Do you have any hotel recommendations for Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz?
If you can, we recommend staying on after your cruise for a few days. We're often asked where to stay in the Galapagos islands? We really like the nice little town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz. You might also want to think about staying here before you start your Galapagos cruise. Naturalist cruises around the Galapagos are full-on experiences - strong sunshine, early mornings, days full of activities and excursions. In contrast, Puerto Ayora invites you to relax with it's wonderfully "chilled" island vibe. There's also lots to explore while you stay, with everything from pure white tropical beaches to dense jungle, and even the famous Charles Darwin Research Station.
Here's our guide to Santa Cruz Island Galapagos hotels...
Galapagos Suites ($$$): Is our top pick for Mid Range and even First Class travellers. In terms of "bang for your buck" you won't find a better plance in Galapagos. The rooms don't offer a sea view but are are spotless clean, the beds very comfortable. The owner Joseline goes above and beyond to make you feel welcome, helps out with picking things to visit and is a wonderfully kind and knowledgeable host. A rich breakfast is included and comes with different home-baked cakes everyday. The internet is reliable and fast. We can easily recommend Galapagos Suites to any traveller who is not looking for luxury or a sea view but wants a clean, nice hotel where he can kick back and relax after a long, exhausting day.
Red Mangrove ($$$$): Overlooking the ocean, the Red Mangrove Lodge offers beautiful rooms with some of the best views in all of Puerto Ayora. Bike rental and a buffet breakfast is included, as are a couple of cold beers in the fridge and wildlife right at the hotel. Watch out, sea lions oftentimes occupy the best spots at the veranda overlooking the ocean! The restaurant serves a wide variety of international dishes and ranks among the best kitchens in all of Galapagos. The Charles Darwin Scientific Station is 200 m away.
Angermeyer Waterfront Inn ($$$$): The Angermeyer Waterfront Inn is another hotel that can only be reached by water taxi ($1) from the pier in Puerto Ayora. From the small dock, it's a three minute walk to the hotel, which is a beautiful building built of lava stones and driftwood - quite a sight! The facilities here include guest Wifi and cable TV. The beach at Playa Alemanes is only 500 yards away. We really like the waterside location and the great views, as well as the sea lions and marine iguanas that are always wandering around just outside the doors here.
Hotel Silberstein ($$$): Located between the city center and Charles Darwin Research Station, the Hotel Silberstein is in a great location. The huge landscaped pool, rooms with large balconies, and the colonial styling are all magnificent, as befits a high-end hotel. Guest Wifi and airconditioning is standard, and all rooms have a balcony and view of the garden.
Finch Bay Hotel ($$$$$): The Finch Bay hotel is probably the most luxurious and most expensive hotel in Santa Cruz - perhaps Galapagos. Only 10m from the mediocre beach of Playa Alemanes, it's the only hotel on the island with a direct beach access. The hotel is 2 miles from the city center, and access is only via water taxi, which you can catch from the central pier in Puerto Ayora for $1. This isolation has its positives and negatives. It's beautifully secluded and peaceful on one hand, but on the other, there's not a lot to do other than relax on the beach, and you have to catch a water taxi back to the city for restaurants and evening entertainment. The hotel itself is extremely luxurious and stylish with large and bright rooms. The whole hotel has WiFi, a great restaurant, a huge swimming pool and a gorgeous view of the harbor.