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Isabela Island Galapagos | Travel Guide | Blogger ChokoTrip
Isabela Island; I share a guide with first-hand and updated information to know what to do on your own, what tours you can take and a tentative itinerary to enjoy this Island in Galapagos – Ecuador.
Isabela Galapagos Island, is one of the four habitable islands and is located to the west. It is the largest of all the islands and is truly stunning. The advantage of visiting this Island are: the proximity of its beaches for bathing, ease of reaching viewpoints, turtle breeding center and natural pools.
On Isla Isabela (Ecuador), it remains with little urban development, this island maintains a small-town feel with a wild touch making it stand out from Santa Cruz or San Cristobal Island, considered to be more like small cities.
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PHOTOS OF ISABELA ISLAND
WHEN TO GO TO ISABELA ISLAND
HOW TO GET TO ISABELA ISLAND
To get to Isabela Island in the Galapagos, you must take a flight from Quito to Guayaquil to Baltra Airport (Santa CRuz) or to San Cristobal Airport. After that, you can get to Isabela Island two ways:
- Inter-island flights to Isla Isabela: There are two airlines that operate between the islands from Santa Cruz or San Cristobal to Isabela Island. These are Emetebe y FlyGalapagos
- Inter-island ferries to Isabela Island: If you want to go to from San Cristobal to Isabela on an inter-island boar, also called ferries, you will have to take 2 speedboats. First, one that goes to Santa Cruz and then you’ll wait for the ferry that goes to Isabela.
*One hour prior to traveling by an inter-island ferry or speedboat, take seasickness medication, like Mareol or Anautin. Try to sit in the back of your vessel or ask to go above, where the captain is seated.
WHERE TO GO ON ISABELA ISLAND GALAPAGOS
WHAT TO DO ON ISABELA ISLAND GALAPAGOS
» TOURS FROM ISABELA ISLAND GALAPAGOS
I’ll help you find the best day tours from Isabela Island:
Cabo Rosa is a great tour. First you go to a rock called La Unión to spot blue-footed birds. Then the tour heads to the tunnels for a walk and to see even more blue footed boobies. You finish at a phenomenal snorkeling location called Finado and, if you’re lucky, you will swim with blue sharks.
Read more about the Cabo Rosa Tunnels tour
Sierra Negra Volcano is the second largest crater in the world and is one of the few treks, or hikes, you can do in the Galapagos. The walk lasts about 5 hours, and part of the route is to reach the small volcano, where the horizon resembles something out of this world, literally.
Read more about the Sierra Negra Volcano tour
This tour lasts for approximately 3 hours. It includes a Panga ride to observe turtles and manta rays while a guide summarizes the tour. Afterwards, you head to a small island to observe pelicans, blue-footed boobies and penguins (depending on the season).
Then, you arrive at Tintoneras Island for a 45 minute hike. You’ll see adult and juvenile marine iguanas since this is one of the their breeding areas. The trail will take you to a canal where the Tintonera sharks rest and, finally, you’ll reach a sea lion beach. From there, you return to the boat to snorkel and observe marine life.
Price: USD 60
Morning schedule: 08h00 – 08h30 – 09h00 – 09h30 – 10h00 y 10h30
Afternoon schedule: 12h30 – 13h00 – 13h30 – 14h00 – 14h30 – 15h00
This tour descends into the Trillizos Volcano, located near Sierra Negra Volcano. It begins as a nature hike then you reach a point where you can rappel 150 meters down. The entire tour lasts 3 hours. The tour includes all security equipment, make sure to take comfortable clothes and hiking shoes.
Price: USD 60
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Isla Isabela scuba diving
Islas Tortugas are a group of small islands found 30 minutes from Isabela island and it’s a good spot for intermediate to advanced divers.
Share some rare moments with incredible sea creatures such as manta rays, Galápagos sharks, and occasionally hammerhead and Mackerel sharks. Sea turtles, marble fish and other varieties of open-water fish also inhabit this area.
Price: USD 180
Includes: All scuba equipment and 2 dives.
*A minimum of 6 people need to be signed up for the dive to take place.
Soon, you’ll be able to do a hike to the Sulfur Mines at Sierra Negra Volcano. It’ll be a similar tour as that of the volcano but focus on the western part of the crater.
» FREE ACTIVITIES FROM ISABELA
Isla Isabela Surfing
The ‘El Faro’ beach is ideal for learning how to surf and it’s on the way to Humedales. The waves are formed at the beach break and you have a lot of space to wait for the next round. You might be surfing with manta rays and sea turtles, so be careful!
Centro de Crianza Tortuga gigante y Poza de los Flamencos
These two locations are near each other and you can observe giant tortoises in the breeding center, as well as some flamingos, if you’re lucky. You can get here by foot or bicycle.
A natural swimming pool near the Puerto Villamil dock and a cool spot to snorkel. You’ll see many fish and along the way you’ll pass many sea lions.
Marshlands (humedales) and Wall of tears / muro de las lagrimas
These are usually part of a bicycle route – you can reach the Wall of Tears and along the way stop through marshlands and beaches. There’s also lookout point (mirador) with a spectacular view of Isabela Island.
HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I TAKE TO ISABELA ISLAND GALAPAGOS
This is an estimate of what your costs may be based on a 3-day itinerary on Isabela Island:
ISABELA ISLAND TRIP BUDGET PER PERSON: USD 420
WHAT TO TAKE TO ISABELA ISLAND
Here’s a list of items that may improve your overall experience on Isabela Island, regardless of season. Some of these items you can purchase on the Island itself.
3-DAY ITINERARY TO ISABELA
07h00: Travel by ferry from Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz. Departs at 7am and 2pm
09h00: Arrival to Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island.
09h30: Check-in at your hotel ?
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Accommodations and hotels recommended by Choko
11h00 a 17h00: Cabo Rosa Tunnels Tour
17h20: Snorkel at Concha Perla, a natural swimming pool.
09h00: Rent bicycles
It will cost you between USD $15 – $20 to rent a bicycle for the whole day.
09h00 a 16h00: Bicycle route until the Wall of Tears / Muro de lagrimas
This bike route is of moderate difficulty; try not to go to fast because, if you fall, you’ll get pretty scraped up by the volcanic rocks. Places you can visit along this route: ▪ Humedales ▪ Mirador ▪ Muro de las lagrimas ▪ Poza de los Flamencos ▪ Centro de Crianza Tortugas Gigantes Arnaldo Tupiza Chamaidan ▪ Concha Perla.
07h00 a 14h00: Sierra Negra Volcano
14h00: Check-out at Hotel.
15h00: Take a ferry from Puerto Villamil on Isabela towards Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.
CRUISE TO ISABELA ISLAND
Some yachts include in their itinerary islands of the West and North, including stops at these places on Isabela Island, which are only accessible by sailing on cruises that leave from Santa Cruz Island.
TIPS FOR YOUR TRIP:
ISABELA ISLAND MAP
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