small but rich in wildlife, the Plaza Islands are home to land iguanas, sea lions, and a variety of seabirds. The striking red and green vegetation adds to the scenic beauty.

Accommodation and Access:

Santa Cruz offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury hotels and eco-lodges to budget hostels and guesthouses. The island is accessible via Baltra Airport, with regular flights from mainland Ecuador. A short bus and ferry ride connects Baltra to Santa Cruz. Once on the island, transportation options include taxis, buses, and bicycles, making it easy to explore the island and its attractions.

Experience the vibrant life and natural wonders of Santa Cruz Island with Equatours. Whether you're engaging in conservation at the Charles Darwin Research Station, relaxing on pristine beaches, or exploring the diverse landscapes, Santa Cruz offers an unforgettable Galápagos adventure.