Everyone likes a good beach on their vacation, and the Galapagos Islands are home to many very fine beaches. Some of the best beaches to visit in Galapagos are, as you might expect, only accessible if you take a Galapagos cruise. Yet some may also be accessed from land-based Galapagos options, and some you can even walk to from town! The very best beaches in the Galapagos are those that are both stunning to look at and teeming with wildlife – both in the water for observing while snorkeling, and on the land. While there are a lot of Galapagos beaches that are very special, only a few can be the “best”. Here are our Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders best Galapagos beaches.
One of the best beaches in the Galapagos has to be Bartolome Island beach. This is one of the best beaches to visit in Galapagos, and many of the cruises stop here – and with good reason. The beach boasts a spectacular array of wildlife, as well as being scenically very pleasing. Hiking up to the island’s summit will afford you great views of the beach, and the island in general. One of the factors that makes this beach one of the best Galapagos beaches is the fact that if you are lucky you may get to swim with sea lions here. The playful females and pups will tease you while you are snorkeling, swimming up to your face, and ducking away at the very last moment. This is a once in a lifetime experience for many. Various cruises visit this site but if you are looking for a luxurious experience, we recommend you looking at our Grand Majestic Galapagos cruise itineraries which will offer you a personalized and intimate experience visiting some of the main sites of the islands.
Tortuga Bay must surely be one of the best beaches to visit in Galapagos. It is classically good looking and delivers everything you might expect of a superb beach. With its long stretch of white coral sand, it is set in a natural bay which shelters it nicely. This means that it offers great opportunities for snorkeling off the beach. You might get to see a range of underwater treats, including sea lions and sea turtles. It is an especially good beach to visit during turtle nesting time. The local bird life also enjoys this picturesque beach, and you might get to see pelicans and even flamingos. It is very accessible, and just a half hour walk from the town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
If it is a classic, white sand, tropical beach that you seek, the beach at Gardner Bay on Espanola Island is one you might not want to miss. You can expect to share the beach with a large colony of sea lions, who enjoy lazing around in the sun as much as the people do. Other wildlife you can enjoy from this stunning beach might include Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, Galapagos hawks and mockingbirds. This beach also offers super opportunities for snorkeling, and you can expect to enjoy a very wide array of pretty fish, easily visible, thanks to the crystal-clear waters off this delightful beach. This is without a doubt one of the best beaches in the Galapagos Islands, and many believe it to be the prettiest.
Ever seen a bright red beach? This beach makes our list thanks to its stunning colors. The beach in question is the Red Sand Beach at Rabida Island, another common stopping off point for Galapagos Islands cruises. The red sand makes for the perfect backdrop for some unusual looking photos, either just of the beach itself, or of the amazing wildlife that can be seen here. You will probably see sea lions basking in the sunshine, brown pelicans and blue footed boobies. This is yet another great spot for snorkeling. The lucky may get to see flamingos as well.
Urbina Bay on Isabela Island is not visited by cruise ships that stay in the central islands, but if your boat heads out west further, you might stop there. There is a wide variety of bird life here, including penguins, blue footed boobies, flightless cormorants and pelicans swooping overhead. A walk in the sand here is quite lovely, and taking a swim to cool off may be on the cards. While walking in this area you may get to see land iguanas who nest on this beach. Elsewhere, Galapagos giant tortoises can be spied, though do not get your hopes up – this does not happen on every visit.
Finally, Post Office Bay on Floreana Island makes our list of best beaches to visit in Galapagos, and for different reasons than the others on this list. It is nice enough to look at for sure but does not offer the spectacular scenery of Gardner Bay or Tortuga Bay. It also is not an optimal place for seeing lots of different wildlife. Nor is it really a spot known for great snorkeling. Yet Post Office Bay is not to be missed for another reason entirely. It is home to a bizarre postal system that has been operating for many years. Here you can pop an unstamped postcard or letter into the wooden makeshift postbox and someone else will collect it and deliver it for you. If you have a look through the posted items, you might even be able to return the favor and deliver something for someone else.
Most people do not visit the Galapagos Islands with a view to lazing around on a stunning beach, but it is certainly an added bonus included in most Galapagos cruises. Without a doubt, Galapagos beaches are among the best in the world. We have shared here a list of the best beaches to visit in Galapagos, in our opinion and based on feedback from tourists who have enjoyed our cruises. If you want to visit one of these best beaches in the Galapagos, do contact us, Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders to find out how. If there is a particular beach you want to be sure of visiting then do mention it to us, as not all cruises or land-based options stop at every beach. Whichever of the Galapagos beaches you visit, you can be sure that you will be wowed and amazed by what you see there. Enjoy!