Travellers to the beautiful Galapagos Islands aren’t usually looking for sandy beaches. The rich biodiversity and unique geology of the island makes it a destination for nature-lovers and adventurers. However, during your holiday to the islands you may as well enjoy the gorgeous coast and crystal clear ocean waters. Read on to find some of the best beaches in the Galapagos Islands to visit during your trip. 

Marine environments of the Galapagos Islands

Crawling with some of the most unique species in the world, the Galapagos Islands is a magical destination. This is especially true if you love nature and the outdoors. Across the islands, shield volcanoes, high volcanic mountains, craters and cliffs are typical of the landscape. Along the coast, other than bright blue seas you’ll find secluded coves, rugged igneous rock formations, sandy beaches and mangrove environments.

The Galapagos Islands is therefore a unique destination for those who love the ocean. Snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and swimming can all be enjoyed by visitors. And, you’ll be sharing the beaches and seas here with not only locals and other travellers… Relax for the afternoon alongside sea lions, marine iguanas and incredible bird species such as the blue footed booby. Spend a day at one of the beaches in the Galapagos Islands; you’ll be experiencing something entirely new.

Get ready to take off your shoes, sink your feet into the sand and dip your toes in the water. In this article we share some of our favourite Galapagos Islands beaches.

Isabella beach in the Galapagos Islands

Isabela Island

Beaches in the Galapagos Islands

Puerto Villamil

On the largest and arguably most wildlife-rich island in the archipelago – Isabela Island – Puerto Villamil is a small, laidback, port town. Stretching along its coastline and much further, the beach here is white, sandy and dotted with palm trees. Puerto Villamil is truly a beach-lovers paradise. The great thing about this beach, is that there are plenty of small local cafes, restaurants and hire shops nearby. Grab some snorkelling gear and spend day at Puerto Villamil. See all kinds of animals including sea lions, marine iguanas, sally-lightfoot crabs and much more. Otherwise, why not try a surf class? Whichever option you prefer, Puerto Villamil is an idyllic beach in the Galapagos – one which you certainly shouldn’t miss.

See the end of this blog post for information about blissful, eco-friendly accommodation to complement your stay.

For more information regarding things to do and see on Isabela Island click here. 

iguana at Tortuga Bay Galapagos

Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay​

One of the most famous beaches on the Galapagos Islands is Tortuga Bay. Found on Santa Cruz Island just outside of Puerto Ayora, the beach is visited by tourists from far and wide. Named for the sea turtles which come to lay their eggs, Tortuga Bay makes for a great day trip when in the Galapagos Islands. During a visit here, find marine iguanas bathing in the sun and sea lions relaxing on the white sand. You may even see flamingos during your visit as well as pelicans searching for fish in the crystal clear water.

Tortuga Bay is often visited by those kayaking from Puerto Ayora. The trip is approximately 10 miles each way. As well as this, visitors to the beach also like to take part in snorkelling trips to admire the underwater world. Often ranked amongst some of the best beaches in the world, Tortuga Bay is well worth a visit during your stay.

Gardner Bay

Also named one of the best beaches in the Galapagos Islands and in the world, Gardner Bay is a stunning beach shaded by palm trees. Located on Espanola Island, the beach consists of a far-stretching beach with strikingly white sand and gorgeous blue sea. Directly in front of the beach, there is a small islet which is ideal for snorkelers hoping to spot sea turtles, rays and vibrantly coloured fish. Also on the white sand, see crabs scampering across the surface as well as tiny red lava lizards perching on rocks. One of the best things about Espanola Island is that it sets the scene for an excellent day trip. Sheltered from the eastern shore of Espanola Island, you can bring the kids here for the day and kick back on the sand as they enjoy the calm water.

Pinnacle Rock and beach on the Galapagos Islands

Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island

Playa Dorada

The Galapagos Islands’ iconic Pinnacle Rock can be found and seen from Playa Dorada. Located on Bartolome Island, this otherworldly part of the archipelago features incredible rock formations, dazzling blue waters and plenty of wildlife. Those looking to swim are welcome at the northern beach here, where Green Sea Turtles nest from January to March. Under the water’s surface, you’ll find colourful fish as well as sea lions and if you’re lucky, Galapagos Penguins.

Take some snorkelling gear with you for a heightened experience. Float around Pinnacle Rock where you may even catch a glimpse of spotted eagle rays or black-tipped sharks. Please note that Bartolome Island is uninhabited and this means that you’ll need to find a trip that can take you here. Nevertheless, it’s certainly worth the journey.

Puerto Chino Beach

On beautiful San Cristobal Island you’l find Puerto Chino Beach. A small, secluded and wildlife-packed beach, this one is perfect for those seeking some peace, quiet and relaxation. Following a path for around 20 minutes from a parking lot, guests will stumble upon Puerto Chino Beach, framed by rocks and white sand. There is plenty of space to lay down a towel and take a swim.

Near the beach itself, mangroves create an excellent environment for all kinds of wildlife including finches which will come up close whilst you’re bathing in the sun. In both directions where there are rocky outcrops, sea lions can be seen relaxing throughout the day. Puerto Chino Beach is one of the best beaches in the Galapagos Islands if you’re someone who appreciates seclusion and enjoys mingling with the wildlife (responsibly!).

Red Sand Beach

On Rabida Island (previously known as Jervis Island), visitors to the Galapagos can experience a beach with bright red sand. Alongside the blue-footed boobies, finches and many sea lions here, relax and take photographs of the eery red and rocky landscape. The vibrant colour of the sand comes from a high level of iron in the ashes spewed by surrounding volcano. The corrosion of its red slopes also adds to the deep red scenery. Red Sand Beach is actually the only port which you can access on Rabida Island. With no human population and a kind of uncontaminated beauty that is rare in today’s world, Red Sand Beach is certainly worth the trip if you have time during your stay. Sea lions and large populations of birds as well as endemic plants flourish on Rabida.

Please note that Rabida Island is unpopulated by humans and therefore you will require an organised trip to reach this destination. 

Idyllic Galapagos Islands Accommodation to complement your trip

Your trip to the archipelago deserves the perfect, laidback accommodation. After spending some time of some of the incredible beaches of the Galapagos Islands, head back to your relaxing haven at Chez Manany Ecolodge and admire the beauty of Isabela from your room.

apartment balcon outside

With a variety of rooms to choose from, and located only minutes from the centre of sleepy Puerto Villamil, Chez Manany is the perfect base for a Galapagos Islands holiday. In the town – which you can roll into by bike in only 5 minutes – drop into local seafood restaurants or hire snorkelling gear at one of the local shops.

Chez Manany is proudly eco-friendly and strives to preserve the very beauty of Isabela Island which keeps tourists coming back year after year. Read more about the accommodation’s sustainability policies and initiatives here. 

For more information about Chez Manany, or to book a room today, click here.