Isabela Island: A Must-Visit On Any Galapagos Islands Vacation

Sierra Negra Volcano, Isabela Island, Galapagos
Sierra Negra Volcano

The Galapagos Islands is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations.  With a diversity of plant and wildlife, each island has something unique to offer.  Travelers looking for the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation will find it all in one place on Isabela Island.

Covering an area of more than 4,600 square kilometers (1,776 square miles), Isabela Island is by far the largest island in the archipelago and one of the youngest at approximately one million years old.  It is one of only four islands with human inhabitants, offering a small tourism infrastructure where it’s possible to find hotels and restaurants.  The island is routinely visited as part of a cruise excursion, while those not doing a cruise stay for a week or longer to make the most of their time.

Like many of the islands, Isabela offers great wildlife opportunities.  For example, it has more Galapagos Island tortoises than any of the other islands.  You can also find numerous land and marine iguanas.  Pink flamingos can be found in the lagoon in the middle of the main town of Puerto Villamil, while on the west coast opportunities for whale and dolphin viewing abound.

What sets Isabela apart from the rest of the islands is its unique geography.  Here you’ll find the longest stretches of white sand beaches found in the Galapagos, which is perfect for relaxing, observing indigenous birds, going for a swim or trying your hand at surfing.  If you enjoy hiking, take a day to climb or horseback ride to the top of the Sierra Negra Volcano.  This full day excursion takes you through lush green vegetation and into volcanic lava fields, as you see the geography change with every step.  The Sierra Negra Volcano allows you to see first-hand how the Galapagos Islands have evolved.

Being one of the four inhabited islands, it’s easy to find a relaxing beach side watering hole.  A great place to enjoy a drink is at Beto´s Bar, located right on the beach in the town of Puerto Villamil.  Kick back at the bar or on a hammock and enjoy a sunset with your beverage of choice.  Afterward, take a walk through town and find one of the many restaurants offering the fisherman’s catch of the day.

The Galapagos Islands will always be a popular travel destination, especially for those interested in the plentiful wildlife opportunities.  Each island offers something different and special.  Isabela Island is indeed special, offering the traveler everything they need for their next island adventure.