The Ultimate Guide into Santa Cruz Island at the Galápagos

The Ultimate Guide to Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos

Home into the most significant town from the Galápagos–Puerto Ayora–Santa Cruz Island is currently one of the most well-known islands to see while traveling into the Galápagos.

Here you will discover giant tortoises, amazing hikes, beaches so far as the eye could see, the Charles Darwin Research Center, pit craters, also World War II remnants; it is an island which has everything.

Because Ecuador utilizes the buck, getting around the island is super easy. Plus that there are tons of ATMs about so you will not ever need to fret about not having cash available for actions. And trust me, there are loads of actions!

Here is my guide to seeing Santa Cruz Island from the Galápagos!

welcome to santa cruz island

Getting into Santa Cruz Island

One among the simplest and most affordable options would be to have a ferry out of another islandlike San Cristobal.

You’ll need to remember that these ferries aren’t like traditional ferries. They’re little boats that match around 20-30 individuals with very limited distance. They can be quite cramped and they are not perfect for people who get motion sickness since the seas can become quite rocky…but they’re a terrific way to conserve money.

If you would rather bypass the tough waters, you are able to fly right into Seymour Airport on the island of Baltra.

You’ll fly into the airport, have a bus ($5 USD) into some ferry ($1 USD for those ships or $2 for personal ) and that will take you directly through the channel to Santa Cruz Island. From that there you will have the ability to find lots of buses and trucks. A personal taxi is $25 to the Puerto Ayora and will fit up to 4 people!

One thing to bear in mind when taking a cab is the ride takes anywhere from 35-40 minutes if you are flying from Baltra, that you are going to want to give yourself at least two hours to get out of Puerto Ayora into the airport.

Things operate on Galápagos time around the islands!

Santa Cruz Island

Where into Stay on Santa Cruz Island

Aves Charles is your principal strip with stores, restaurants, along with the vent. Any hotel you locate near that region is a superb alternative! These are a few wonderful options in the event the concept of discovering the ideal place in Santa Cruz overwhelms you.

Hotel Ikala

This is the hotel that I stayed in during my latest trip and I totally loved it. Located at the middle of everything, what’s super nearby and nearby. Plus it’s great mid-range rooms and the land has free bikes which you could use to avoid!

Finch Bay

If you’re trying to find a higher-end, ecofriendly alternative, Finch Bay is right up your street. Named one of the most unique lodges on the planet by National Geographic, this hotel isn’t situated in the primary city so you’ll need to have a water taxi everywhere. Luckily the water taxi is included in your stay.

Hotel Solymar

This Mediterranean-fashion 4-star hotel is situated directly on Pelican Bay, at the center of Puerto Ayora. The rooms feature private balconies with sea views. Relax following a day of hiking in the outdoor pool which overlooks the ocean.

Galápagos Dreams

The Galápagos Dreams is a fantastic budget-friendly hotel that’s located directly in the middle of it all, which makes everything walkable. The employees are incredibly valuable and are more than prepared to assist you arrange tickets and excursions.

Hotel Galápagos Suites B&B

If visiting the Darwin Research Center is elevated in your Galápagos bucket checklist, remaining at this 3-star place is ideal for you. It’s super near the visitor centre and rooms begin as low as $65 per night!

Hostal Galápagos Morning Glory

If you’re trying to find a hostel setting, Hostal Galápagos Morning Glory is the very best option. Just a brief 15-minute walk will bring you to restaurants, shops, and beaches. Plus you have access to free Wi-Fi along with also a lounge area complete with a TV.

scuba diving snorkeling galapagos island

What into Do on Santa Cruz Island

Scuba Diving

What would a visit to the Galápagos be with no scuba diving adventure? Santa Cruz is one of the greatest places to scuba dive. I strongly suggest going with Scuba Iguana Dive Shop! You’ll have the opportunity to see hammerhead sharks, sea lions, turtles, big schools of fish, and much more.

Visit that the Charles Darwin Research Station

Founded at 1959, the Charles Darwin Research Station is devoted to the conservation and preservation of these Galápagos Islands. This comprises watching over every one the creatures and plants that call the islands home. At that the Research Station, you can observe the last residual Pinta Island giant tortoise, land iguanas, and much more.

Visit Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay has its name from the dark sea turtles which come onto the coast and then lay their eggs. Along together with all the turtles, you may even view white-tip sharks, iguanas, and flamingos.

Day Trip into Bartolome Island

Bartolome Island is a volcanic island off the shore of Santiago Island and it makes for a fantastic day trip. Once there you can snorkel, swim, and hike to a number of the greatest views of this Galápagos. There are so lots of companies offering these day-trips so that it’s difficult to recommend only one!

Snorkeling Day Trip

Along using the day excursion to Bartolome, many companies also offer snorkeling excursions to nearby places including Los Tuneles, Isabela Island, and Pinzon Island (just to mention a couple!) .

Visit Reserva El Chato

El Chato is a book situated in Santa Cruz’s highlands and is currently home to giant tortoises. The tortoises cross the book during their migration, which makes it one of the only areas to find these giant creatures in their natural habitat. Along together with all the tortoises, the book is also home to tens of thousands of woods and plants.


There are numerous small stores along Ave Charles Darwin Road, ideal to pick up some souvenirs from your trip! )

Where to Eat on Santa Cruz Island

Keep in mind that prices in the Galápagos are not comparable to other “South Americandestinations. The Galápagos are expensive and the food/beverage prices are the same that you would probably pay back home!

1835 Coffee Lab

1835 Coffee Lab is undoubtedly my favorite place to catch a tea or coffee on the island. ) Not just can it be a fantastic cup of joe, but they also focus on sustainability as well as the promotion and supply of coffee culture at the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador.

De Sal y Dulce

Can you tell I enjoy coffee shops? De Sal y Dulce is a fantastic place for dessert and coffee. They’ve got delicious cappuccinos and brownies should you want just a small day pick me up.


ANKER provides local Galápagos cuisine, using tastes based on seasonal produce from the staircase. You could undergo a 5-course meal or à-la-carte choices paired with cheap cocktails. If you enjoy fish, you will adore their dishes.

La Garrapata

To receive the true Galápagos Islands experience, dine at La Garrapata, a local favorite. It was one of those very first open-sided and comfy restaurants around the island also provides a myriad of fish dishes.

Bahia Mar

Located directly on the sea, Bahia Mar specializes in Ecuadorian cuisine whilst also like other international dishes also. There’s nothing better than sitting on the water whilst enjoying a few lobster.

Finch Bay Restaurant

If you need a nice dining experience during your trip, Finch Bay Restaurant is an excellent alternative. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, and have a wine cellar with a vast array of vino.

Isla Grill

If you would rather like a casual meal with a whole lot of food alternatives, Isla Grill is the place for you. They have everything from beef to vegetarian alternatives, all reasonably priced. It’s also a trendy place to catch a beverage.

Santa Cruz Brewery

Craft beer drinkers may adore Santa Cruz Brewery. Not just is your beer yummy however they also have mild snacks, live audio, and games which you could playwith. It’s not something you would expect to see in the Galápagos but it makes for an enjoyable day!

Ukku Açaí Bar

Ukku serves amazing açaí bowls in big wooden pineapple-shaped bowls, complete with fresh fruit. ) They’re an ideal light snack while you’re out wandering about and purchasing.

Have you ever been to Santa Cruz Island? ) What were your favorites?

See more in the remainder of my own Ultimate Galápagos Islands Travel Guide! )

About the author

Sara Lassiter

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