The Best Day Trips from Isabela Island, Galapagos

Some of our family’s most memorable ordeals were being on working day journeys from Isabela Island, in the Galapagos. We were in Isabela Island for only a four small days, but that go to stays a person of our favourite vacation reminiscences!

The Galapagos Islands, considerably off the coastline of Ecuador, have some of the most exceptional species on the planet and provide some of best working day excursions for wildlife watching any place. Few that with lovely shorelines, tropical weather conditions, and friendly locals and you have a vacation spot value checking out.

Mom and the kids on the boat on a day trip from Isabela Island
Micki and the youngsters on the boat on a day excursion from Isabela Island

No matter if you’re having a day excursion to a person of the 18 islands in the volcano-fashioned archipelago, or hoping to get just one of the much more lavish cruise outings to Galapagos Islands, you are guaranteed to face a great deal of wildlife.

The Galapagos are home to the endangered giant tortoise, the lava rock loving land iguana and its brethren, the ocean diving marine iguana, moreover tons of sea turtles, sea lions and even tropical penguins. The maritime iguana is a species of iguana found only on the Galápagos Islands, and is distinctive amongst present day lizards in that it finds food items less than the surface of the ocean.

Isabela Island beach with marine iguana

Some of the most scenic day outings you can do in the Galapagos Islands originate from Isabela Island. We experienced the great fortune of shelling out some time there and got to working experience the very best working day outings from Isabela Island, Galapagos for ourselves.

A brief history of Isabela Island

Isabela Island (also identified as Isla Isabela) is the premier of the Galapagos Islands (it’s essentially even larger than all the other 17 islands combined!), on the other hand Puerto Villamil (the largest village on the island) is the smallest of the a few major settlements in the Galapagos.

Getting around city on the sandy streets is quick and effortless and there is a incredibly laid back again, virtually Caribbean truly feel to the island. To say that the city is as exceptional as the people today and the animals that reside there is an understatement and we fulfilled some truly pleasant men and women there.

Isabela Island girl on bench with marine iguana near

Isabela Island straddles the Equator and was formed, like the other individuals in the archipelago, through lava and volcanoes all-around a million several years ago. As a result, this Galapagos island nonetheless has a good deal of volcanic action and ranks between 1 of the most lively volcanic islands in the planet. Practically all the volcanic activity is primarily based all over the untouched northern part of the island but it still will make a for a terrific vacation.

No matter if you are having one particular of the a lot of excursions or likely it by itself, there is a large amount to do for this sort of a sleepy position. Like most of the Galapagos Islands, you’ll see sea lions and maritime iguanas just about in all places you appear as very well as the outstanding frigate birds traveling overhead. In the wetlands of the island you can see pink flamingoes and stilts and Darwin’s famed finches, that served him sort his idea of evolution, exist around land and sea.

Under the water you can see some of the greatest gatherings of hammerhead sharks in the environment as properly as plenty of sea turtles, stingrays, manta rays and sea horses. If you are snorkeling, there’s a excellent possibility you’ll be visited by an inquisitive sea lion and, if you’re fortunate, the only tropical penguin in the planet, the Galapagos penguin.

Working day Journeys from Isabela Island

Some of the a lot more noteworthy day trips from Isabela Island incorporate:

A working day journey to Los Tuneles

Our favorite working day trip from any of the Galapagos Islands, the working day vacation to Los Tuneles was wonderful!

Isabela Island Los Tuneles girl and lava arches and cacti

The working day we went to Los Tuneles we snorkeled with nearly a dozen sea turtles, swam with reef sharks and sea lions, and also saw a sea horse and a number of rays up near.

Isabela Island Los Tuneles Seahorse

We also walked in excess of crumbling lava tunnels and bought up shut to check out the mating dance of a pair of blue-footed booby’s.

Isabela Island Los Tuneles Blue footed boobies birds
blue footed boobies

1 of my own highlights was sitting down on a single of the caved in lava arches and looking at sea turtles navigate the shallow channels of Los Tuneles beneath to get to the hotter lagoon for the night time.

From time to time they would go only a number of toes away from us and the water was crystal crystal clear.

Isabela Island Los Tuneles Sea Turtle

Sierra Negra Volcano

The 2nd major energetic volcanic crater in the globe, the Sierra Negra is above 10km in diameter. Day excursions to Sierra Negra just take you up and around the rim and give you impressive views of the volcano and surrounding islands.

Assume to be very hot and tired following your 16 km stroll but anyone we talked to who did it said it was worth it for the views alone. It’s about a four to five hour tour that ordinarily contains visits to Volcan Chico which is about an hour farther absent exactly where you can see fumaroles (gasoline vents) and parasitic craters (a non primary volcano cone) up close.


The Tintoreras are a series of modest islands directly across from Puerto Villamil.

The tour commonly contains of a compact boat that can take five minutes to cross the shallow bay and drives slowly but surely along the coastline so you can see the Galapagos penguins (the only tropical penguin in the planet) and blue-footed boobies (amusing searching birds with blue ft and an extravagant mating dance) up close.

Isabela Island marine iguana on the sand (3 of 25)

Even though on a tour, you also have the chance to snorkel in involving the islands. Though snorkeling, you may see anything from little reef sharks to stingrays to sea turtles and curious sea lions.

After you’re accomplished snorkeling, you’ll cross onto a single of the islands exactly where you are going to get off the boat and hike a limited trail that’ll carry you to an area complete of sea lions and a h2o alley whole of resting sharks.

Tip! If you want you can also kayak about to Tintoreras as part of a team. It is a rather equivalent tour to what’s above nevertheless you will not conclusion up traveling as far down the coast as you would with the boat. The nicest part is that if you obtain the Galapagos penguins (they go about a lot during specific seasons), you can usually get a minimal nearer to them.

Concha de Perla

The Concha de Perla is like a large all-natural swimming pool which is shut off from the sea. It’s correct next to the key island docks. To get to it, search for a signal on the still left as you wander towards the drinking water.

Following a 1 minute wander together a extended wooden boardwalk, you are going to occur to a little deck overlooking the bay. There’s not significantly seating nonetheless there are two sets of stairs main to the drinking water and the Concha de Perla is a lovely put to swim and snorkel.

Isabela Island Concha de Perla boardwalk through mangrove forest

To get to the city docks or the boardwalk, head east from town. The docks can be reached in all around 10 minutes. It can be pretty warm in the afternoons so it may well be wiser to seize a truck taxi for a few dollars.

Every single time we went to Concha de Perla we observed sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and teams of fish. Together the edges, we saw marine iguanas hanging out in minimal hanging branches just earlier mentioned the h2o basking in the solar as well as sea lions frolicking about. Supposedly it is not uncommon to see Galapagos penguins there from time to time as properly.

Warning: There is no beach place at Concha de Perla and the h2o is deep so it is not good for youngsters unless they’re potent swimmers. Also observe that as the tide rises and drops it can make a present-day along the outer edges so make positive you are a strong swimmer or are donning flippers if you head farther out. Due to the fact it is also deep to see considerably in the heart, you are going to want to preserve to the edges anyway.

Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre

The National Park runs the large tortoise breeding center on Isabela Island and that’s wherever giant tortoises are lifted from eggs to adolescence right before getting set absolutely free into the highlands, which is their natural habitat on the island.

The tortoise breeding centre is a terrific location for young children and there is a great interpretation home. To get to it, you can just head down the beach front or up the primary street the opposite way from the town docks and change appropriate onto the wood walkways just past Iguana Crossing. It is a very 30 min walk from city or around 5 minutes by taxi.

Flamingos Lake

To the west of Puerto Villamil, there are several salt and brackish lagoons which house an impressive variety of coastal and sea birds. Right here, people can also find the major focus of flamingos in the Galapagos.

Isabela Island Flamingos Lake Isla Isabela

The route to Flamingo Lake is situated only a toes from the seaside and starts off just past Iguana Crossing hotel. You can check out the Tortoise breeding centre at the exact time considering the fact that it uses the same route.

Wall of Tears

The Wall of Tears on Isabela Island has a rich history of rather grisly details. The end result of which was a big wall built of lava boulders in the center of nowhere created by prisoners in the late 40’s and early 50’s as a large, make get the job done task that never went any where.

The Wall of Tears is 5 km from the town of Puerto Villamil and would make a good early early morning or late afternoon jaunt. To get there more rapidly, you can rent a bicycle in town that will allow you journey down the properly posted character trails that will also lead to lagoons, some magnificent viewpoints, as nicely as some attractive secluded shorelines.

Isabela Island Sea lions on a bench


Isabela Island is also property to wetland locations located just exterior of Puerto Vilamil. The Wetlands consist of salt h2o lagoons and mangrove swamps and are house to a range of one of a kind endemic chook species this kind of as widespread stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. You can go to the Wetlands on foot via a route that winds by the swamps.

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