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"Isla Isabela" Isla Isabela by MalenaN

Isla Isabela Travel Guide: 43 reviews and 318 photos

Isla Isabela is the largest island in the archipelago. With its 4588 sq km it makes up 58% of the landmass in Galapagos Islands, and it is four times larger than Isla Santa Cruz which is the second largest island. From north to south the island is around 100km long.

Five of Isla Isabela’s six volcanoes are still active, Cerro Azul had its latest eruption in 2008 and Sierra Negra in 2005. The highest volcano is Wolf, which is 1707m high, and thus also the highest point in the Galapagos Islands. Both Wolf and Ecuador lie on the equator.

I hope to come back one day to visit the visitor sites that are only accessible while on a cruise. Many of them are situated on the west side of the island where the Flightless Cormorant can be seen and the largest population of Galapagos Penguins live and where there are whales and dolphins in the sea.

I did a one-week Galapagos cruise with M/S Cachalote and I did the itinerary which did not include Isla Isabela. However, after the cruise I visited Isabela independently, but what I saw then was just a small part of the southeast corner of the island. I stayed in Puerto Villamil which is a small laidback town with only 2000 inhabitants. Puerto Villamil has a beautiful setting by the sea with a long white sandy beach in front of the town. There are plenty of things to see and do around Puerto Villamil and while I was there I made a day tour to Volcan Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico, a tour to the small island Las Tintoreras where you can see White Tipped Reef Sharks and lots of Marine Iguanas, I snorkelled, saw the flamingos in the lagoons in town, visited a tortoise breeding centre, rented a bike to visit Muro de Las Lagrimas and the water lagoons west of Puerto Villamil.

  • Last visit to Isla Isabela: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (43)

Comments (9)

  • Dec 31, 2016 at 7:09 PM

    Wonderful page and photos!

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Jan 1, 2017 at 12:18 AM

      Thank you Dee! Isabela Island is a lovely place to visit. I have been back once more since I last time updated this page, but unfortunately I haven't found the time to write more tips.

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    Thank you for sharing, here is my G map Equator link , loving my virtual tour ;-)))

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Such beauty here and you've captured so many wonderful special creatures. Fantastic page!

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Apr 14, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Great Galapagos cruise, Malena! So many various birds - so good for bird watching and photographing. Loved marine iguanas best of all!

  • zadunajska8's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Wow! How lucky are you to get to enjoy such a great trip? I'm a bit of a Darwin devotee and so this would be a trip of a lifetime for me. I'd love to see the mockingbirds and finches but I think the lava lizards were my favourites from your great pics. Look forward to reading your other Galapagos island pages soon.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Lots of Excellent photographs you have here, Malena !

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    I?m glad to learn that they now have some breeding centres for tortoises on the Galapagos Islands to restore the population of the Giant Tortoises. Great that you were able to rent a bike at Puerto Villamil.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Another fabulous page about your adventures in Ecuador. Especially the Jungle Hostel seems to be well worth a stay. :-)

  • Nov 22, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    I would like to visit here and see all the wildlife. You have done well with the Bird Photo's, I know how hard it is to capture them without blur!

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