Tortuga Bay Independently

Tortuga Bay was our first introduction to the Galapagos, and what an introduction it was! We walked along the scorching but scenic trail, watching lizards dart out of our way, and spotting a range of Darwin’s finches.


Tortuga Bay is just one of many independent activities to do on Santa Cruz. For the rest, click here.


Darwin's finch on a branch

One of Darwin’s finches on the trail


After around 20 minutes, we reached the first beach. Here, we saw groups of marine iguanas relaxing in the sun, massive pelicans diving into the waters, and colourful crabs scurrying across the rocks.


Marine iguanas on beach with people in Tortuga Bay

Marine iguanas on the beach


Swimming is prohibited here due to strong waves, so we continued on to the second beach, where we relaxed on the beautiful white powder sand and swam in the warm Pacific ocean. Then, out of nowhere, a sea lion appeared on the beach and raced into the water next to us, where he rolled in the surf, oblivious to the swimmers around him.


Tortuga Bay in Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Tortuga Bay


The bay is accessible via a 3km walk from the town of Puerto Ayuro on Santa Cruz island. Turn right at the jetty and walk along the water to the edge of the town to enter the trail. Be sure to bring water with you for the walk, as it is baking hot.


A pelican diving for fish

A pelican diving for fish


Entrance is completely free, and you just have to sign in and out at the start of the trail (the registration desk is your last chance to buy drinks and ice cream). If you want to snorkel then be sure to rent gear before you leave the town (this shouldn’t cost more than four or five dollars).


Crab on rock at Tortuga Bay

A colourful crab on the beach

Looking for more independent activities to do on Santa Cruz? Click here.

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