Even though it was created as an international scientific research station and not a visitor site, it has become into one of the most visited spots in the Galapagos archipelago. Located just outside of Puerto Ayora, it is famous for its dedicated work to preserve and breed in captivity the world famous Galapagos giant tortoises and put them back on their island homes once they reach the proper age. These fascinating creatures can live approximately 150 years.
Overall, this is an amazing site to see the Galapagos through Charles Darwin´s eyes and learn more about endemic flora and fauna.
This visitor site is a beautiful, fine white-sand beach that can be reached by panga or walking from Puerto Ayora. The estimated time of the walk is about an hour (2.5 km from Baltra Avenue). The name Tortuga Bay was given to that spot because it is a nesting site for the black turtles.
Las Grietas is literally translated “the cracks”. The crystalline and refreshing water enters and forms a natural swimming pool. This spot is a popular place to swim for locals and visitors.
Inside the research station there is an interpretation center with self-explanatory wall panels about the climate, geology, natural history and conservation of the Galapagos Islands. After that we can visit giant tortoises in corrals, ranging from juveniles to adults and also see land iguanas in simulated habitats.
In Tortuga Bay, we can spot marine iguanas, American oystercatcher, sandpipers, etc. Beyond there is a quiet, protected lagoon surrounded by mangroves. Nearby on the rocky points marine iguanas can be observed.
After our walk, we will swim for a while in the gentle waters of the bay.
You can swim peacefully and if you are looking for some adrenaline you can also jump from a wooden platform.
“It seems like we went to so many beautiful places and saw so many animals in just a few hours. Worth doing it, thanks Andando Tours. “– Roberta. Toronto, Canada.