Tortuga Bay

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Panoramic of the beach of Tortuga Bay.

Tortuga Bay is located on the Santa Cruz Island, about a 20-minute water-taxi ride from the main water taxi dock in Puerto Ayora.[1][2] There is also a walking path, which is 1.55 miles (2,490 m) and is open from six in the morning to six in the evening. Visitors must sign in and out at the start of the path with the Galapagos Park Service office. Tortuga Bay has a gigantic, perfectly preserved beach that is forbidden to swimmers and is preserved for the wildlife where many marine iguanas, galapagos crabs and birds are seen dotted along the volcanic rocks. There is a separate cove where you can swim where it is common to view white tip reef sharks[3] swimming in groups and on occasion tiger sharks [4]

There is always a large variety of small fish, birds, including the brown pelican and gigantic galápagos tortoise. The Galápagos Islands were discovered in 1535, but first appeared on the maps, of Gerardus Mercator and Abraham Ortelius, in about 1570.[5] The islands were named "Insulae de los Galopegos" (Islands of the Tortoises) in reference to the giant tortoises found there.[6][7][nb 1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The first navigation chart showing the individual islands was drawn up by the pirate Ambrose Cowley in 1684. He named them after fellow pirates or English noblemen. More recently, the Ecuadorian government gave most of the islands Spanish names. While the Spanish names are official, many researchers continue to use the older English names, particularly as those were the names used when Darwin visited. This article uses the Spanish island names.


  1. ^ Brown, Louise (2015-07-30). "Visit the Galapagos Islands, but tread lightly on 'nature's construction site'". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 2015-10-29. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
  2. ^ On Santa Cruz, the walkable downtown area of Puerto Ayora is a small strip of hotels, restaurants, tour companies and gift shops at Tortuga Bay , Santa Cruz Island, Puerto Ayora Galapagos
  3. ^ Compagno, L.J.V. (1984). Sharks of the World: An Annotated and Illustrated Catalogue of Shark Species Known to Date. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization. pp. 535–538. ISBN 92-5-101384-5.
  4. ^ Tortuga Bay Puerto Ayora Galapagos Islands,
  5. ^ Stewart, P.D. (2006). Galápagos: the islands that changed the world. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-300-12230-5.
  6. ^ Pritchard 1996, p. 17
  7. ^ Jackson, Michael Hume (1993). Galápagos, a natural history. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. p. 1. ISBN 1-895176-07-7.