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Isabela

Isabela Island is the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, at 1771 square miles, and it was formed by 5 volcanoes fusing together, that are still active nowadays. There will be a lot to see on Isabela on your Galapagos islands cruise, as the visitor sites here are numerous and engaging.

Albemarle Point, located in the northern part of Isabela, is the highest point on the island, and you can see on your tour here the ruins of a radar base on the shore, from World War II. This site is one of the most pristine spots within the Galapagos National Park, offering you the opportunity to see flightless cormorants, that have a nesting site here and the largest specimens of marine iguanas in the archipelago. You will also be able to see Pahoehoe lava flows, naturally solidified lava in a wavy form.

The most magnificent views on the island can be seen from the volcano Sierra Negra, featuring the largest crater in the archipelago, and there is evidence of the most recent volcanic activity in 2005 on the northern side. The vegetation here is very rich and you can spot up to seven species of finches.

Flamingos Lake can be found west of Puerto Villamil and, besides the variety of sea birds you can see here, the lake is home to the largest population of flamingos in Galapagos.

Concha de Perla near Puerto Villamil is an incredible marine site accessible by way of a wooden footpath. The waters of the bay are calm and clear, making it a great spot for swimming and snorkeling, one of the few places in Galapagos where you can explore the underwater world without a guide. Among the variety of marine wildlife present, you can see here tropical fish, turtles, sea lions and penguins.

Located on the east coast of Isabela Island, Elizabeth Bay is an amazing point you can visit from you cruise ship, made of the bay itself plus several small islands. A great site for snorkeling, you can encounter penguins, sea lions, sharks and even whales. Near Elizabeth Bay, on the west side of Isabela, there is Moreno Point or Punta Morena. This is a great site on your birdwatching tour, you can actually go for a panga ride along the impressive shores and observe brown pelicans, flamingos and herons. You can also see Galapagos Penguins and if you go on land, there is a path going through lava rocks that reaches tide pools where you can often see white-tip sharks and green sea turtles.

The Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center or the Interpretation Center is near Puerto Villamil, and its purpose is that of preserving the Giant Tortoise species existing on the island and increasing their population. You can observe here hatcheries where eggs are being nursed and corrals where the adults are supervised.

The island's volcanic areas are made of lava fields, with sparse vegetation, while the highlands in the southern part are rich in vegetation, especially the remarkable red mangrove.

The Wall of Tears is a historical landmark on Isabela Island. It is a 65 feet wall built between 1945 and 1959 by prisoners from a penal colony. Thousands of them died during the construction and some say you can still hear their cries.
Isabela Fast Facts:
  • Isabela Island is formed by 5 joined volcanoes, still active today.
  • The remains of a World War II radar base can still be seen on the island.
  • Built by prisoners around the 1950s, the Wall of Tears is an impressive historical site.
Animals:

Blue-Footed Booby, Brown Pelican, Darwin’s Finches, Flightless Cormorant, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Frigatebirds, Galapagos Fur Seal, Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Galapagos Green Turtle, Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Hoary Bat, Galapagos Land Iguana, Galapagos Lava Heron, Galapagos Lava Lizard, Galapagos Marine Iguana, Galapagos Martin, Galapagos Mockingbird, Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Petrel, Galapagos Rail, Galapagos Red Bat, Galapagos Sea Lion, Galapagos Sea Robin, Galapagos Sharks, Galapagos Shearwater, Galapagos Short-eared Owl, Galapagos Sting Rays, Great Blue Heron, Greater Flamingo, Mobula Rays, Nazca Booby, Red-lipped Batfish, Sunfish, Vermilion Flycatcher, Whales & Dolphins, White-cheeked Pintail, Yellow-crowned Night Heron


Isabela Visitor Sites:


Albemarle Point, locally known as Punta Albemarle, is located in the northern part of Isabela Island. It is the highest point on the island and the ruins of a radar base from World War II can be found here. Accessib... More Information

The Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, located on Isabela Island, is a short walk from Puerto Villamil (1.5km). As their environment is threatened by other animals or by volcanic eruptions, 5 native subspecies... More Information

Cape Marshall is an amazing dive site on Isabela Island, featuring a wall of volcanic rock sinking down to the bottom of the ocean. You can explore this great spot and swim along a diversity of marine species, like... More Information

Concha de Perla (Pearl Shell), located on Isabela Island near Puerto Villamil, is a great site for swimming and snorkeling. Being outside the Galapagos National Park, it's one of the rare spots where you can go snor... More Information

Cowley Islet is a small island off the coast of Isabela Island. It was named after Ambrose Cowley, an English pirate who made the first navigational charts of Galapagos. It is a perfect spot for diving, due to the d... More Information

Elizabeth Bay, located on the east coast of Isabela Island, comprises the bay itself and various small islands. It offers a magnificent visitor site, with the mangrove vegetation on its shore and behind it, the lav... More Information

Las Tintoreras, located on the Isabela Island, south of Puerto Villamil, is a group of tiny islets where the largest one is just 900m long and 100m wide. It is one of the most visited places on the island and it get... More Information

Moreno Point, known as Punta Morena, is located on the west coast of Isabela Island, near Elizabeth Bay. You can admire its impressive and pristine rocky shoreline by taking a panga ride. On land, you will be encoun... More Information

Puerto Villamil, located on the southeast coast of Isabela Island, is a small port village usually packed with yachts and sailboats, as it is a popular stop on their way to the Marquesas Islands. It was named after ... More Information

Roca Blanca (White Rock), located on the southeast coast of Isabela Island, has only become a visiting point in 2012. Although it is not very known, it is one of the best diving spots of the islands. Because of its ... More Information

The Sierra Negra Volcano (Black Mountain) is an active volcano located in Isabela Island, and its last eruption took place in the summer of 2018. You can visit the volcano by taking a one day trip. Even if it's a 9m... More Information

Tagus Cove, located on the western coast of Isabela Island, is a deep-water bay overlooking Fernandina Island. Its name comes from a British Boat sailing these waters in 1814, in search of giant tortoises. The cove... More Information

The Wetlands, located outside of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island, is the name given to a region of swamps and lagoons that are a popular visiting point on the island. It is the natural environment of the 4 mangrov... More Information

Located on Isabela Island, on the southeast base of the Alcedo volcano, Urbina Bay is a visitor site famous for its landscape and genealogy. It was formed through an uprising of a 6km coral reef, and the terrain is ... More Information

Vicente Rock Point, known as Vicente Roca Point, is comprised of two aquamarine coves formed on the site of an ancient volcano, on the northern coast of Isabela Island. It is a great spot for deep-water snorkeling a... More Information

Wall of Tears, locally known as Muro de las Lágrimas, is one of the most important historic landmarks in Galapagos. It is located in Isabela Island, outside of Puerto Villamil, and you can even hike to get there, i... More Information

Las Tintoreras, located on the Isabela Island, south of Puerto Villamil, is a group of tiny islets where the largest one is just 900m long and 100m wide. It is one of the most visited places on the island and it get... More Information

Marielas Islets are a group of small rocky islands on Elizabeth Bay, home to a big colony of penguins. Because of the cooler waters, in this area you can find the largest colonies of penguins and also the largest ma... More Information

Isabela Island, named in honour of Queen Isabella I of Castile, is the largest island in the archipelago, with a shape that resembles a seahorse. It is an amazing destination, where you can spend an entire day navig... More Information

Coka Port is a diving spot on Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago and one of the most popular. There is a diversity of fascinating marine wildlife here, together with a breathtaking volcanic landsc... More Information

Vicente Rock Point, known as Vicente Roca Point, is comprised of two aquamarine coves formed on the site of an ancient volcano, on the northern coast of Isabela Island. It is a great spot for deep-water snorkeling a... More Information

Cape Marshall is an amazing dive site on Isabela Island, featuring a wall of volcanic rock sinking down to the bottom of the ocean. Its main attraction is a spot called "City of the Mantas", due to the fact that gia... More Information