Garrapatero Beach is a favorite beach destination among Galápagos locals and tourists alike thanks to the open, sandy beach and exceptional variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife along with diverse flora.
From the parking lot, a short quarter-mile hike along a scenic cobblestone path leads to the beach with its expansive views. From the start of the hike you are greeted with cactus taller than 20 feet, while near the beach you will find the diverse flora including poison apple trees and mangroves. The flora diversity is equally matched by the broad range of marine life (reef and pelagic fish, sea turtles, rays, Sally lightfoot crabs and more) as well as unique terrestrial life (blue-footed boobies, flamingos, frigate birds, marine iguanas, pelicans, and many other bird species). The flamingos are a rare find, even on the Galápagos, and they can be found at a small lagoon just a short walk from the beach.
Garrapatero Beacha provides a great swimming and snorkeling destination since it is a well-protected, crescent-shape bay. Also, with a permit, Garrapatero Beach is the only beach camping destination on all of Santa Cruz Island.