Santa Cruz is easily the most central island for Galapagos visitors. Welcoming overnight visitors (only four of the islands do so), it can serve as the perfect home base from which you can explore the islands. Though it is not the largest island, it is certainly the most popular urban center. In addition to being the most cosmopolitan, however, Santa Cruz also offers beautiful beaches and wildlife.

Test out the waters by snorkeling in Tortuga Bay, Punta Estrada, or Las Grietas, the three most popular beaches for interacting with the underwater world. If you’d like to try your hand at surfing, there are plenty of opportunities, most notably at Tortuga. When you’re ready to dry off, check out the incredible lava tunnels around the island, or visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, the unique conservation organization dedicated to preserving the incredible Galapagos tortoises, as well as sharing information about them with visitors.

Practical Info

The city of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz’s capital, is the hub for most visitors traveling to the Galapagos. From the airport on Isla Baltra, there is a ferry service at the Itabaca Channel, which provides access to the island. Buses from the ferry terminal will leave you in Puerto Ayora, and you can also hire a taxi service.

Tours & Tickets

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Galapagos Islands Cruise: 5-Day Catamaran Sail Aboard the 'Nemo I'

Whitetip reef sharks, giant tortoises, dragon-like iguanas and sea lions all play into your Galapagos Islands adventure on this 5-day cruise. The ‘Nemo ...  Read more

Location: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Duration: 5 days (approx.)

From USD $1,924.99

Tortuga Bay Tour and Yacht Cruise to La Loberia Island

3 star rating: Worth doing 6 Reviews

Departing from Santa Cruz island, you'll spend the day exploring two famous Galapagos sites. In the morning, relax on the beautiful Tortuga Bay beach, then, in ...  Read more

Location: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $158.99

Galapagos Islands Explorer Package from Santa Cruz Island

4 star rating: Recommended 19 Reviews

Take a 4- or 5- day trip to the Galapagos Islands aboard a yacht! Explore different islands, and see their amazing array of plant and animal life, ...  Read more

Location: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Duration: Varies

From USD $804.99

9-Night Galapagos Tour from Quito: San Cristobal, Isabela, Florena and Santa Cruz Island

Come face to face with a dizzying array of wildlife on this nine-night tour to the Galapagos Islands, including San Cristobal, Isabela, Floreana and Santa ...  Read more

Location: Quito, Ecuador
Duration: 10 days (approx.)

From USD $4,205.00

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