Discover the main tourist centre of the Galápagos archipelago on Santa Cruz Island and visit the must-see sites in this location!
Departing from Puerto Ayora Port, you will start your excursion by heading into the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, to one of the most famous ranches of the archipelago, El Chato ranch. It is a protected area that belongs to the Galápagos National Park. There, you will observe giant tortoises moving around in their natural habitat, you will have the chance to approach them and feed them.
You will continue your visit on the island's immense Scalesia forest where you will be able to observe many species of birds that cannot be seen anywhere else. Your guide will not hesitate to tell you all about the birds you will encounter during your excursion.
You will then proceed to the Charles Darwin Research Centre, which is also located in the Galápagos National Park. You will learn about the unique flora and fauna of the islands and Charles Darwin's research into the theory of natural selection. There is a breeding centre for giant tortoises in this complex. These wild animals represent one of the most iconic species of the archipelago, with a life expectancy that can reach up to 100 years on average.
After a visit to the centre, you will head off for a hike to the famous Turtle Bay (or Tortuga Bay) beach. You will pass through a tropical forest and typical Galápagos cacti. You will enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean as you arrive at the sand dunes of Turtle Bay. This huge beach is divided into two areas: a natural part where many species of wildlife such as marine iguanas and giant tortoises live, and another part where you can find surfers who come to take advantage of the strong currents and tides. Swimming on this beach is not recommended, but you will have the opportunity to walk up close to the marine wildlife.
At the end of the day you will be driven taken back to the departure point. You can choose to have lunch in a restaurant in town (optional) before returning to Puerto Ayora Port.