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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH I HAVE EVER SEEN!

I've travelled to a few places and have seen many beaches that are beautiful, but Tortuga Bay was in all honesty, so far the most beautiful beach that Tom and I have ever seen...and he's  also travelled all over Europe in his younger days, so he has more beaches to compare Tortuga Bay with.  Tortuga Bay is part of the National Park system so when you arrive  you have to register with the park attendant. They require your passport number, name, citizenship and your arrival time.  You are also required to sign out.

From our accommodations,Tortuga Bay was about a 15-20- minute walk to the park's office.   There are washroom facilities at the office and they are the only ones available. Ice-cream is also sold (can't remember if water was sold) but that's it.  From there you walk along a 2.5 km trail.  Some of it was uphill, but once you passed that point, it was a relatively easy hike. We saw young families pushing baby strollers along the path and the occasional surfer. It was quite hot so sunscreen and water is highly recommended.

At various points along the pathway information was posted about the landscape and animals. We learned that the cacti species play an important role in the ecosystem.  The cacti provide food for iguanas and the tortoises.  We also learned that the height and shape of the cacti also varies depending on the species and the habitat (i.e.the Cactus finches).

As we continued our walk, and when we were able to see Playa Brava in the distance, it looked so stunning and to see such a different landscape against the shrubbery and cacti that we now walking on; for me it was mind-boggling.  Then, just before entering the beach of Playa Brava, we saw a sign advising us that turtles were nesting.  I wondered if we would see any tortoises, as I had seen this phenomena in Costa Rica (we didn't)

As we walked along Playa Brava we saw our first marine iguanas. So prehistoric looking! I cannot tell you what it felt like to see these creatures walking freely on this beach; knowing that they had been on this earth longer than us humans. We knew that this was <b>their</b> beach, we were the guests.  As we watched them roaming along their beach, it did make me wonder if the human race would be able to survive as long as they have? Unfortunately I think not, and we weren't the only ones that thought that way.  We followed the coastline towards our immediate left and saw a cove of lava rocks dividing the beach into another section.  Amongst the rocks were marine iguanas sunning. Upon closer observation we noticed their were more marine iguanas amongst the rocks than we first thought because mother nature had provided the iguanas with dark grey colouring so that they blended perfectly into the lava rock landscape  We then turned around and slowly made our way to Playa Mansa where people were kayaking and snorkelling. The water was shallow and the sand fine as sugar.  For the size of Tortuga Bay, it was realitively empty, which only enhanced it's beauty.  

In all honestly, I'm really at a loss for words to describe this experience to you. I hope the pictures and video give you a sense of what Tom and were feeling.

MAP OF TORTUGA BAY

MAP OF TORTUGA BAY


Tortuga Bay walkway

Tortuga Bay walkway


The highest cacti that Tom has ever seen (me too)

The highest cacti that Tom has ever seen (me too)


Posted information - we learned a lot

Posted information - we learned a lot


Taking a break

Taking a break


I loved the bark on this cactus

I loved the bark on this cactus


Getting closer to the beach

Getting closer to the beach


A GLIMPSE OF WHAT'S UP NEXT....BEAUTIFUL!

A GLIMPSE OF WHAT'S UP NEXT....BEAUTIFUL!


STRONG UNDERTOW

STRONG UNDERTOW


Turtles breeding

Turtles breeding


Red flag = strong undertow

Red flag = strong undertow


Guess what this is..bet you can't?

Guess what this is..bet you can't?


Marine Iguana

Marine Iguana


Sand like sugar

Sand like sugar


Like having a beach to ourselves

Like having a beach to ourselves


off he goes...

off he goes...


Swimming in the water

Swimming in the water


Off they go.....

Off they go.....


A different landscape approaching

A different landscape approaching


A group of marine iguanas amongst the vegetation

A group of marine iguanas amongst the vegetation


Cacti at Tortuga Bay

Cacti at Tortuga Bay


Blending right in

Blending right in


Hey....

Hey....


Barren looking but full of life

Barren looking but full of life


Rocky landscape with cacti

Rocky landscape with cacti


Rocky shoreline

Rocky shoreline


Just hanging' around

Just hanging' around


The differing landscape at Tortuga Bay

The differing landscape at Tortuga Bay


Marine iguanas offered a perfect camofauge

Marine iguanas offered a perfect camofauge


Water and rock

Water and rock


Shoreline before the lagoon

Shoreline before the lagoon


Wow!

Wow!


Mangrove at Tortuga Bay

Mangrove at Tortuga Bay


Tom at Tortuga Bay

Tom at Tortuga Bay


Heron sighting at Tortuga Bay

Heron sighting at Tortuga Bay


Mangrove closer up

Mangrove closer up


Shoreline at Tortuga

Shoreline at Tortuga


Marine Iguanas

Marine Iguanas


Pelican ...boy they're big

Pelican ...boy they're big


Pelican close-up

Pelican close-up

Posted by Rhondalee 17:00 Archived in Ecuador

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