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As the most accessible island from the mainland and the central hub for most holidaymakers, it is highly likely that on any Galapagos itinerary, you will at least pass through Santa Cruz. Its main port town, Puerto Ayora, is bustling with activity with a plethora of fine hotels, restaurants and a vibrant social scene but that is far from saying that the island does not have its natural wonders. Verdant reserves are home to meandering Giant Tortoises; wind-swept beaches fringe the shores, unfathomably large volcanic craters are awaiting discovery and natural swimming holes can be found secluded across the island and provide an ideal opportunity for a welcome dip.

The Charles Darwin Research Station, just outside the town, is sure to capture the imagination and is well worthy on an afternoon’s exploration to observe the continuing efforts of scientists and volunteers to conserve the wildlife of the Galapagos. Programs include an intensive breeding centre for Giant Tortoises amongst many others. Tortuga Bay on the south coast of the island is frequently listed in any conversation about the world’s best beaches, and along its long stretches of golden sand, you will find an equal proportion of tourists and locals as you will Sea Lions and Land Iguanas.

Holidays to the Galapagos start from £2,499pp. Get in touch to find out prices for your perfect trip.

What wildlife will I see on Santa Cruz?

Many of Santa Cruz’s diverse array of wildlife species can be spotted along its coast and its pristine beaches support the natural habitat for Blue-Footed Boobies, Sea Lions, Lava Lizards and Marine Iguanas. Dives sites (particularly exceptional in the northwest of the island) provide some of the best opportunities to observe the colourful-coral marine life of the archipelago and don’t forget the Charles Darwin Research Station to see a wide scope of tortoises, of all shapes and sizes.

How Do I Reach Santa Cruz?

Daily flights can be taken from Guayaquil or Quito (Ecuador mainland) to Baltra Island which lies just to the north of Santa Cruz. From here, the town of Puerto Ayora can be reached in a little over an hour’s drive, or you may wish to jump straight onto another flight or water taxi to other islands. Connections to the islands of Isabella or San Cristobal are frequent.

Ready to begin creating your perfect Holiday to the Galapagos Islands? Simply complete the enquiry form to get in touch, or call our Travel Specialists on 020 8546 6222.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out some of our Galapagos itineraries.

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Enquire About Latin Routes

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Our Truly Individual Holidays allow you to choose the destinations, inclusions & budget

Winner of 'Tour Operator of the Year - Small' at the 2021 Travel Industry Awards by TTG

Winner of 'Best Tour Operator' at the 2019 & 2018 L.A.T.A. Achievement Awards

All of our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind


The Travel Industry Awards 2021 - Tour Operator Of The Year - Small Latin American Travel Association Achievement Awards 2019 - Tour Operator Of The Year Latin American Travel Association Achievement Awards 2018 - Tour Operator Of The Year

Why book with Latin Routes?

  • Tailormake every part of your Latin America holiday including the duration, destinations, inclusions and budget
  • From charming guesthouses to 5* luxury, we have a style of accommodation to suit you
  • Our Travel Specialists will help you to create your perfect holiday to Latin America

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  • We continually receive excellent reviews from our clients and have a fantastic score on the independent review website, Trustpilot.
  • All of our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind
  • An assured member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)

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