Bahía Tortuga or Tortuga Bay as the locals call it all the time, is an incredible beach that is located 2.5 km from Baltra Avenue. This beach is divided into two inlets: Playa Brava and Playa Mansa. It bears that name because it is a sea turtle nesting site.
It is very important to mention that all visitors must register their entrance to the area in the control booth located at the beginning of the path that will take them to the beach. The hours in which this visiting site can be visited is from 08:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. Likewise, keep in mind that there are no sanitary services on the beach, they can only be found in the aforementioned control booth.
To get to any of the 2 inlets, you must walk a path of approximately 2.5 km away. Along this trail you can find vegetation from the lowest part of the transition zone, as well as from the dry zone and the coastal zone. In the same way, along the trail you will see a wide variety of finches and lava lizards.
In the middle of the trail you will find a small hut where you can rest and recharge your batteries to continue your walk. After this, you will begin to hear the sound of the waves of this beautiful beach, and when you least expect it you will be barefoot between the sand and the ocean.
The first beach called "Angry Beach" is ideal for surfing. It should be emphasized that great care must be taken in this area, since if there is no knowledge or experience swimming, there are small eddies and strong currents that could lead you dangerously away from the shore. At the entrance of this beach they usually put small colored flags (for example red = danger) to notify people of the level of aggressiveness of the waves, since there is no lifeguard.
Throughout this whole beach you will see a great variety of animals, such as small ground finches, cactus finches, Maria canaries, lava gulls, marine iguanas and occasionally one or two Galapagos fur seals. It is very important that you know that it is completely forbidden to climb the sandy areas high (dunes) where there is vegetation, since there is a plant endemic to the Galapagos that helps stabilize these areas. The predominant endemic plant in the dunes has the name "Nolana galapagensis".
Crossing the rough beach, you advance towards a small species of lagoon, which is ideal for snorkeling and seeing marine iguanas in and out of the sea sunbathing. As a reminder, always keep your 2m distance from the animals you see on this site.
If you keep going, after the small lagoon, you will see more marine iguanas resting and sunbathing on the sand. After this, let's look at a small path that takes you to the well-known «calm beach«. Normally people who want a quieter place usually walk the entire beach to get to this area.
This area is ideal for snorkeling and seeing a diverse marine fauna, from small crabs to sea turtles. Also, on this site you can find a kayak rental service, which are ideal for getting to incredible areas of the beach faster.
This beach also has some trails with informative signs about the area. These trails lead to areas with incredible landscapes where you can see both flora and diverse fauna of the Galapagos.
Remember that this beach has no garbage cans (like almost no tourist site on the islands) so you should always take all your waste back to town. Also, do not forget to always carry your bottle of water, food, sunscreen, towels, and everything you need (there is no business in this tourist site) to spend an excellent day at the beach.
If you want to know more about the tourist sites that you can visit in Galapagos, visit: What can you do in the Galapagos Islands?
Maytenus Galapagos is a hostel for families who want to discover Galapagos.
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