"Frontier sensation" Puerto Villamil by Assenczo

Puerto Villamil Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 267 photos

Isabella Island is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and the only one that stretches over the Equator; sounds beckoning but this is not similar to a “mitad del mundo” trip. Most of the island is off to visitors and the rest is covered by guided walks only. Another “nuisance” is the equatorial sun than burns mercilessly at sea level and hikes in the interior can be quite demanding physically. A trek to the nearest volcano is advertized by the owner of Rincon de George Hotel but most of the time at least in January the summit is covered by cloud, so visibility is practically nil. At the same time the town itself is an experience of remoteness in its own right. The unpaved streets are traversed mostly by jeeps that give this extra frontier feel. Even the lamp posts are made of some crooked wooden branches for more authenticity.

The most attractive feature is the lack of visitors – the whole beach of many miles is practically empty and the only company of the sun worshiper are the iguanas dragging their feet and tail on the white sand and the odd pelican fluffing up his plumage. As far as catering goes, this is not a place for gourmet lovers. The expectation is that as an island located in the middle of the largest ocean on Earth, its restaurants would burst with wide variety of fish or seafood dishes. Well, there is no variety; moreover there is practically no fish. The ultimate nonsense that one might hear in a restaurant is a suggestion “to open a can of fish”. The authorities are trying to eliminate the fishing business and turn the fishermen into taxi-boat drivers and they have succeeded. Probably, there is not enough fish to satisfy the cruise ship public and leave enough in the sea so it still retains its original bounty on which all the other creatures depend.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Further than most people would go
  • Cons:Your chance to leave is at 6 o'clock
  • Last visit to Puerto Villamil: Jan 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (1)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2011 at 5:57 AM

    Reading this page brings back great memories from visit on Isla Isabela. Some people I talked to also had problems with the chartered afternoon boat (I left with the 6am boat).


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