Top Places to Visit in Galapagos – Isabela

March 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Galapagos Penguins

Our #1 selection for top places to visit in the Galapagos Islands is Isabela.  The largest of the Galapagos Islands, Isabela is also the most spectacular.  Located to the far west of the archipelago, Isabela is home to 6 volcanoes, 5 of which are still active.

Isabela is home to some of the best wildlife in Galapagos – 95% of the Galapagos Penguin population lives on Isabela or neighboring Fernandina. Isabela has an abundance of wildlife. The Bolivar Canal is the best place in the Galapagos to see whales and dolphins.  Isabela is the best place in the Galapagos to see migratory birds.  If it’s unique wildlife you seek Isabela is home to numerous rare endemic animals like the flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, and the extremely rare mangrove finch.

Isabela is the only island that is home to more than one subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise. For years scientist believed that each volcano on Isabela had its own separate subspecies of tortoise.  However recent DNA research has concluded that there two distinct different species of tortoises the populations of the southern volcanoes are vicina and those of the remote Wolf volcno are becki.

Of the many natural wonders found in Galapagos – you can find the majority on Isabela.  It is here on Isabela you can climb the Sierra Negra Volcano home to the 2nd largest caldera in the world.  There is excellent diving at Punta Moreno, Roca Redonda and Punta Vicente Roca where you can dive with giant mantas.

There are the spectacular mangrove lagoons teeming with wildlife like Elizabeth Bay where you can see Galapagos Hawks, sea turtles, rays,  penguins, iguanas and so much more.  There are geological treasures like those at Urbina Bay where the uplifting cause the coastline to be driven 3/4 of a mile further out to sea, exposing giant coral heads and stranding marine organisms on what was now on shore. There is the fresh water lake and at the favorite anchorage for pirates at Tagus Cove.

Isabela is also home to Puerto Villamil our #8 pick for best places to visit in Galapagos, with it’s stunning beach and interesting day tours. It’s the most Staying on Isabela in Puerto Villamil is the most captivating town in Galapagos

Isabela is an incredible Island with much to offer – when deciding between Galapagos Cruises if you select one with several days in Isabela you will discover the many treasures the island has in store and find out for yourself why Isabela is our top place to visit in the Galapagos.

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