only take a boat tour of four to eight days, but it's well worth your
time to spend at least a week in SANTA CRUZ alone. Considering how costly
it is to get to the islands, take your time and enjoy island life!
SANTA CRUZ is a world in its own. Though burgeoning with tourism, it has that relaxed coastal town feeling. Its pace matches that of Lonely George, and so don't be in a hurry while spending time here.
Within a few days, you'll feel right at home with the locals. They're so accustomed to one-day tours, that once you're around for a while, they'll warm right up to you. Soon, SANTA CRUZ will work its charms, enchanting you with its lazy afternoons to hectic nightlife (especially on Thursdays and Sundays when most tours either are starting up, finishing, or stopping mid-week!).
Take a morning walk to Tortuga Bay and body surf the waves. Although the sunsets are breathtaking here, be careful in the water because the undertow is very strong. For surfers, the cove to the west is safer and more tranquil. Take food and water, though, as there are no amenities nearby. Spend the afternoon watching Blue-Footed Booby acrobatics diving for fish while avoiding the scoudrel Frigate Birds. Rent bicycles , and ride to the sink holes. Spend time in the center of the island bird-watching.
Head over to la Casa del Lago --a great place to have a beer, listen to live music, poetry, see original art and enjoy the artistic side of the islands. Get an early seat for the volleyball tournament the locals have every evening in the park near the docks.
Enjoy the typical foods sold not only in restaurants, but also on the streets. Treat yourself to homemade coconut or mango ice-cream or enjoy the fresh, cold watermelon sold on the streets.
the ideal place to relax after a cruise! Indulge and enjoy the magic
of The Red Mangrove Adventure Inn. It's a place for relaxation that
offers surfing, kayaking, bike trips, or just relaxing days on their
patio looking out at the sea. If you're not up for an 8-day tour on
a boat, The Red Mangrove Adventure Inn can help you organize land-based
It's the best place to book scuba diving tours. Colreservas is top notch, offering tours to the best diving spots around the islands. Their guides are exceptional, and you'll be sure to see exciting life underwater!
Whatever you do, SANTA CRUZ is worth a stay. Take time to enjoy a vacation while getting to know who lives on these amazing islands.
20 minutes from Hotel Finch Bay lies Las Grietas gorge. The crystal blue-green pools are heaven-sent. With the sun's rays shining in, you'll surely think you're in paradise. Just follow the green and white posts and walk with a good pair of shoes uphill towards the lagoon signs.
To enjoy a marine iguana show, you can head past Darwin Station to the Tomas Fischer dwelling and on to a trail to a very rocky beach.
If you want a professional guided tour on the island to the sink-holes, there are some operators charging US$25-55 each including highland ranches such as Rancho Mariposa and Rancho Altair where you can see the Giant Tortoises in Wild.
There are also aquatic tours in glass-bottom boats to view marine life in Punta Estrada, Las Grietas, Isla Caamaño, Playa de los Perros and Franklin Bay. Be prepared to walk to view the birds, sea lions, marine iguanas and various marine life. You may also snorkel from 09:00-14:00 costing around US$30.00 each with prior booking on the pier or with a local operator.
Visitor sites include:
Black Turtle Cove
Charles Darwin Research Center
Los Gemelos (twin sink-holes)
Puerto Ayora (the capital)
Beach Morning Glory
Darwin station visit
Sun and beach
Bars, restaurants and discos
For more information and reservations
Telephone: +57 1 7456019
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