Puerto Ayora Independently

Puerto Ayora is the largest town in the Galapagos, yet it still feels like a village. It’s the jumping off point for lots of day tours, independent excursions, and ferries to the other islands. It’s also the most common entrance and exit point for mainland Ecuador.


It’s a pleasant enough town to stroll around and grab a famous Galapagos coffee or eat at one of the many restaurants. But the best part of Puerto Ayora is that there are some wonderful animal encounters to be had right in the town itself.


The Puerto Ayora Fish Market

Just before the sun sets, boats bring in their catch of the day to the fish market, where the fish is chopped up and sold. This attracts a huge crowd of hungry pelicans and sea lions eager for some scraps. We spent ages here just watching the sea lions dive in and out of the water and the pelicans duelling over fish guts with their massive beaks.


Fish market in Puerto Ayora with sea lion, pelican and people

The daily fish market in Puerto Ayora


The Jetty at Night

One of my favourite things to do in the Galapagos is to stroll along the jetty in Puerto Ayora. It doesn’t look like much during the day, but at night it comes alive with wildlife. Sea lions relax on benches, while pelicans dive off the railing to catch fish. The lights along the jetty attract a variety of marine life; we saw a sea turtle, manta ray, and lots of black-tipped reef sharks.


Looking for more independent activities in Santa Cruz? Click here.

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