For our second day of adventuring around Puerto Ayora and Isla Santa Cruz we decided to head to Tortuga Bay in the morning and El Chato tortoise reserve in the afternoon.
Tortuga Bay is a picturesque white sand, turquoise blue water beach known for the tiny reef sharks in it’s shallows, the marine iguanas that laze about in the sun and the occasional tortoises that can be spotted on the shores.
To get to Tortuga Bay we followed a 2.5km paved path from the edge of town. The path is surrounded by plenty of bushland, cacti and as always, lizards.
N.B. Try and do this as early in the morning as possible to escape the crowds, and the heat! Majority of this path is in the sun and it is a killer walking back in the middle of the day!
Upon arriving at the beach we both needed to get in the water ASAP. We turned right and headed up the beach towards a small pool with a few people snorkelling. We planned for a quick dip before setting off to try and find some animals…. However little did we know ‘finding’ the animals would not be necessary.
Right there on the edge of the water, basking in the sun were multiple Marine Iguanas! They were so relaxed and docile, slowly wandering about and then lying down again to soak up more energy from the sun. It was awesome! And to top it off as I was checking out the iguanas Sean spotted a baby reef shark in the pool, darting about after tiny fish.
After spending a good while admiring these dinosaur-like lizards and getting plenty of photos we headed onwards to the lagoon, located just past the mangroves.
Upon reaching the lagoon we came to a tiny bay with a couple of bright red crabs on the shore.. As I was taking a photo of the crabs, a group of 4 rays swum into the shallows right up behind me! Sean and I were beyond speechless. More wildlife!
We’d been here less than 2 days and had already seen more animals than we could’ve hoped for!
We headed back to town after a quick swim in the lagoon. It was getting towards lunch time and just kept getting hotter and hotter.
We bought a big slice of watermelon for $1 and a packet of banana chips and headed back to the hostel. We got lunch before heading in to EL Chato Reserve to see the gigantic Galapagos tortoises!
G'day I'm Bec
I'm an Aussie who loves travelling, hiking, trail running and pretty much any activity you can do outdoors.
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