Tortuga Bay is located to the southwest of Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. Its name means turtle, since it is the favorite place for sea turtles to lay their eggs. The beautiful while sand beach is considered by many the most beautiful in the Galápagos Archipelago.
The beach is reached via a marked and cobbled two kilometer-path that starts at the west end of Charles Binford Street; at the beginning of the path guests must sign in and out at the National Park control point – it is open from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM daily. There is excellent bird-watching along the path, with plenty of Darwin’s Finches and other sea birds.
There are two beaches at Tortuga Bay: “Playa Brava”, aptly named for its persistent swells, ideal for surfing; and “Playa Mansa”, one kilometer further along the beach, a mellow cove, protected by a natural basalt barrier. Generally conditions here are suitable for snorkeling year-round. It’s also a good place for swimming and kayaking. Beware of limited natural shade and the glare of the sun on the white sand.