Isabela Island

Isabela Island: Puerto Villamil – Tintoreras – Wetlands – Tortoise Breeding Center – Wall of Tears

Isabela Island is one of the largest landmass in the Galapagos archipelago. With a surface of 1,770 sq. miles (4,588 sq. km.), the island constitutes more than the half of the land area of the entire Galapagos archipelago – which is why it has the most visitor points in the islands. Five volcanoes are found on Isabela Island, including the archipelago’s highest: Wolf Volcano, reaching 1,707 m (5,600 ft.). In addition, Isabela Island is the only island in the Galapagos that is actually crossed by the Equator. Today we will visit Puerto Villamil, on Isabela Island. The inhabitants of this town, located on the southeastern edge of the island, make a living off of agriculture and fishing, but tourism is also growing here. The town, which is small enough to explore in an hour, is a nice place for snorkeling or just hanging out on the beach. In fact, this is the only town in the islands with a beachfront. The harbor is frequently full of sailboats as Puerto Villamil (the westernmost town in the Galapagos Islands) is a popular stop for private yachts making their way to the Marquesas Islands. On the southwestern edge of Isabela Island, a boardwalk has been built that leads through mangrove environments and passes along saltwater lagoons. From it, you will be able to see flamingoes, common stilts, whimbrels and Bahama pintails. On the northern edge of town is a series of islets; one of them is known as “Las Tintoreras,” where a colony of Whitetip reef sharks can be seen resting in the lava channel. After visiting that site, we will hike through the Los Humedales wetlands of the island to a breeding station for giant tortoises. At the breeding station you can get up close and personal to some of the giant tortoise species from Isabela Island. This full day of activities will be completed by a visit to the “Wall of Tears,” one of the most touching human-built monuments in the Galapagos.

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Isabela Island: Puerto Villamil – Tintoreras – Wetlands – Tortoise Breeding Center – Wall of Tears

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