At just over 100 kilometers long and 4,640 square kilometers in area, Isabela Island is the largest of all the Galapagos. In fact, it’s over four times larger than second biggest Santa Cruz and bigger than all the other islands combined. However, it’s not just the size of Isabela that makes it stand out, it’s also renowned for its extraordinary beauty.
Named after the Queen of Spain, the island is home to no less than six volcanoes. A number of them are still active, which means that the island is still growing both in terms of its physical size as well as its reputation for being a nature lover’s paradise. Situated right on the Equator, this is one of the most actively volcanic places on the planet. Making this a truly unique place to experience.
The island is often divided into two sections, with the northern half of the island famed for its wild and remote environment characterized by shallow waters. The southern part of the island casts a shadow over the north, with it’s towering volcanoes and spewing fumaroles. To observe either part of the island from the other is to experience a strange and ethereal beauty.
The island feels very different from the others in the archipelago in terms of vegetation, largely thanks to the high amounts of volcanic activity. However, this dearth of vegetation is more than compensated for by the incredible volume and variety of animal life on Isabela. Discover an abundance of boobies, pelicans, flightless cormorants, as well as countless other bird species, making this a true bird-watching utopia.
The marine life is also special too. Look out for whales and dolphins just off the coast. Sharks, marine iguanas and the infamous turtles all call the waters around Isabela home too.
With so much wildlife, spectacular scenery and a range of activities to enjoy, Isabela Galapagos Island is a truly unique destination. Isabela Island has 11 visitor sites that can be visited on a Galapagos cruise or Island hopping tour
Reaching the Island: You can reach Isabela Island by ferry, inter-island flight or on a liveaboard tour, there are also day tour options are available. Ferrys and flights arrive at Puerto Villamil. The western side of the island and the more remote visitor sites are only accesible on a liveaboard cruise
Landing: Both Dry and Wet Landing depending on visitor sites
Wildlife Highlights: Giant tortoises, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos penguins, land and marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorant
Activity Highlights: Camping, Hiking, birdwatching, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Conditions: Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago and has a variety of ecosystems ranging from lava fields, mangrove forests, beaches and dry and cloud forest.
Notes: Perhaps the best place to spot tropical penguins, it is possible to meet them face to face when snorkeling.
8 day Galapagos Islands cruise on board the Seaman Journey - West Isles route
7 day Isabela II yacht vacation to the west islands of the Galapagos archipelago
6 day Galapagos Islands luxury cruise to the west of the archipelago including Isabela island - Petrel Catamaran
5 day Expedition cruise ship vacation visiting the west side of Isabela island - M/V Galapagos Legend
4 day Galapagos liveaboard trip including Isabela and Rabida islands - Fragata yacht
9 day Galapagos land based tour including a stay on Isabela island
7 day Island hopping tour with hotel stays on Santa Cruz and Isabela island
6 day Galapagos hiking and snorkeling vacation - hotel based
5 day Galapagos tour including a hike to Sierra Negra volcano