Tortuga Bay & Las Grietas

Since it was our last day in the Galapagos, we decided it should be a relaxing one.  So, after a good night’s sleep and leisurely breakfast we discussed options for the day.  Maritza previously suggested two short hikes: the first to a secluded, beautiful beach called Tortuga Bay, and the second to a small canyon popular for swimming and cliff jumping, known as Las Grietas.  We heeded her advice and set out for the day.

Path to Tortuga Bay

First on the agenda was Tortuga Bay, located at the end of a long brick pathway which begins on the opposite side of Puerto Ayora from La Casa de Judy.  It was a short walk to the trailhead, which is located at the top of a large embankment on the outskirts of town.  Beachgoers must check in at the Park Service guard shack before trekking along the brick pathway.  There is no fee; this is so they can control access in order to preserve the habitat for marine iguanas, galapagos crabs and an assortment of birds.

We were not let down by the scenery one bit, it truly was a beautiful spot.  Swimming is only allowed for the wildlife, though.

Fortunately, there is also a lagoon just beyond the end of the beach, with calm, warm water for swimming.  We lounged and swam there for a while alongside a few dozen other people.  There was a small hut for renting snorkeling gear, kayaks and for buying snacks, but we were beyond content just relaxing.

Afterwards we returned to town for lunch.  This time we tried a restaurant in the center of town which didn’t feel like a tourist attraction.  Lunches consisting of chicken or fish with rice and a drink was only $4/person and did not disappoint!

In the afternoon we boarded a water taxi to the Las Grietas trailhead.  The trail led us past secluded homes, hotels and another swimming area.  It was roughly a mile long hike.

The trail to Las Grietas skirted around a bog with pink sulfery water.  It didn’t smell great but was a fun surprise.

Las Grietas was a really cool spot, complete with a little dock to jump off of.  There were plenty of people; a mix of tourists and locals, enjoying the dock and swimming through the canyon.  At the entrance to the canyon, there were Park rangers who required us to write our name on a list.  We hadn’t brought our passports with us (and don’t know our passport numbers by heart) so fortunately they let us in even though we couldn’t fill in that information.

We highly recommend both of these as fun half-day activities.

We capped off our final day in the Galapagos with some large Pilseners on the rooftop deck while watching the sun go down, and one last venture into town for dinner.  We feel so fortunate to have been able to honeymoon in such an amazing place.  This was a trip we certainly will never forget; hopefully some day we can return!

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