Lindblad Endeavour Cruise: Puerto Ayora Walking Tour

Your one & only Galapagos shopping stop

The stop at Santa Cruz Island by the Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endeavour is an unusually full, busy day. Following our tour of the Darwin Research Station and seeing Lonesome George and Diego, the station’s most famous tortoises, we’re given a little over an hour to tour the waterfront of Puerto Ayora, largest city in the Galapagos. With a population of more than 10,000, Puerto Ayora contains about a third of the islands’ total human population.

Leaving the Darwin Research Station, we turn right onto Avenida Charles Darwin, the port city’s main street which ends at a plaza where buses will take us to the highlands for the rest of the day. It soon becomes clear that almost all the businesses along the street are intended for tourists. Although I spot a few hotels, restaurants and dive shops along the route, they are overwhelmed by the surplus of t-shirt shops.

Not necessarily a bad thing since this is the first and our only real opportunity to shop for Galapagos and Ecuadorian souvenirs. One of the first places we encounter is the Galapagos National Park store, which has a huge selection but whose prices are 2-3X as much as the items at the small shop at the Darwin Research Station. Too bad the Darwin Station’s shop isn’t larger; its offerings are fairly limited.

Here’s a photo scrapbook of our Puerto Ayora walk.

Along Avenida Charles Darwin in Puerto Ayora

National park souvenir store solid as a rock

Typical city souvenir store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Souvenir handmade dolls

City cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Darwin Arch, a major landmark on the outskirts of the city.

Mother & daughter on booby statue at Charles Darwin Arch park area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marina with fishing boats

Metal statue of a Galapagos tortoise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor café empty between breakfast & lunch

Handicraft market sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candy-striped convenience store

Yes, there is Internet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some stores really try to stand out

Iguana statue across from water taxis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pier to water taxis—and cruise ship Zodiacs—fronting Academy Bay

Shopping stop

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