"Puerto Villamil, Isla Isabela, Galapagos Islands" Puerto Villamil by MalenaN
Puerto Villamil Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 267 photos
Puerto Villamil is situated on the south-eastern side of Isla Isabela. It is the third largest settlement in the Galapagos Islands with about 2000 inhabitants. It is a laidback place with sandy streets and a long white sandy beach in front of town. Around the central plaza there are some nice restaurants, there are a few Internet places, grocery stores, souvenir shops, laundries, a post office and a bank (but not yet with an ATM that takes foreign bankcards).
People from Puerto Villamil traditionally got their income from fishing, but now more and more are working with tourism, as the number of visiting tourists is increasing.
If you are visiting Galapagos Islands independently this is a good place to go. You have a beautiful beach right in town, there is a Tortoise Breeding Centre just outside Puerto Villamil, and there is a good place for snorkelling. Around Puerto Villamil there are several lagoons where you can spot many bird species and especially the Greater Flamingo is nice to see. You can make a bicycle trip to Muro de las Lagrimas and probably see Giant Tortoises along the road, and a half-day trip to Las Tintoreras, an island full of Marine Iguanas and where you can also see White Tipped Reef Sharks. A very interesting tour to do is to Volcán Sierra Negra and Vulcán Chico. Two great tours I did last time I visited Puerto Villamil was to Los Tuneles and to Trillizos. Next time I go to Isla Isabela I want to check out Cuevas de Sucre and Mirador del Mango.
Puerto Villamil is named after General José Villamil who came to the Galapagos Islands in 1832 with the purpose to establish a new community, a place that was going to be a place of peace. It started out well, but as many of the settlers were convicts and rebel soldiers sent from the mainland to work, the presence of “rough characters” were to high, and also introduced domestic animals grassed on the dry, sparse vegetation. Already in 1837 General Villamil left the Galapagos Islands.
I stayed several days in Puerto Villamil in July 2011 and in July 2014. I also passed by in 2013 when I was on a cruise and we went to Vulcan Sierra Negra and later cycled to Muro de Las Lagrimas.
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