With its 12,000 residents, the town of Puerto Ayora is a surprise to many who would expect the Galapagos to be home to flora and fauna alone. If it wasn’t for the swooping pelicans, diving blue-footed boobies and bobbing marine iguanas at every turn, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for any small coastal South American town. Even though the town is fairly touristy, it still an attractive relaxed spot to explore on foot. Along with the string of souvenir shops that line the main drag, the town is also home to a wide array of restaurants producing some of the best food you’ll find in the Galapagos.
The main area to explore is the waterfront Avenue Charles Darwin and surrounding off shoot roads, where you’ll find the majority of the restaurants and shops. If you continue walking along this road with the ocean on your right you’ll reach the town’s main attraction, the Charles Darwin Research Centre. This is where you can learn more about the scientists and volunteers who are helping to preserve the Galapagos, as well as get the chance to see some tortoises including some babies in incubators. In total it will take you 20 minutes to walk from the main port. It is well signed, but do ask the friendly locals for directions if you need assistance.