Tortuga Bay

In terms of sheer white-sand beauty, Tortuga Bay beach is the rival of any in South America. You’ll find it at the end of a 2.5km paved trail southwest of Puerto Ayora. In addition to swimming (a spit of land provides protection from the strong and dangerous currents on the exposed side), surfing or just sunbathing, you can see sharks, marine iguanas, pelicans and the occasional flamingo. We were lucky enough to see a lot of marine iguanas, just chilling in the sand.

It’s about a half-hour walk from the start of the path – often used by local runners – where you must sign in between 6am and 5pm. It’s absolutely worth it – I just loved the calmness of walking it. If you walk the length of Tortuga Bay, on the backside you’ll reach Playa Mansa, a picturesque lagoon lined with mangroves. Here you can spot marine iguanas, brown pelicans and blue herons, among other species. However, I would say this is the only place you can swim and feel like you’re in paradise. I truly recommend it!

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