Diving

There are several good spots for diving nearby. Eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, and hammerhead and white-tip sharks can be found at León Dormido (Kicker Rock). Schools of jacks, eagle rays, stingrays and sea horses are seen around Stephanie’s Rock. Roca Ballena is a cave at about 23m to 24m down with corals, parrotfish and rays; strong currents mean it’s for experienced divers only. There are also several wreck dives, including the Caragua, a 100m-long cargo ship near the site of the Jessica oil spill. Several companies in town offer diving.

Surfing

Hands down, Baquerizo Moreno has the best surfing in the Galápagos. From December to March a northern swell brings world-class waves and more than a hundred surfers, especially Brazilians, head here around January. Waves are rideable year-round, but the best time is December to April. High-quality reef breaks near town are El Cañon and Tongo Reef, both of which are accessed by walking through the military zone. If you’re carrying a board and show identification (your passport), the guard will sign you through. La Lobería and Punta Carola are also excellent spots with reef breaks. Lava Wave Surf rents out boards (per day $20) and provides half-day lessons (about $60 per person).

Cycling & Kayaking

If you're a cyclist and in good shape, you can take on the steep uphill climb to El Junco, 16km east (and 700m up) from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. It's a further 10km from El Junco downhill to Puerto Chino. If attempting both, you'll need to be fit and to start very early. Another option is to hire a truck taxi to take you one way and cycle back. Several agencies in town hire bikes. The best maintained are at Cañon Point.

To get out on the water, stop by Cabañas Don Jorge, where you can hire a two-person kayak for about $20 (for four hours), and go for a paddle off nearby Playa Mann.

Cerro de las Tijeretas

The modern and easy-to-digest Interpretation Center on the north side of the bay explains the history and significance of the Galápagos better than anywhere else in the islands. Exhibits deal with the biology, ecology, geology and human history of the islands, and it definitely deserves a visit even if you’ve already been inundated with facts from boat guides.

From the center, there are various well-marked and paved trails that wind around the scrub-covered Cerro de las Tijeretas. One trail leads over the hill to the small Las Tijeretas bay, which has excellent snorkeling; there’s no beach here – just step in from the rocks. Other paths lead to viewing points with breathtaking panoramas, and there's also a path down to scenic Playa Baquerizo (2km one-way from the viewing point); the last half is strewn with large, sharp rocks, so wear good shoes.

Directly in front of the Interpretation Center is Playa Mann, a small beach popular with locals and tourists alike, especially for lovely sunsets and on weekends. The large building across the street houses the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts & Sciences, which hosts semester-abroad international students and special marine-ecology and volunteer programs.

From the end of the dirt road that passes in front of the Interpretation Center, there’s a short trail to Playa Punta Carola, a narrow beach nicknamed ‘Playa del Amor’ (Beach of Love) because the sheltering mangrove trees are favorite make-out spots (the sea lions here show little interest in the goings on). Surfing off the nearby point is excellent.