World TravelSouth AmericaDiscover Tortuga Bay - An Offbeat Travel Destination of...

Discover Tortuga Bay – An Offbeat Travel Destination of Galapagos


Mostly when we think of visiting any island than sun-kissed beaches, sunbathing under huts, sipping a cocktail by sitting on the beachfront and cosy vibrant nightlife this is all you expect. But at Galapagos, beach scenes are not like that, they are created with volcanic eruptions and loaded with amazing wildlife of Ecuador. One of the most well-known beaches of Galapagos is Tortuga Bay which is highly beautiful and identified for its Black Sea Turtles.

Quite Amazed right? So, Let’s discover more about Tortuga Bay –

An Overview of Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay is located near Santa Cruz Island. For reaching this destination you have to start from the 2.5km trail which leads to the southwest of Puerto Ayora, Galapagos. The magnificent beach is identified for the Black Sea Turtles residing here and thus this bay is named after these Turtles. When you start strolling on the long and beautiful stretch of the coastal white sandy beach of this bay, will give you an amazing relaxing experience.

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Tortuga Bay Galapagos / Image Credit:

Tortuga Bay has a massive and perfectly preserved beach which has conserved for the wildlife where many marine iguanas, Galapagos crabs and birds are seen dotted along the volcanic rocks. Tortuga Bay is a perfect place to kick back and enjoy the normal forms of beach activities but surrounded by the fascinating wildlife of the Galapagos.

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Take a look at everything you need to know about Tortuga Bay –

Wander Around the Beautiful Beaches of Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay beach is a pristine natural site at Galapagos which is divided into portions one is the Playa Brava Beach, and the Playa Mansa Beach. After covering the end of the trail which you have started from southwest of Puerto Ayora, you will first enter Playa Brava which has a white sandy coastline. Here the water flow is very strong so swimming is not recommended here because it can be dangerous but these water currents are best suited for surfers. So enjoy surfing!!

Playa Brava Beach Tortuga Bay / Image Credit:

After that, you directly head towards Playa Mansa Beach, which is a preserved beach. Here you can see abundant Galagapos wildlife. It is also perfect for ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Tourists can find a self-guided tourist trail through a beautiful Prickly Pear Cactus forest, and loads of interesting birds and animals around the mangroves. This site is a tranquil lagoon with calm protected waters at the far end of the bay.

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Admire the Wildlife at Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay is not only renowned for its beautiful beachline but also popular for sheltering a wide variety of wildlife species on the Galapagos Islands. Also, biodiversity is interesting in this area. The habitat of the Tortuga Bay is a mixture of mangroves, historical lava flows, palo santo forest, Opuntia prickly pear cactus and shrubs of the salt brush.

Marine Iguanas at Tortuga Bay / Image Credit:

Marine Iguanas, as well as the brightly coloured Sally Lightfoot crab, are found here. Brown pelicans can be found here, too, and sea turtles nest on the beach in the white sand. Sometimes you can see flamingos in the lagoon that sits behind the beach.

The colour contrasts of Tortuga bay are truly astonishing. Jet black lava combines pure white sand, lush green vegetation and turquoise waters to form a magnificent palette of contrasting shades.

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Other Activities to do at Tortuga Bay

If you want to appreciate your life as well as nature by distancing yourself from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Tortuga Bay is a perfect destination for unwinding. Apart from this, you can enjoy sunbathing, scuba diving and snorkelling to discover abundant marine life and coral reefs or simply you can spend your time wandering across the shore.

Black Sea Turtle at Tortuga bay / Image Credit:

1. Snorkelling: If you snorkel you may get to see a variety of colourful tropical fish, as well as white-tip reef sharks or maybe a tiger shark.

2. Swimming: If you are visiting the Tortuga Bay for swimming purpose then you may get disappointed as the main beach of Tortuga Bay does not allow swimmers to swim directly – it is prohibited because of strong waves. But there are separate coves created nearby where you can enjoy swimming

3. Bird Watching: Tortuga Bay is a paradise for birds lovers and especially photography freaks who love capturing flying creatures. As there are a number of birds that live here. You can witness Pelicans and Finches or sometimes can observe beautiful pink Flamingos in the salt lagoon which stays on the mangroves.

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Brown Pelicans at Tortuga Bay Beach / Image Credit:

4. Kayaking can be enjoyed here.

When to Plan Your Trip at Tortuga Bay

The weather is warmer between December and May, but sometimes in the afternoon, you can expect some rain showers. Temperatures are cooler from June to November and might be more gloomy, but they might be more stable. However, every time the year is perfect, because it is typically warm, to go to Tortuga Bay. All year-round, the fauna is almost the same.

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Essential Tips:

  • You have to hire a water taxi from Puerto Ayora to reach and return back to Tortuga Bay, this will cost you around 10 – 15 US $.
  • The beach is not open at all hours of the day or night. Visitor site is open from 6 am to 6 pm.
  • This bay beach is beautiful but lacks useful amenities. There are no beach umbrellas or chairs for rent so take your sitting mat and umbrellas with you.
  • For full-day, equipped yourself with sufficient food and water facility because once you start the walking trail you won’t find shops or cafes.
  • Tortuga Bay beach does not have bathrooms or changing facilities.

Concluding here, but Tortuga Bay is really a stunning destination to spend weekend getaway from the Galapagos, Ecuador. If you are enjoying on the beaches the Galapagos Island then discovering Tortuga Bay is must for you and highly recommended. Tortuga Bay is not just a breathtaking beach, it’s also an incredible opportunity to see Galapagos wildlife and enjoy cool activities.

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