At the heart of Galapagos, Santa Cruz has the largest accessible population of wild giant tortoises on the islands. A visit to what seem to be the biggest tortoises would also take in some spectacular lava tunnels. Around the magnificent pit craters in the highlands, you can find the largest scalesia forest which among other things is a gem for finch-spotters.
Santa Cruz is the best base for visiting the uninhabited islands of the central archipelago and offers a plethora of other day cruises.
The town of Puerto Ayora is the largest in Galapagos and has boomed in the past 30 years, is referred to as the tourist capital, and is great for restaurants and top tourist shops. Although a popular tourist destination, the town has a rich community with markets, a bustling fishing dock and volleyball arena, right on the seafront.
The dock is illuminated at night lighting up the sharks, sealions and rays that frequent the waters.
There are several popular beaches including the idyllic Tortuga bay