This island is in the centre of the archipelago and close to the airport on Baltra. As a result it is the most populated island, although most of the human activity and all the places to stay are in just one place; Puerto Ayora, where you can organise a cruise or go out on interesting day tours.
The town is located on the southern shore of the island. There are more than 10,000 inhabitants but it remains safe and relaxed. Tourists wander along the waterfront or in and out of souvenir shops. Fishermen chug into Pelican Bay with their catches. Agencies and restaurants hawk services to tourists. There are banks, a basic hospital, internet and tourist info available from several offices and booths. Apart from the sights listed below, you can just hire some snorkelling gear from a dive shop, or a bike, and go off and explore.
Sights on Santa Cruz
Charles Darwin Research Station
Located 20 minutes walk north of the town centre. There is an interpretation centre, a rearing area for giant tortoises and space for their fully grown ancestors, including Lonesome George.
A beautiful beach 3km SW of town – it feels like a long walk along the trail and the beach is virtually deserted. That is the beauty of it, but take water.
You can hike up to the highest point on the island and see how the vegetation changes dramatically.