We headed to Tortuga Bay in the afternoon after all the planned activities with Galapagos Alternative. It was a nice, free activity that you can take at your own pace. It was also not just another tourist spot. We saw a lot of the locals hang out here!
Overall, the flat terrain is an easy walk, but it is LONG! (Tips for your hike are at the bottom of the post).
We saw a lot of giant cactuses that looked like trees, and discovered that they are the only opuntia cactus species that can grow like that. They hold a lot of water and can grow directly on the volcanic rock. They are the habitat for the cactus finch.
Once you reach the end of the pathway you pour out into a beautiful beach. This portion of the beach is actually protected and is a no swimming section, but we did see several swimmers and surfers.
It was so tempting to stop, but we decided to be good law abiding citizens and headed another 20 minutes down to the cove where you’re allowed to snorkel and swim.
Tortuga Bay is a spot where people have seen white tip reef sharks and occasionally tiger sharks, but when we tried snorkeling, the water was murky and all the fish were chased away from all the activity earlier in the day.
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out along the beach taking photos of marine iguanas and various shore birds. I’m not much of a bird watcher, but it’s funny how going to a different country can make you look at everything with awe and wonder. I even spent a good amount of time capturing some of the birds that we apparently have back in the States. That’s what I get for not knowing my birds. :P
Check out these teeny tiny crabs!
These sand dunes are the highest part of the beach and is where green marine tortoises bury their eggs in the sand.
The brown pelican:
Darwin’s finches. These little guys are responsible for Darwin’s theory of evolution!
Great Blue Heron:
All photos above were taken with a Canon 5D Mark III, 35 mm / 1.4L, and 70-200mm / 2.8L lens.
Tips for your excursion at Tortuga Bay Galapagos Beach:
- Trail length: 2500 m (1.56 miles)
- Hours of Operation – 6AM-6PM
- The entrance is located just on the outskirts of the city and is definitely walkable (we did). If you’re not up for the extra walk, you can take a short cab ride there.
- Must register at the gate, so they can keep track of people entering and leaving.
- Wear sunscreen and bring lots of water (we like to use this collapsible bottle). There isn’t much shade on the way there.
- Go earlier in the day if you want to snorkel. If it’s later, don’t bother taking your snorkeling gear.
- You can even rent kayaks in the cove, but they have no set schedule when they’re there. You either see them or you don’t. Gotta love foreign countries! :D
What’s your favorite thing to do at the beach?