Tortuga Bay Beach: white sand and exotic animals in the Galapagos islands

The peaceful white sand beach of Tortuga Bay bears that name because it is a nesting site for the black sea tortoise. That is the the traditional English name as it was recorded on the old maps of the islands. “Bahía Tortuga” (in Spanish), is a lovely beach 30 minutes by foot from the city of Isidro Ayora Port, Santa Cruz Island, province of Galapagos, Ecuador. To discover more amazing places, how to visit and save them for later, register at:

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Welcome view of Tortuga bay after a volcano-stone path
Welcome view of Tortuga bay after a volcano-stone path

The beach has 2 seasons, the dry or drizzly season from June to December with temperatures between the 18 and 20º Celsius, and the hot and rainy season from January to May, with temperatures between the 24 and 29º Celsius.

The beach is divided into two sectors. In the "Playa Brava" (Brave Beach) sector its main characteristics are peacefulness and white sand, pure and refreshing, that dissolves like talcum in hands and feet of the walkers. There are no commercial activities of any kind, such as the sale of food or souvenir shops, therefore its state of conservation is optimal, under the surveillance of the Galapagos National Park guards. In this first section is not allowed to swim because the sea swell is dangerous.

The second sector is "Playa Mansa" (Meek Beach), with its turquoise waters, clear and calm, in a mangrove area, where swimming, snorkeling or kayaking is allowed. Brown pelicans nest in the mangroves where also marine iguanas, white-finned reef sharks, sea turtles that lay their eggs on the beach, stingrays and jellyfishes find shelter. Some other species are Darwin's finches, cucubes and pigeons.

A small road of 2,500 meters long leads to the beach from the city of Isidro Ayora Port, previous registration check in and check out at the office of the Galapagos National Park. Throughout its route there is abundant vegetation of dry type and predominates a species of cactus unique in the Galapagos. The ecosystem of Tortuga Bay is perfectly preserved.

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