People from all over the world visit the Galapagos Islands to see the extraordinary wildlife. In the evening when they want a break from all the outdoor adventure, many visitors look for the places that offer the best nightlife on the Galapagos. Although Puerto Ayora remains as the most active city at night, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) and even Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island) hold some interesting stops for some entertaining island nightlife.
The Best Nightlife on the Galapagos – Santa Cruz Island
Puerto Ayora is located on Santa Cruz Island and is the largest town in the Galapagos Islands. It is centrally located among the islands and is a great base for people to visit other islands. It has a large number of hotels and restaurants, some of which offer entertainment into the night. The vibe is much more relaxed than the nightlife in major tourist destinations, but there are several places that will show you a good time. From hip-hop and tropical latin music, to some jazz and 80s music, a little bit of everything can be found here.
The town was settled by Norwegian, German and Swiss families four generations ago, and many of their descendants still work in the tourism industry. Most of the main hotels and restaurants, pubs, cafes and nightclubs are on Avenida Charles Darwin. It runs along the waterfront between the Charles Darwin Research Station at the northern end and the municipal dock at the southern end.
The Bongo Bar
The Bongo Bar is the top hotspot in Puerto Ayora. Located on the second floor of a building on Avenida Darwin, it is open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. The bar has a wide variety of clientele that includes locals as well as tourists and naturalist guides who take their guests around the islands. The Bongo Bar serves some of the best sushi in the Galapagos.
Buganvilla is located at the northern end of Avenida Darwin and is open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. This outdoor lounge features loads of fanciful decoration. You will enjoy fairy lights and trickling fountains as well as cozy, recessed alcoves that have couches. On many weekends, the Buganvilla offers live music, and patrons enjoy a pool and a Foosball table.
Limón y Café
Limón y Café is an outdoor bar where the casual, local younger crowd gathers. This is the most popular meeting place on Santa Cruz. It has a bar as well as wooden tables and serves ice-cold beer. Guests are welcome to hang out and chat, play cards or play pool. There is a TV over the bar where subtitled movies are often played. The locals call it Puerto Ayora’s local Cheers because the staff members know all the names of repeat patrons.
Garrapata is an open-air restaurant that offers excellent Ecuadorian and international dishes. Its prices may be a bit higher than other first-class restaurants, but it attracts a lively crowd almost every night. It is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
El Amanecer is not strictly a nightclub; it is, in fact, a liquor store. However, it is always open late at night when the other hotspots close down, and it sells in-house tequila shots. This ensures a regular clientele of locals and visitors looking to extend their partying until dawn.
La Panga is the most popular disco in Puerto Ayora. It is a hotspot until closing time every weekend, which is 3 a.m. It has a full bar that offers drinks with a local flavor. Salsa partners are found on the small dance floor, and others just dance the night away however they want. The music is an eclectic combination of Latin, pop and electronic. For those who would rather not dance or are tired from too much dancing, there are comfortable lounge booths available and a pool table.
Madera Fina is frequented by the older crowd. You will not find the wild dancing like that of La Panga, but it is a great place to relax, and the dance floor has plenty of room. It is open from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends and serves from a full bar.
The Nightlife on San Cristobal Island
Puerto Ayora may have the most and the best discos and rockin’ bars, but there are a few other places for those not in Puerto Ayora. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is on San Cristobal Island and has a few places where you can get drinks and go dancing. El Baquero has a full bar and a casual atmosphere. It is located on Hernandez y Manuel J. Cobos and is open every day. Neptuno is a nightclub on Charles Darwin y Herman Melville. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is more popular with younger crowds.
The best nightlife on the Galapagos has its own flavor among Latin American cities. Visitors who are traveling to the Galapagos Islands on a cruise may enjoy a night or two in town to visit some of these local hotspots when seeking something new to complement the great activities on the ship.
The Nightlife on Isabela Island
Being the smallest town of the trio of main towns, Puerto Villamil offers a rather quiet ambiance. A well-known spot is Casa Rosada (Pink House) at the end of the beautiful white beach across town. Drinks and some snacks are available here, and seldom there’s enough energy to start a dance. Next door is the famous Beto’s Bar who may seem less developed, but Beto’s previous experience in Santa Cruz Island has created a remarkable location (beachfront) with super drinks and some of the nicest mix of rock & roll music.
Both places have stunning sunset vistas, tables are anchored right in the white sand, and on full moon nights watching the moonrise sets the tone for a perfect evening (follow the advice of our Galapagos Product Manager). Simple can be beautiful.