Galapagos: Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay is a spectacular wide sand beach that can be reached on a 5km hike from Puerto Aroyo on Santa Cruz. Black lava rocks contrast nicely with the sparkling white sand and waves. Throw in wildlife like iguanas, birds, crabs, and you got a near-paradise. As the name implies, green turtles breed here in the coastal scrub.

Galapagos: Marine iguanas at Punta Estrada on Santa Cruz

Marine iguanas are quintessential Galapagos animals, dragon-looking and prehistoric. They are cold blooded and feed on algae, but after their body temperature drops in the cold ocean water, they come out on the black lava rocks on the shore and sun themselves to heat up. They blend in almost perfectly with the landscape. To the point where I almost stepped on them.