Isabela Island - Galapagos Cruise

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Isabela Island - Galapagos Tour

Isabela Island is the largest of the Galapagos Archipelago measuring 120 km long and greater in size than all the other islands combined, giving an area of 4,670 square kilometers (1,803 sq. mi). It is four times larger than Santa Cruz Island which is the second largest.

Originally it was named as Albemarle after the Duke of Albemarle. The island straddles the equatorial line and is one of the youngest located on the Western edge of the archipelago.

This is the reason why here we find some of the most active volcanoes of America: Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Sierra Negra, Darwin and Wolf (the highest on Isabela with 1707 m/5,600 ft). 

Here, we also find the Ecuador volcano which is considered extinct and together with Wolf volcano, lie on the equatorial line. Isabela is one of the fantastic examples of the geological events that created the islands, including uplifts at Urbina Bay and the Bolivar Channel, tuff cones at Tagus Cove, and pumice on Alcedo and Sierra Negra volcano which has the second largest crater on the world after Ngorongoro in Tanzania. 

The approximately 2000 residents of Isabela make their living by farming, fishing and mainly by tourism. Most of them are in Puerto Villamil, a small coastal city on the southern part of the island. Charles Darwin visited Tagus Cove in 1835. In 1893, Antonio Gil, a well-known citizen from Guayaquil, arrived to Galapagos and after visiting the other islands. 

He decided to establish and colonize southern Isabela founding the town of Puerto Villamil, and later the place now known as Santa Tomás in the highlands.

Isabela Island:
Full day tour starting from Pto. Ayora (Sta. Cruz)


The tour to Isabela Island starts at 6:30 AM when our guide picks you up from your hotel. After a short walk, you are at the pier of Puerto Ayora from where a local water taxi will take us to the Galapagos Element Wind Speed Yacht in order to sail to the city of Pto. Villamil on Isabela Island.During our 3 hour navigation, there are great chances to observe marine turtles, manta rays, several species of marine birds and perhaps whales. Once at Pto. Villamil, a local water taxi will take us to the pier from where our private transportation takes us to the Isabela Turtles Breeding and Interpretation Center where our guide will explain us about the different activities developed by the National Park to protect this fragile environment.

Here, we can also find Giant Galapagos Tortoises of different species and sizes. Afterwards, we start our walk to the place known as "Humedales" (Wetlands). The walk follows a well maintained path from which we can observe this beautiful place composed by lagoons and rocks. It is surrounded by 4 species of mangroves and typical trees of the area.In the lagoons we can observe flamingos and migratory birds such as the charran or Gaviota de Galapagos (Creagrus furcatus), the Cerceta aliazul, etc. The walk ends at one of the main streets, close to beach. Nearby, you can find the Iguana Crossing Restaurant where we will have lunch while enjoying a great view of the Pacific Ocean.

After lunch, a short rest will be followed with a visit to the place known as Las Tintoreras; a scenic area where we find colonies of marine iguanas, sea lions, and as one of the main attractions we will be able to observe the sharks known as Tintoreras (White-tipped shark) resting in the channels formed by lava flows.Later, we can do some snorkeling perhaps accompanied by sea lions, penguins and marine turtles. In the area close to the pier, we will have time to rest and enjoy the beach before we embark our Galapagos Element Wind Speed Yacht and sail back to the city of Puerto Ayora.

Note: The small city of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island has one of the most beautiful beaches of the inhabited islands of Galapagos.

Highlights

  • Observe marine turtles, manta rays, several species of marine birds and perhaps whales
  • Observe beautiful places composed by lagoons and rocks

Meals Included

  • 1 Lunch
Galapagos penguins
Galapagos sea iguanas
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Galapagos flamingos
Isabela Island
Day Tour
From $220.00 per person