The largest of the Galapagos archipelago, this sea-horse shaped island features spectacular volcanic landscapes and is one of the youngest islands being near to the volcanic hot-spot. The islands only populated center is Puerto Villamil, located at the southeastern end and home to all hotels and tourist centers. From Puerto Villamil, visitors to Isabela can enjoy hiking through dense vegetation and over moon-like lava fields as well as a multitude of navigations and snorkeling activities off-shore in the many islets and volcanic formations found in its crystaline coastal waters. The island is home to the highest concentration of free roaming Galapagos giant land tortoises, white-tipped reef sharks, marine iguanas and a multitude of bird life including Darwin’s finches, boobies and penguins to name a few.

Interests

  • Adventure
  • Landscape
  • Wildlife

Highlights

  • Tintoreras
  • Snorkeling
  • Wall of Tears
  • 7 Senderos
  • Cabo Rosa
  • Sierra Negra

Places to Stay

Iguana Crossing

Style: Boutique

The marine iguanas travel from their shelters in wetlands along their path that crosses the hotel and leads down to the emerald green sea, hence the name of this beautiful boutique hotel, Iguana Crossing.

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La Casa de Marita

Style: Guest house

Surrounded by white sand and turquoise beaches, lush vegetation and a natural celebration of life; La Casa de Marita is a wonderfully charming boutique hotel in one of the planet's most unique destinations.

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Activities in Isla Isabela

Half Day visit to Wall of Tears & 7 Senderos

Learn of Isabela Island’s unique history, when iit once was a penal colony from 1944-1959. The colony was quite cruel, and one of the punishment of the inmates was to construct the Wall of Tears by stacking razor-sharp lava rocks with no cement to hold them together. In the vicinity of the wall, enjoy exploring plentiful lagoons, mangroves and a lovely white sand beach. (Half day, private activity)

Isla Isabela – Sierra Negra and Chico Volcanoes with Lunch

Be amazed by the fiery geological history of the Galapagos Islands as you explore by foot one of its most famous volcanoes. Begin early, hiking through verdant forests gradually climbing the impressive Sierra Negra volcano to reach its rim. Be amazed by the spectacular views of its enormous crater covered in newly hardened lava that delights the eye with its purplish-black color in contrast to the vibrant green of the rim. Walk along the edge of the crater soaking in the views which never cease to amaze. Travel onwards towards ‘volcan chico’ which is an extension of Sierra Negra. Here you will experience an amazing moon-like landscape created by the lava formations and walk right on them. Guests have described the experience as truly unforgettable and one of the highlights of the island. Be sure to bring sun protection and be prepared for difficult hiking on the lava. (Full day, private activity, box lunch included)

Isla Isabela – Full day Sulfer Volcano Trek with lunch

Experience an unforgettable and physically challenging trek on the Sierra Negra volcano descending into its crater. Hike through verdant forests as you ascend to the rim of Sierra Negra. Be amazed by the spectacular views of its enormous crater. Next hike onwards to the western part of the crater where you will then carefully descend to explore the sulfur deposits found below. The bright yellow from the sulfur in contrast to the purplish lava and bright green vegetation is a mesmerizing site. As are the amazing fumaroles, which are openings in the earth’s crust found in the fissures of the volcano. (6:30-16:30, private activity, box lunch included, good hiking boots required)

Full Day visit to Sierra Negra with lunch at Hausers

On this full-day privately guided excursion, hike through verdant forests gradually climbing the impressive Sierra Negra volcano to reach its rim. Be amazed by the spectacular views of its enormous crater, covered in new lava that delights the eye with its purplish-black color in contrast to the vibrant green of the rim. Walk along the edge of the crater soaking in the views before descending back down. Afterwards enjoy a well-earned feast at the delightfully charming Hausers home, where the hosts will welcome you as guests for lunch. (7:00 – 16:30 approx, private activity, lunch included at the Hausers)

Full Day visit to Sierra Negra with lunch at Campo Duro

On this full-day privately guided excursion, hike through verdant forests gradually climbing the impressive Sierra Negra volcano to reach its rim. Be amazed by the spectacular views of its enormous crater, covered in new lava that delights the eye with its purplish-black color in contrast to the vibrant green of the rim. Walk along the edge of the crater soaking in the views before descending back down. Afterwards enjoy a well-earned rest as you enjoy a filling lunch at Campo Duro ranch. (7:00 – 16:30 approx, private activity, lunch included at Camo Duro)

Visit to Cabo Rosa and Los Tuneles

Arguably one of the most impressive marine sites on Isabela, the tunnels at Cabo Rosa are incredible geological formations created as ocean waves crashed into hot lava flows. The cooled lava formed arches, tunnels, pillars and collapsed tubes that rise out of and under the surface of shallow emerald and turquoise waters of the bay. On this full day tour, navigate in a small boat to the tuneles and have the unforgettable opportunity to snorkel in the clear, calm waters of this marine paradise. Swim with peaceful white tipped reef sharks, manta rays, parrot fish, yellowtailed surgeon fish, marine turtles and the ever-playful sea lions. Should you not want to snorkel, you can view the marine life from the boat and also walk on the surface of the lava formations. (full day, group activity, lunch included, snorkel equipment included)

Half Day visit to Tintoreras with snorkeling

Embark on a dinghy ride from Puerto Villamil town and sail to the nearby islets named after the characteristic white-tipped sharks ‘tintoreras.’ Along the way you’ll see a colony of galapagos penguins, boobies and other interesting marine life. Disembark on the islets and enjoy an easy walk which will bring you close to hundreds of black marine iguanas as well as blue footed boobies and playful sea lions. The trail takes you to a shallow channel where you can see several tintoreras, white-tipped sharks, resting in the water below. Snorkeling is also available from the boat and highly recommended! (Half day, group activity, snorkeling equipment included)

Full Day visit to Tintoreras withsnorkeling, Wall of Tears & 7 Senderos

Arguably one of the most impressive marine sites on Isabela, the tunnels at Cabo Rosa are incredible geological formations created as ocean waves crashed into hot lava flows. The cooled lava formed arches, tunnels, pillars and collapsed tubes that rise out of and under the surface of shallow emerald and turquoise waters of the bay. On this full day tour, navigate in a small boat to the tuneles and have the unforgettable opportunity to snorkel in the clear, calm waters of this marine paradise. Swim with peaceful white tipped reef sharks, manta rays, parrot fish, yellowtailed surgeon fish, marine turtles and the ever-playful sea lions. Should you not want to snorkel, you can view the marine life from the boat and also walk on the surface of the lava formations. (full day, group activity, lunch included, snorkel equipment included)

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