Tortuga Bay’s welcoming sun-drenched beach is home to sea lions, marine iguanas, and sea turtles. It is a great place to relax, take a surf lesson, and kayak through the hidden coves of the tropics.
The trail to Tortuga Bay starts at the south end of Puerto Ayora in the island of Santa Cruz- follow the path for a mile and a half through Palo Santo trees and cactus plants until it opens up to the white-sand beach and turquoise waters.
Tortuga Bay is split into two parts-Playa Brava and Playa Mansa. The waters off of Playa Brava have strong currents and swimming isn’t allowed. While this is the case, surfing is allowed- surfers and their instructors flock to the beach early in the morning to catch the waves before the mid-day sun sets in.
Playa Mansa is a peaceful lagoon at the far end of the bay. Its waters are shielded from the currents, making it a fun spot to swim and kayak. Surrounded by red mangroves; marine iguanas and flamingos are often spotted by land and by sea. The volcanic shores of the bay are home to a large marine iguana colony where all ages of iguanas warm themselves on the sand unbothered by the humans in their midst.
Renting a kayak by the hour is the best way to see rays and sea turtles while skirting the outcrops of the coast. Stand Up Paddleboarding is another fun way to explore the bay.