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Isabela Island Highlights

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The archipelago's largest island, Isabela, was formed approximately 1 million years ago by the merge of six young volcanoes: Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Chico Volcano, Sierra Negra, and Wolf. This makes the island of Isabela one of the most volcanically active places on earth.

While these volcanic regions contain extensive lava fields and little vegetation, the southern highlands and various other regions are covered by dense vegetation including the unique red mangrove. 

Despite being the largest island by area, Isla Isabela is home to only 2,200 Galapageños, but that’s what makes it the ultimate Galapagos paradise, where nature and wildlife dominate the landscape. 

General Information: 
Animals: penguins, flightless cormorants, sea iguanas, boobies, pelicans and sea lions, as well as abundant red crabs. In the skirts and boilers of the six volcanoes of Isabela, you can observe land iguanas and turtles, as well as finches, flamingos, Galapagos hawks and Galapagos pigeons.
Area: 1771 sq. miles
Highest Point: 5599 feet

What to visit?

Las Tintoreras Islet and Its Wildlife: located just off the coast of Isabela Island to the south of the bay of Puerto Villamil. It’s a part of the Galapagos National Park (which means that a guide is required to accompany you on your visit) and is an area teeming with wildlife. On a boat ride around the islet, we spotted the adorable Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, sea lions, blue herons, and lots of sally lightfoot crabs. 

Lava Tunnels: is a geological formation with crystal clear canals flowing through lava rock archways covered in cacti. The canals are home to a variety of marine life, ranging from sea turtles to sharks.

Sierra Negra Volcano: is the only accessible volcano on Isabela Island. It has the largest caldera of all the volcanoes in the Galapagos and is one of the most active volcanoes in the region. The trail to the caldera is about 16 km (9.9 miles) return leading to the dry moon-like landscape at the top. You can’t visit it without a guide but you wouldn’t even want to! There are lots to learn about the geology and natural habitat in the area to help you further understand the formation and evolution of the Galapagos Islands.

Chico Volcano: It is located northeast of the Sierra Negra Volcano at an approximate altitude of 860 msnm. There are a pedestrian path and a path for horse riding, which are clearly signposted. It is located northwest of the caldera, so it is not affected by the garúa that always precipitates in the southeastern sector of the high islands. This is one of the reasons why Chico Volcano is in perfect condition and can also be appreciated by visitors when there are good visibility and sun.

Tortoise Breeding Centre: While there are lots of opportunities to see Giant Tortoises in the wild, a visit to Isabela’s Tortoise Breeding Centre gives an opportunity to find out so much more about these beautiful creatures. Roaming around the center, you can see Tortoises throughout all the stages of life and from various parts of the Galapagos. An interactive display inside provides further info on their life journey.

Isabela Island is one of the most popular places to visit in Galapagos, and you can’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the unique and amazing wildlife that this place allows us to see. You can make this dream come true in Isabela in Galapagos Multisport and The Best of Galapagos adventure trips!


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