Galapagos Islands 3 – Marine Iguanas, Huge Craters, Lava Tunnels and Big Turtles

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A new day is begining in the Galapagos Islands. Yesterday, when I arrived to Santa Cruz Island, I was shocked when I saw marine iguanas and sea lions in the city center. When I came back to my hotel I talked with the lady at the reception about the things I had seen. She told me that these were nothing and I had to wait to see the other beautiful things on the islands. She recommened me some special activities to do and to see; such as “Tortuga Bay”, “Los Gemelos”, “Lav Tunnels” and “Big Turtles”.

What to See in Galapagos Islands

Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay is a beach which is almost 1 and half hour walk away from the center of  Puerto Ayora on  Santa Cruz Island. If you decide to go to this one of the most beautiful beaches on the earth, it is a good idea to go there early in the morning. There are two reasons for that: Firstly the weather would be much better to walk in the morning rather than in the middle of the day. Secondly, if you go there in the morning the number of the people on the beach would be less than the rest of the day.

I went there early in the morning. After 15 minutes from starting my walk in the city center, I arrived to the entrance gate of the beach. When you arrive to the gate, you would write your name, your country and the time you enter in a guest agenda. After that you can start your walk to the beach. The distance of the road is approximately 2.5 km. It is easy to walk and it is covered with trees. After 1 hour you would reach the white beach. Although the colour of the sand would be the first thing that take your attention, you would turn your face to the marine iguanas.

Tortuga Bay Walk (culinistanbul)

Tortuga Bay Walk (culinistanbul)

Marine Iguanas (culinistanbul)

Marine Iguana – Tortuga Bay (culinistanbul)

I have to say that being on beach with so many marine iguanas is a very strange experience. I had never seen a view like that before. Wild life and the humans are sharing the same area peacefully.

Marine Iguana - Tortuga Bay (culinistanbul)

Marine Iguana – Tortuga Bay (culinistanbul)

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Marine Iguana – Tortuga Bay (culinistanbul)

The beach is totally white, and the sand is so soft. It is very easy to walk on the beach. So you do not need to wear your flip flops while you are walking on it. And the ocean. Although it has a blue and perfect colour, it is a little bit wavy. But it does not make you to stop and enjoy the view. There is one thing you should know about here. Due to the waves, the authorities do not recommend you to swim in the area. At the end of the beach there is a small bay where you can swim.

This small bay is a good place to swim. The colour of the water is not pure blue, but it is clean enough to swim. It is a very unbelievable experience to swim with marine iguanas.

Tortuga Bay - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Tortuga Bay – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Tortuga Bay - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Tortuga Bay – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Half day trip to Tortuga Bay is enough to enjoy the area. Do not forget to bring your sun cream and long-sleeved dress to protect yourself agains the lights.

Los Gemelos

After having a half day in Tortuga Bay, you can change your destination and go to the inner parts of the island to explore. Los Gemelos, Lava Tunnels and Big Turtles can be your acitivities in the second part of the day. You can visit all of them by taxi. The taxi is 40 $. You can share it someone else. Because, this price is the price of the taxi, the number of the people is not important for taxis.

Los Gemelos - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Los Gemelos – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

After taking a taxi from the center of Puerto Ayora, it takes 20 minutes to reach to “Los Gemelos”. The are two craters, one is on the right hand side of the road, and one on the left hand side. Both of them are very huge and deep craters. They are covered with trees and green flora. These craters are like open air museums, so that you do not need pay anything to see them.

Los Gemelos - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Los Gemelos – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Los Gemelos - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Los Gemelos – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Lava Tunnels & Big Turtles

Lava Tunnels

After visiting the Los Gemelos craters, you can go tohe Lava Tunnels. They are only 15 minutes drive away from the craters. There are two different Lava Tunnels in the same area. You can choose the one which you want. When you arrive to the Lava Tunnels you see stairs which go down to the inside of the tunnels.

Lava Tunnels - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Lava Tunnels – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

The tunnels are 8 meter high and 600 meter long. When you walk throughout the tunnels you would see some rocks on your way. Because of them in the oem parts of the tunnels you would need to crawl. The tunnels are enlightened with lights. As a result of that you can easily see every corner of the tunnels. You can understand the power of the lava when you walk in the tunnels. The tour takes approximately 20 minutes. At the end of the tunnel you would see the stairs. By climbing these stairs you reach the real world. There is no entrance fee for the lava tunnels.

Lava Tunnels - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Lava Tunnels – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Big Turtles

“Big Turtles” is the last activity of the day, after seeing Tortuga Bay, Los Gemolos and Lava Tunnels. Big Turtles are living in big parks. These parks are just 10 minutes far away from the lava tunnels by car.

The entrance fee of the parks are around 3 $.  When you pay it you can have a right to enter the park. The turtles are not in the buildings. As a result of that they can be any where in the park. So, you have to walk to find them.

Turtles - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Turtles – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Turtles - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Turtles – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Turtles - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Turtles – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

When you see a turtle at first, you would be shocked with its size. They are really big. And believe me I had never seen such a big turtle before this trip. When you see them you should not stay too close to them. It may be dangerous. However, this does not mean that you can not have photo with them. When you get closer to them, you can understand how big they are, Btw, these turtles can live more than 100 years. At the end of your visit, you come to a small museum in the park. In the museum you can see turtles’ big shells and you can “wear” them. It is a good chance to understand how it is hard to carry these shells throughout your life 🙂

Turtles - Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

Turtles – Galapagos Islands (culinistanbul)

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