Isabela, a Galapagos tour destination to savor

Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands, home to spectacular animals on land, including the recently discovered pink iguana of Wolf volcano. This has been one of science’s most exciting discoveries in recent years, a spectacular find, indeed, that, unfortunately, is not part of the Galapagos tourism circuit since the diminutive area in which it exists is not an official visitor site. David Attenborough had his connections, however, and was able to catch it on film (albeit very briefly). In this video, Attenborough actually tells us the fascinating story of how that special moment played out!

Isabela is home to Puerto Villamil, one of Galapagos’ four inhabited ports. You can easily reach Puerto Villamil by boat (a two-hour ride) or on a small airplane from the island of Santa Cruz, where Galapagos Safari Camp is located: a truly wonderful flight over the enchanted archipelago that in itself is unforgettable. It is also part of Galapagos tourism Western Itineraries which visit the more remote Tagus Cove and Punta Vicente Roca.

Puerto Villamil is a great place to visit. It is home to many remarkable natural sites, including the Sierra Negra volcano, a “caldera” crater that is 11 kilometers in diameter! The second largest in the world! Another spectacular site is Los Túneles (the tunnels), just an hour to the west of the island. This Venice-like volcanic world full of bridges made of rock seems to be our world’s final frontier. All vantage points lead to open ocean here, and in the water, you’ll discover large and beautiful Spotted eagle rays and marine turtles, swimming in and out of the unique network of “tunnels”. Snorkelling nearby is a treat! The activity is colorful and bountiful, with dozens of fish species, a chance to see the adorable endemic sea horse and fluorescent parrotfish and trumpetfish, reef sharks, rays and a very special chance to swim with penguins.


If you’ve ever tried to peg down a flapping tent in high winds, eaten beans out of a tin, or tossed a

Penguins are also an attraction on Tintoreras, a series of volcanic islets located just across Puerto Villamil’s bay, where you can also see and swim with reef sharks.

The beach at Puerto Villamil is also a place to kick back against the backdrop of perfect, flour-like white sand and the clearest, most turquoise waters you’ll see this side of the Pacific (actually, that may be a little exaggerated since there are many other Galapagos beaches as beautiful). You can also walk down to the wonderful Humedales Reserve and the haunting Wall of Tears, a wall built by the inmates of what was, until the 1950s, a penal colony on the island. Humedales is a great Alice-in-Wonderland-esque experience, just what Galapagos tourism is out to offer its guests: keep you guessing. You may suddenly stumble upon packs of marine iguanas and will have to stop in your tracks to let them through as they cross the dirt path to make it to their very important date: lunch underwater! Or maybe you’ll be approached by free-roaming creatures such as the landmark giant tortoises that inhabit the reserve… Oh, and don’t eat the apples here… they’re poisonous!

Plan your Galapagos Vacation
See our Safari Holidays for our suggested Galapagos itineraries and recommended activities.

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