Things to do in Santa Cruz

Top Things to Do in Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz Must-See Attractions

Things to Do in Santa Cruz


Book these experiences for a close-up look at Santa Cruz.

From quick jaunts to full-day outings.

Top Attractions in Santa Cruz

These rankings are informed by traveller reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.
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What travellers are saying

  • AB
    Utah12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tortuga bay is a must see if you are on Santa Cruz. It opens at 6am and closes at 5pm so keep that in mind because if you’re walking it takes around 45 mins to an hour to get there. You have to walk down the whole walking path and then once you’re on the beach you go right and walk to the end and through the trees to get to the bay. The water taxi is about 30 mins and costs $10 each way. I enjoyed the walk so if you’re able, give yourself enough time and do that.

    One of the coolest things you’ll see is in the shallow water of the bay, baby hammerhead sharks!!! The water is pretty murky, we brought our snorkels but didn’t even use them cause it’s really hard to see anything. Just walk along the shallow water and you should be able to see some baby hammerheads swimming really close to shore. It was definitely a highlight of our trip!!
    Written 21 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Adomvatik
    Tel Aviv, Israel375 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Amazing place. after the reserve and the museum, this place completes the experience of watching the giant turtles. How they live in a free habitat. Simply amazing.
    Also, the Lava tunnels are extraordinary. Go with an expert and have the full explanation how they were formed.
    Don't miss it!
    Written 6 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Robert M
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The snorkeling in this spot brings otherwise unseen marine life. It’s a must-do while visiting the island. The water temperature was perfect for the hot weather.
    Written 9 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Adomvatik
    Tel Aviv, Israel375 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A good place to understand on a nutshell the formation and the dynamics of the Galapagos, having the giant turtles as an example. Remarkable conservation of the turtle's population from eggs to maturity. We enjoy also the giant cactus trees some of them 60- 80 years old. It is amazing to watch how trees adapt to survive the animals eating them.
    Written 6 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Chemtrailer
    Canada404 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A fun free show of sea lions and pelicans trying to get free fish from the market. Hilarious to watch and it's in the town center. Good photo op.
    Written 1 December 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Anne H
    Toronto, Canada38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We visited this beach as part of a day tour we organized through our hotel the Royal Palms, to visit Los Gemelos (twin volcano craters), tortoise ranch and this beach. Gorgeous expanse of white sand, shared with only a few other families, super warm water and very shallow entry.

    We hired taxi driver for the day (waited at beach entrance for us), is about 10 min easy walk from entrance. Totally worth the drive esp if you plan to visit the highlands on Santa Cruz Island.
    Written 26 August 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • dan w
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    George and his family are incredible. We told him what we wanted to see and where we wanted to go, and he set up an incredible 8 day island hopping experience for us. With great accommodation and all good included. We saw every animal that we wanted to and the operation was seem less. What a friendly guy, you should definitely book through this company.
    Written 2 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jordan B
    Stuart, FL43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amongst the numerous souvenir shops selling T shirts and socks is this impressive fine art gallery. They have a great selection of art in a variety of mediums. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful without being intrusive which is so important while trying to browse and take it all in. Like I imagine most of the customers are, we were there on a short shopping break from our Galapagos cruise. We are not impulse buyers. The staff was happy to let us take pictures of what we liked and they have a great website so we were able to browse more and contact them when we got home. Martin and Paola were so helpful with multiple emails and we are now the happy owners of a pair of blue footed boobie sculptures by Jorge Espana. Definitely stop by when visiting the island!
    Written 4 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • duhoz
    Beroun, Czech Republic7,168 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice sandy beach with clear water and beautiful views but lacks of shade. There are many birds to watch and also some see life such as turtles, sharks, rays but little bit far away from the beach. This is a small beach without many shade. Easy to get but you need to take a water taxi 0,80$ and then walk about 5 minutes, it is same direction as to Las Grietas which is further along,
    Written 25 March 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Travelaround59
    London, UK2,026 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The fact that the major airport is near by is obviously very important and also that this is the most inhabited island help. The island in itself is ok with a very different look from north to south and a rather “buzzing” life in Port Ayora plus the view of the Highlands plus the Darwin Center plus giant tortoises…I think is the ideal place for daily cruises instead the usual cruise around the Galápagos.
    Written 18 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Gwynneth Z
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous shop with wide variety of original Ecuadorean work from the most talented individuals and of the highest quality. We absolutely loved it!
    Written 1 October 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • shalini_rao
    Boston, MA39 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most of the boardwalk is closed and doesn’t seem like there is any maintenance or upkeep of the place. We did see green turtles, plenty of fish and birds in the area though. Could be beautiful if repaired and maintained
    Written 11 January 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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