The Galapagos Islands have become synonymous with biodiversity and wildlife conservation, and with good reason. This 19-island archipelago is home to over 4,000 animal species, 40% of which are endemic – meaning they are found nowhere else in the world! When Charles Darwin landed in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island in 1835, his theory of evolution could finally take root and start to materialize. And the rest is history.
Today, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno continues to serve as the Galapagos’ capital city and port and is the second-most populated point in the archipelago after Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. But the laid-back surfer energy of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno compliments the remaining islands nicely, where the animals reign and the humans are simply guests in their kingdom.
There are quite a few reasons why an overnight, or two, in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the perfect addition to your Galapagos adventure. In this article, we would like to highlight the following four reasons in particular!
4 reasons to discover Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Ecuador)
1. Pairing Puerto Baquerizo Moreno with Guayaquil
The only way to directly fly into or out of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is through Ecuador’s coastal city, Guayaquil. And Guayaquil, in its own right, has so much to offer in terms of beautiful weather, diverse sights, and experiences on Ecuador’s pacific coast. Some of the top Guayaquil attractions include the breathtaking beaches of General Villamil, the Malecon 2000 lively boulevard, and the fantastic restaurants stocked with the freshest seafood and traditional Ecuadorian dishes.
Guayaquil is also Ecuador’s largest city. Their international airport receives just as many, if not more, flights from the United States as Quito. The direct domestic flight from Guayaquil to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is just about two hours. Whereas if you were to start in Quito, you will always have a layover in Guayaquil before arriving in Puerto Baquerizo; and the total travel time is more or less six hours.
2. Unique and luxurious accommodation in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno hotels do not disappoint! A trip to the Galapagos Islands means you will either be taking a cruise from one island to another or staying in a hotel on Puerto Ayora or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and then taking day excursions to nearby islands. This is called Island Hopping. And many consider Puerto Baquerizo Moreno the best spot for island hopping because of the fabulous accommodations here; the following three hotels are some of our absolute favorites.
The Golden Bay Hotel and Spa strives to provide a five-stay luxurious stay in the Galapagos. Golden Bay offers impeccable hospitality, an excellent restaurant, a minimalist design, and minimal environmental impact as an ecological property focused on sustainability and humanism.
Hotel Casa Opuntia is an intimate first-class hotel with an excellent location. They are positioned right across from some of the most coveted sea kayaking circuits in the archipelago, in addition to two of the best surfing breaks.
Seaside Inn is another quaint property with premium oceanfront views. The hotel itself is actually a boutique villa with a clean-cut modern design and a fabulous pool. Some of their suites even have direct access to this pool and jacuzzi, overlooking the serene ebb and flow of the tide.
3. Prime surfing spot in The Galapagos
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is known for being the adventure activity hub within the entire archipelago and is especially a surfer’s paradise. For catching the best waves, you will want to plan your trip between December and March and head to Punta Carola Beach for its famous ten-foot waves!
There are also plenty of beaches for surfers of all levels, including beginners, such as the Manglecito Beach, typically pumping out six-foot waves, and plenty of sea lions to cheer you on! La Lobería and Tongo Reef are two other popular surfing beaches worth mentioning; all of these beaches are less than thirty minutes away from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno’s city center!
4.Prime diving spot at Kicker Rock
If you are a licensed scuba diver looking to get in some quality advanced diving time while in the Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the place to be. There are a couple of exclusive diving cruises you can book well in advance for your trip; however, the benefit of staying on Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is that you will be able to take a diving day-trip to Kicker Rock from your hotel. We still recommend booking this in advance, but the benefit is that spots aren’t as limited.
Kicker Rock is considered the best diving spot in the entire archipelago, right off the coast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The depth ranges from 30-130 feet, and the difficulty ranges from moderate to advanced, which is the case for all diving in the Galapagos. What makes Kicker Rock truly special, though, is the abundance of marine wildlife in this one spot. You should expect to see hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, Galapagos sharks, eagle rays, sea lions, and schools of Salema fish, just to name a select few.
So, if you already know you want an island-hopping program and/or have a couple extra days on hand for your Ecuador adventure, consider Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Whether you are island hopping or someone who enjoys a bit of downtime during your travels, this extremely relaxing place allows you to rest and reflect on your multitude of quirky animal encounters in the Galapagos – with the famous blue-footed boobies, for instance!
Contact us to learn more about customizing your once-in-a-lifetime journey to the Galapagos and how to incorporate its capital port into your bespoke itinerary.