Galapagos beaches are located on the Galapagos Islands, a group of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galapagos Province of Ecuador, the Galapagos National Park, and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The principal language is Spanish.
Galapagos Islands Beaches
According to Sucheta Rawal, “Turquoise blue water unadulterated by pollutants, white sand that has barely been walked on, and not a soul as far as you can see-that is what a typical beach at the Galapagos is like. Expect no beach umbrellas or fizzy drinks here, but you will need to share the beach with inhabitant sea lions, pelicans, penguins, and sometimes even sharks. Many locations are great for beach snorkeling as well.”
The best Galapagos beaches are:
Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz
Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz
Puerto Chino on San Cristobal
Puerto Villamil on Isabela
Post Office Bay on Floreana
Gardner Bay Beach on Espanola
Red Beach on Rabida
Places to Stay in the Galapagos
Only four Galapagos Islands are inhabited by humans: Santa Cruz, Isabela, San Cristobal, and Floreana. Santa Cruz is the most developed, so that’s where the majority of hotels and resorts are located.
Galapagos Island Cruises
Visitors aren’t allowed on most of the Galapagos Islands without a licensed guide. As a result – and because it’s a fun and convenient way to see more of the Galapagos – many people book a cruise. Galapagos National Park restricts boats to a maximum of 100 passengers, so you won’t see any giant cruise ships here. Even then, most cruises are small with an average of 24 passengers.
In general, the larger cruise ships are more luxurious and offer more amenities while the smaller cruise ships can cover more of the area and get you closer to the exotic flora and fauna of the islands.
Silversea Galápagos carries up to 100 passengers.
Galapagos Legend carries up to 100 passengers.
National Geographic Endeavor II carries up to 96 passengers.
Celebrity Xpedition carries up to 92 passengers.
Galápagos Santa Cruz carries up to 90 passengers.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Eclipse carries up to 48 passengers, and has received ecotourism awards from Rainforest Alliance and cruise awards from Condé Nast Traveller.
National Geographic Islander carries up to 48 passengers.
Mary Anne carries up to 24 passengers.
Ocean Spray carries up to 16 passengers.
Galapagos Sea Star Journey carries up to 16 passengers.
Galapagos Island Resorts
The top 4 Galapagos Islands resorts are:
- Finch Bay Eco Hotel on Santa Cruz. It was the winner of the 2016 World Travel Award for World’s Leading Green Hotel and 2012 – 2016 Winner for South America’s Leading Green Hotel.
- Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel on Santa Cruz is a 2016 Traveler’s Choice Hotel.
- Angermeyer Waterfront Inn on Santa Cruz is a 2016 Traveler’s Choice Hotel.
- Iguana Crossing on Santa Cruz is a 2016 Traveler’s Choice Hotel.
Black Sheep Inn Ecuador
I can’t write an article about the Galapagos without mentioning my cousin, Andres, and his wife’s, Michelle, eco-lodge, The Black Sheep Inn, in Cotopaxi, Ecuador. I highly recommend a stay there if you have time before or after your trip to the Galapagos Islands.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin