This is the main inhabited island. Most of the 21,000 inhabitants live in and around Puerto Ayora, but there are farming settlements inland at Bellavista and Santa Rosa. Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the Galápagos and every cruise visits it for one day anchoring at Academy Bay. There is free time to do some shopping, make phone calls and so on, but the main visit is to the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Tours can be arranged in Puerto Ayora and some cruise itineraries include a guided visit to the interior of the island. The highlands and settlement area of Santa Cruz are worth seeing for the contrast of the vegetation with the arid coastal zones.
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