Get to know Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora is on the island of Santa Cruz, the most central island in the Galapagos both geographically and culturally. Puerto Ayora is the biggest town in the Galapagos Islands and has everything you could hope for – a wide variety of stores for any last-minute purchases, excellent restaurants, bars, clubs, and even karaoke. It’s easy to get around on foot, and the taxis and buses that shuttle to other island destinations are easy to catch too. The locals are happy to help you in any way or invite you into their cafes for dinner.
The majority of flights that arrive to Galapagos from the mainland arrive to neighboring Baltra Island, where after a quick bus ride and ferry ride across Itabaca Canal one takes a bus or taxi for about half an hour to the town of Puerto Ayora, the most visited town in the Galapagos Islands.
Stay a night or two before or after your Galapagos cruise
It’s recommendable to stay in Puerto Ayora a night before your cruise leaves for a very practical reason; if you have flight delays, cruise boats do not wait for passengers, so it’s an extra level of security to arrive a night before your cruise. It’s a wonderful place to spend a few nights exploring spectacular wildlife and vistas.
Some highly recommendable hotels are Red Mangrove Eco-Luxury Hotel in town and on the waterfront, and Finch Bay Hotel on the edge of town accessible by water taxi.