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A Day in Puerto Ayora

There’s more to do on Santa Cruz Island than visit Giant Tortoises.

Strolling down Avenida Charles Darwin, the main street, there’s lots to see. There are nightclubs, one of which is Andy’s Bongo Bar. I heard it’s a place where tourists and locals mingle to the sound of music videos. I was more intrigued by the sign. It seems the “Keep Calm and Carry On” theme is truly everywhere.

Keep Calm and go to Galapagos Bongo Bar



Besides places to eat and drink, there are opportunities for tourists to part with their dollars. [Ecuador uses U.S. currency.] One of these is “Darwin’s Cotton.” Admittedly, I was entertained by their sign. The colorful oval of the Victorian clergyman surrounded by an iguana and the yellow and pink flowers of the Darwin’s Cotton plant was too incongruous to resist.

Exterior Sign for Darwin Cotton shop.
Fish Market Sales’ Counter.

But the best was yet to come:

The Fish Market

The market itself is a simple affair. Fishermen bring their catch. Workers at the market fillet the larger fish and display the smaller fish whole. The customers are somewhat eclectic.

Pelicans gather at the Fish Market.
Pelicans and Sea Lion waiting for a hand-out.
Frigate Bird swoops in for a snack.

Pelicans, frigate birds, and sea lions all line up to get their fair share. And they don’t want the scraps or the large fish. They want the good stuff.

Seen enough of the town? Let’s go back upslope to the rainforest.

Last week I wrote about the tortoises at Rancho Manzanilla. There are other farms offering similar opportunities to interact with Giant Tortoises.

But some farms limit their wildlife to a donkey, a few dogs and several “barnyard fowl.”

Harnessed donkey on break.








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Dog notices visitors.
Unidentified “barnyard fowl” with chicks.









I’m embarrassed to say, I don’t have the name of the gentleman who owns this farm, but he and his family process coffee the old fashioned way.

Roasting coffee beans.




Separating coffee beans and husks.

In retrospect, maybe Andy picked a good moniker for his Bongo Bar.

Sea view of Puerto Ayoro.

Puerto Ayora is a small seaport town, but like most ports, it opens the way to new experiences.


Featured Image: Municipal Office of Puerto Ayora

Photos by Author. All Rights Reserved.

Author Sandra Wagner Wright

Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.

 Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.

2 thoughts on “A Day in Puerto Ayora

  1. As always….I loved the pictures….gave me a sense of what the town is like…..and all that fish! Hope you had your fill of that fresh fish? Your stories are always so interesting….can’t wait to read the next one! 🙂 🙂
    Mahalo…..dear friend….Take care….Love


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