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PARKS AND TRIBES

 

ISABELA ISLAND, GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR

Our 6 - 7 days Island hopping tour at an incredible price visits the following islands:

 

TOURS GALAPAGOS ISLANDS & CRUISE DEALS [2024]: Male Great Frigate Bird with expandes throat at Galapagos National Park

TOURS GALAPAGOS ISLANDS & CRUISE DEALS [2024]: Galapagos Lava Tunnel

BARTOLOME GALAPAGOS DAY TRIP: Bartelome Island at Galapagos National Park

San Cristobal

Santa Cruz

Bartolome

Isabela

ISABELA ISLAND, GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR

While Isabela is the largest island of the Galapagos Archipel, it has a relative small population compared to Santa Cruz. The best sites worth visiting are relatively near the main town, Puerto Villamil

 

Puerto Villamil

Puerto Villamil has both a harbor and a small airport, that both connect the island with Santa Cruz.

The ferry leaves the harbor of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz at 3 in the afternoon, taking 2 hours to cross., About the same time the flight leaves from Baltra, but you have to be there officially an hour in advance, now that is not all that precise and you may calculate a bit shorter. HOWEVER, you have to travel from Puerto Ayora to the main port at the other end of the island, which takes about half an hour. Then you have to board the ferry to Balta, where the airport is, for which you have to plan another half an hour, as it only leave when it is full. At the other end you need to take a bus, which also leaves when it is full, yet another half an hour. All in all, you have to leave at least 3 hours prior to departure from your hotel in Puerto Ayora. Add the half an hour flying time, it takes about 3 and a half hours to fly and only 2 hours to take the ferry boat. Then we have not talked yet about the horribly old airplanes that fly you across: the half a century old Britton Norman 2A Islander, bolted together with non-genuine strips of aluminum. I have flown far worse airplanes in the former Soviet Union, but I would not recommend these Galapagos inter-island planes to the general public. I used them once, but never again. It even arrived 45 minutes late and we almost missed our excursion.

 

The Britton Norman 2A Islander airplane is an old-timer of about half a century old.

We took this airplane once, but I don't feel comfortable to take my friends on this old-timer again.

 

We have taken this old-timer plane once, but will not use it again. It is bolted together with strips of metal and it is inefficient to use anyway. 

 

As to nightlife in Puerto Villamil: it is totally non-existing. You will be lucky to find an open restaurant after 7PM.

 

While our hotel, is quite pleasant with a great breakfast in the morning, it also provides transportation and coordinates all the excursions, guaranteeing that all runs smoothly.

 

Our cozy hotel at Puerto Villamil is right in the center and has outstanding service.

Salinas Lagoon with Flamingos

Right in town, and only a block away from our hotel is the Salinas Lagoon which used to be in open connection with the see, but now much less so. It was used for salt winning, but that has stopped once the connection deteriorated due to construction. However, the lagoon still has some flamingos spending time there most of the time.

 

 

There are several excursions that can be taken from Puerto Villamil:

Sierra Negra Volcano and Sulfur Mines

This is probably the most iconic tour combining the Sierra Negra Volcano with bright yellow boiling hot volcanic sulfur springs.

 

 WHY VISIT THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS?: Sierra Negra Caldera Galapagos

Sulfur springs with a bright yellow color.

The Sierra Negra caldera or crater is the widest of Galapagos.

 

The Sufur Mine excursion is supposed to take you to a near point on the road. It is called a mine because of a - fortunately - failed attempt to mine the sulfur. I reserved this excursion because it is supposed to be less strenuous that the Sierra Negra excursion that takes one first for 45 minutes through uninteresting altered vegetation. I am not sure yet ir it includes a visit to the Sierra Negra volcano itself. We will find out.

 

Tintoreras

The Tintoreras excursion takes one to a protected bay with small islets where one gets real close to the Galapagos Penguins. The trail on the main island is teeming with Marine Iguanas, and one has to be careful not to step on them. It also takes you snorkeling in the main bay, but last time I was there the water was rather murky. We did see several marine animals though like a huge green turtle.

 

Another highlight is a lava canal with crystal clear water, where White-tipped sharks rest in daytime. One really gets to see them well from above.

 

Penguins are almos always present at the islets visited on the Tortureras excursion.

The islets visited by the Tortureras excursion are teeming with Marine Iguanas.

 

TOURS GALAPAGOS ISLANDS & CRUISE DEALS [2024]: Sea Lions Galapagos Islands

 

Another fun animal of course is the Sea Lion.

 

isabela has its own species of tortoises, but it is rather difficult to find.

The Isabela Land Iguana may be seen in town, at a location that locals call the Iguana Crossing.

ISABELA ISLAND, GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR

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