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