The Galeria Aymara is one of the more upscale shops on Santa Cruz Island. It is located in the town of Puerto Ayora, very close to our hotel.
Unique High Quality Items
We saw a lot of unique high quality items, it reminded me of an art gallery and souvenir shop in one. One of the items that really took Bryan’s interest was the gorgeous woven rugs. The colors and designs were very eye catching and artistic.
I found the detail and workmanship in the cultural window boxes fascinating. The staff explained that they were all handmade with various vegetable ingredients. I had never seen anything quite like them before. There were also some very interesting sculptures of sea life that really caught my eye.
The jewelry was very unique as well. The pieces we saw had a definite artistic flare. If I were looking for a piece that would stand out as unique this would be the place to shop.
Lifelike Tagua Figurines
Galeria Aymara has the highest quality tagua art we had ever seen. Tagua comes from the seeds of what is commonly known as the ivory palm, ivory-nut palm or tagua palm tree. Tagua is often referred to as vegetable ivory because it looks so much like real ivory.
It is very common to see jewelry and small carvings made from tagua in Ecuador, but the carvings we saw at the gallery were the best we’ve seen so far. There were many different figurines to choose from including blue footed boobies, frigate birds, sea lions and sea horses. Each one was hand carved and painted; they looked very lifelike.
The staff were really helpful, they had a good knowledge of each item, how it was made and where it was from. The prices were higher than most of the other shops in town, a reflection the quality and uniqueness of the merchandise.
I’m happy we visited the Galeria Aymara. I really enjoyed seeing and learning about the interesting items and how they were made. If we ever visit again I think one of the tagua figurines will be coming home with me.