Escorted Rail Tours to Puerto Ayora
Follow in Darwin’s footsteps in the Galapagos Islands’ largest town
Sitting at the centre of the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of thirteen volcanic islands surrounded by countless smaller islets situated approximately one thousand kilometres to the west of Ecuador in South America, Santa Cruz is the second largest island.
Whilst, in keeping with the other Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz has its own fair share of wonderful, unspoilt beaches and spectacular wildlife, it is also the home of the islands' capital and largest town: Puerto Ayora.
A fine base from which to arrange boat trips to other Galapagos Islands, most of Puerto Ayora's attractions and activities are to be found around its waterfront area and the main street, Avenida Charles Darwin. Puerto Ayora is an enjoyable and rewarding town to explore on foot and offers a wealth of interesting shops, restaurants, open-air bars, diving schools and tour operators. A particular highlight is the town's fish market, at which some of the island's incredibly tame albatrosses and seals can often be seen helping themselves to unwanted fish heads and other leftovers.
Puerto Ayora's chief attraction for visitors, however, is the Charles Darwin Research Station. Established in 1964 and named after the famous British naturalist and evolution theorist who landed in the islands in 1835, the centre is dedicated to the study and preservation of the Galapagos Island's unique wildlife and ecosystems.