The most famous beach in Galápagos and one of the top 10 beaches in Santa Cruz and of the world. Tortuga Bay is a great beach and the best of all is: entrance is free. The only price to pay is the 45 minute walk but on the bright side is a very nice, 2.5 km full of nature path and the best reward is the amazing white sand and clear water beach at the end.
Once you get to the end of the road, you’ll see what is called “Playa brava” in Tortuga Bay (meaning angry beach) because of its huge waves. This is not the place to take a nice relaxing bath (good place to surf tho) since you’ll always see a red flag advicing is not safe. But don’t worry, the right spot is just few meters away. Walk a little towards the right side of the beach and you’ll get to Playa Mansa (meek beach) where there’s no waves and is a great spot to snorkel if you have your mask or kayak on your own (there’s a renting tent there)
Despite its popularity Tortuga Bay is a very isolated beach with not much people around and no shop at all so as we said above, make sure you have plenty of water, snacks and a hat to keep you safe from the ecuadorian sun.
Tortuga bay is only open until 17h30 so make sure you arrive early enough to enjoy it. In case you don’t want to walk your way through it, there’s a taxi boat service to get you there from the port in Puerto ayora at $20 per way per person.
Las Grietas is a place located in the south of Santa Cruz Island. Is a small water channel between volcanic rocks where you can swim in turquoise water and many colorful fishes. A great place to snorkel or just take a relaxing bath. Las Grietas is like a natural pool and if you are lucky enough you may see some locals jumping from the higher rocks to the water doing some acrobatic tricks.
To get to Las Grietas you have to take a 5 minute boat taxi from Puerto Ayora at $0,80 per ride per person and bring some comfortable shoes because the walk to get there is very rocky (and very nice too). Another way to go to Las Grietas is by taking Bay Tour in Santa Cruz, that includes a visit to this spot among other main highlights from this islands and a snorkeling session. This tour is $45 per person and its 3 hours with a certified guide on a boat, snorkeling session and a visit to Playa de los perros an exclusive beach you can only access by boat.
Charles Darwin research station
Perfect place to get to know more about Galapagos history, its discovery and of course you’ll get to see the famous Lonesome George.
Laguna de las Ninfas (Nymph Lagoon)
A nice lagoon to take a walk on a free afternoon. Very near to Puerto Ayora.
Playa Los Alemanes (German’s beach)
Close to Puerto Ayora, on the way to Darwin research station, Los Alemanes beach is small but charming one. Good place to just relax after a day full of adventure and excursions. Its near Las Grietas too, so keep this in mind when you are planning your daily itinerary.
Take a walk on Puerto Ayora pier
You will walk to this place a lot of time since this is where most of the tours depart, but its worth taking some time on your schedule to spend here, get a coconut while you watch locals play volleyball, have a beer or see fisherman bringing fresh fish you’ll enjoy later on for lunch or dinner.
A 10 minute walk from Charles Darwin research station, a good place to buy fresh fish or eat one nearby on some of the small tents allocated around the market. You can have fun too watching pelicans and sea lions trying to steal fisherman some food and running away afterwards. In case you need to buy some souvenirs and hand made crafts for your family and friends you’ll find that here too.