Charles Darwin Research Station

Is located in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island and is the operational arm of the Charles Darwin Foundation.

The facilities were opened in 1964 so that scientists could use the station as the basis for their research in the Galapagos Islands to advise the management actions of the Directorate of Galapagos National Park .

Tortuga Bay

Is  located on the Santa Cruz Island, about a 20-minute water-taxi ride from the main water taxi dock in Puerto Ayora. There is also a walking path, which is 1.55 miles (2,490 m) and is open from six in the morning to six in the evening.

Visitors must sign in and out at the start of the path with the Galapagos Park Service office. Tortuga Bay has a gigantic, perfectly preserved beach that is forbidden to swimmers and is preserved for the wildlife where many marine iguanas, galapagos crabs and birds are seen dotted along the volcanic rocks. There is a separate cove where you can swim where it is common to view white tip reef sharks swimming in groups and on occasion tiger sharks.


El Garrapatero beach is a tourist place on Santa Cruz Island in the archipelago of the Galapagos Islands.

It has a length of around 1,500 meters and is located outside the urban area, 38km from Puerto Ayora. There is in it a forest of trees called manzanillo, and it has an important presence of eucalyptus.

There is a saltwater lagoon where pink flamingos, finches and migratory birds arrive.

It is called “El Garrapatero”, because according to the settlers an animal named with this title was brought in in order to eliminate ticks from cattle.



In Bellavista village in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, you can walk through lava tunnels or lava tubes. They were formed by flowing lava that moves under the hardened surface of lava flow. They drain lava and once the lava flow stops and the rock cools, it leaves behind a cave. The Lava Tunnels are just 7 km (4.3 miles) inland from Puerto Ayora, the main town where most people base themselves.



Twin Craters formed by the collapse of the volcanic roof. They are not actual craters caused by impact but are sink holes that were created when the volcanic roof of empty magma chambers collapsed from tectonic shifts and erosion over time.



Las Grietas is literally translated as “crevice”. We did some light hiking over lava rocks and passed salt lagoons to Las Grietas, but once we arrived, we had to go down steep stairs onto an area of large rocks.

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