TORTUGA BAY

hung with sea li­ons, lizards and other rare wildlife. Watch out, At­ten­bor­ough…

Cosmopolitan (UK) - - Lust - Travel edi­tor AMANDA STATHAM

Where on earth? Tortuga Bay, a re­mote beach (it’s a 25-minute walk from the near­est road via a wooden board­walk) on Santa Cruz

Is­land in the super-re­mote Galá­pa­gos Is­lands. You know, the ar­chi­pel­ago 1,000km off the coast of Ecuador where Charles Dar­win came up with his the­ory of evo­lu­tion, where David At­ten­bor­ough’s al­ways film­ing wildlife and your mates talked about vis­it­ing on Gap Yah but never quite made it? OK… but why this beach?

The sand is so white it looks fake (but isn’t) and there are no beach bars or stalls sell­ing hol­i­day tat. But the real draw is the wildlife: you’ll see marine igua­nas (the Galá­pa­gos is the only place in the world these lizards live – oh, and they have two penises, weird but true), the odd sea lion and nest­ing blue-footed boo­bies (it’s a bird, stop snig­ger­ing).

Top spot: The first cres­cent of sand at the end of the board­walk is vast, wild and a fave spot for surfers (yep, de­spite the sharks). Head in­stead to the sec­ond cres­cent of sand, which is qui­eter with calmer sea – great for snorkelling with tur­tles.

Can I stay? You can’t stay at the beach, but Ho­tel Albe­marle is prob­a­bly the best on the is­land (there aren’t many to choose from, so don’t get too ex­cited). It over­looks a white-sand beach in Puerto Vil­lamil, a small fish­ing vil­lage and the is­land’s only proper set­tle­ment, and has en­suite rooms and a pool – what more do you need? Or, do an ‘18-to-35 Con­tiki Is­land Hop­per’ trip, and sleep on the beau­ti­ful Is­abela Is­land, a two-hour speed­boat ride away.

“Look lively, Nigel, the Beeb are here”

The ‘Never-go­inghome’ cruise? Count us very much in

Tortuga Bay’s a nat­u­ral beauty. Just like us…

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