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Tintoreras - Beach Puerto Villamil - Ecuador

“Tintoreras” is the local word for the White-tipped Reef Shark, a harmless shark species not uncommon at many snorkeling sites in the islands. The rocky islands in the bay of Puerto Villamil must be their world headquarters, however. There is one long island of volcanic rock where you can walk to a little channel where the sharks congregate (you may see anywhere from three or four to dozens of them). It’s really an unforgettable sight!

Once you’re done, you can snorkel around the rocks nearby (you cannot snorkel in the little channel, and even though the sharks are harmless you probably wouldn’t want to, especially if you’ve ever seen “Jaws”). There is also another crevasse nearby where you can go if you’re with a guide. Chances are good that you’ll see more sharks while snorkeling around the rocks or in the other crevasse.

Some cruise ships will visit Las Tintoreras, but not all of them are permitted to snorkel there. Check and see if swimming alongside dozens of sharks appeals to you. If you’re staying in Puerto Villamil, it should be pretty easy to find a guided group headed there: it usually costs about $25 or so, and is well worth it.

Trail Difficulty: 2/5 The island is small but very rough and rocky.

Highly Probable to See:

Marine Iguanas

White-tipped Reef Shark

Sally Lightfoot Crabs

Probable to see:

Blue-footed boobys


Brown Pelican

Sea Lions

Possible to see:

Manta Rays

Sea Cucumbers


Galapagos Penguin


Galápagos Island Visitor Sites, Puerto Villamil, Ecuador

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Here are other activities in and around Puerto Villamil that may be of interest: Urvina Bay and Tagus Cove.

10 Sep 2010

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