Top ChoiceIsland in Isla San Cristóbal (Chatham)

León Dormido

León Dormido

About an hour’s boat ride northeast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is León Dormido (Kicker Rock), so named because of its resemblance to a sleeping lion. León Dormido is an imposing, vertical, sheer-walled tuff cone...

Top ChoiceWildlife Reserve in Isla Santa Cruz (Indefatigable)

El Chato Tortoise Reserve

El Chato Tortoise Reserve

South of Santa Rosa is El Chato Tortoise Reserve, where you can observe giant tortoises in the wild. When these virtually catatonic, prehistoric-looking beasts extend their accordion-like necks to feed, it’s an...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Puerto Ayora


The first of its kind in the world, this museum uses augmented reality to showcase a permanent exhibition of 55 pre-Columbian artifacts. The ancient cultures of Ecuador’s Amazon and coastal regions are brought to...

Top ChoiceVolcano in Isla Isabela (Albemarle)

Volcán Alcedo

Volcán Alcedo

The summit of this volcano (1097m) is famous for its 7km-wide caldera and steaming fumaroles. Hundreds of giant tortoises can be seen here, especially from June to December, and juvenile hawks soar on thermal...

Top ChoiceSeafood in Puerto Villamil

Coco Surf

This sidewalk cafe serves up some of the tastiest seafood dishes in all of the Galápagos, and you'll hardly notice the high price points once the live band starts jamming out to jazzy island tunes. The tuna...

Wildlife Reserve in Puerto Ayora

Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station

Just northeast of Puerto Ayora is this iconic national-park site, where over 200 scientists and volunteers are involved with research and conservation efforts, the most well known of which involves a captive...

Volcano in Isla Santiago (San Salvador or James)

Puerto Egas

Puerto Egas is one of the most popular sites in the Galápagos – a long, flat, black lava shoreline where eroded shapes form lava pools, caves and inlets that house a great variety of wildlife. It's a great place...

Lake in Isla Isabela (Albemarle)

Darwin Lake

A dry landing deposits you at the beginning of a 2km-long trail that brings you past this postcard-perfect saltwater lagoon. It has twice the salinity of the ocean, and is a tuff cone, like a chimney from the...

Beach in Puerto Ayora

Tortuga Bay

In terms of sheer white-sand beauty, this beach is the rival of any in South America. You’ll find it at the end of a 2.5km paved trail southwest of Puerto Ayora. In addition to swimming (a spit of land provides...

Volcano in Isla Isabela (Albemarle)

Volcán Wolf

Not only is Isla Isabela the largest Galápagos island, but its imposing skyline of grumbling volcanoes makes it the most striking. Volcán Wolf, at the northern tip of the island, is the highest point in the...

Museum in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Interpretation Center

This modern and easily digestible center explains the history and significance of the Galápagos better than anywhere else in the country. Exhibits deal with the biology, geology and human history of the islands –...

Bar in Puerto Villamil

Casa Rosada

The highlight of Isabela's nightlife is this laid-back, dig-your-feet-in-the-sand beach bar next door to Caleta Iguana Hotel & Surf Camp. A youthful crowd gathers around the outdoor tables (or the firepit as...

Beach in Isla San Cristóbal (Chatham)

Cerro Brujo

Possibly one of the nicest beaches in the Galápagos, Cerro Brujo is a huge white expanse found on the west side of the island. The sand here feels like powdered sugar. A colony of sea lions and blue-footed...

Wildlife Reserve in Isla Santa Cruz (Indefatigable)

Rancho Primicias

Next to El Chato is this private ranch, where there are dozens of giant tortoises, and you can wander around at will. The entrance is beyond Santa Rosa, off the main road – ask locals for directions. Remember to...

Seafood in Puerto Villamil


Esmeraldas native Geanny Bennett Valencia cooks up some of the best dishes in town. Mouth-watering encocados (coconut stews) are the favorite, served in versions like camarones (shrimp), langosta (lobster) or...

Deli in Puerto Ayora

Galápagos Deli

Tired of standard almuerzos (set lunches)? Head to this sleek and modern place for brick-oven pizza (small $6.50 to $9.75) and high-quality deli sandwiches ($4.70 to $8.75), as well as fish and chips, espresso...

Barbecue in Puerto Ayora

Isla Grill

This buzzing grillhouse serves satisfying plates of grilled meat and seafood. Among the top picks: costillitas (pork ribs), mariscada (char-grilled shrimp, octopus and calamari) and churrasquito de mimi (a...

Japanese in Puerto Ayora


Located inside Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge, Almar prepares its seafood dishes with ingredients sourced from local suppliers. The big draw is sitting on the back waterside deck where sea lions have free rein.

Ecuadorian in Puerto Ayora


Good tunes, cool breezes and tasty Ecuadorian and international dishes (seared tuna, grilled seafood platters and fish in coconut sauce) draw a lively crowd most nights. It's pricey but casual, with open sides...

Jewelry in Puerto Ayora

Tortoise Gallery

You'll find one-of-a-kind gifts at this jeweler, with exquisite handmade works by Ecuadorian artisans. Some pieces incorporate lava forms, others feature pre-Columbian art and themes from native Ecuadorian wildlife.