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A hidden gem within a treasure.

Although Isabela is the Galapagos' largest island, it has a small population of just 2500. The island’s only settlement, Puerto Villamil, is a charming and peaceful fishing village whose sand streets and palm trees, make it stand out from the over-developed tourist centres of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.


Isabela's age, size, location and diversity mean it has the most to offer out of the entire archipelago. From the smoking volcanic peaks, down through the luscious rainforest of the highlands to the smeltering lava plains and incredible fine white sand beaches that border the thriving turquoise sea... there is something for everyone.

Isabela is by far the largest island of Galapagos. At 4588km2 it accounts for over half of the archipelago’s total land area! It is also the tallest island with the tip of of Wolf Volcano reaching 1707m (5600ft).

Isabela is in fact a series of six conjoined active volcanoes.
The largest of these, Sierra Negra, is accessible from Puerto Villamil and provides the basis for one of our most popular tours. Isabela's shape and location, a north-south arc at the western edge of the archipelago, means an incredible natural phenomenon occurs on its shores. The easterly Cromwell current (Equatorial Undercurrent) collides with Isabela, bringing its nutrient-rich waters to the surface, creating an underwater wildlife haven of species as diverse as whale sharks, manta rays, hammerheads, green turtles, marine iguanas and even penguins!

  How to get there  

Two national airlines, TAME and Aerogal, run daily flights to both of Galapagos’ principal airports: Baltra (Santa Cruz) and San Cristobal. Access to Isabela is easier from Baltra. From Baltra, there are two ways to get to Isabela, air or sea.

  • Air: EMETEBE is Galapagos' inter-island air operators. Their 8-seater plane takes 25 minutes to reach Isabela and leaves from Baltra at 12:30pm.
    The return flight leaves at 8:30am. One Way: $158, Return: $260

  • Sea: First you must get to Puerto Ayora docks about an hour from Baltra airport. Take the free airline bus from the airport to the Canal (10 mins). Once there, a ferry will take you across the canal to Santa Cruz for $1 (5 mins). From the other side you can take either a bus ($2) or a taxi ($15) to Puerto Ayora (40 mins).

    Boats called 'fibras' leave Puerto Ayora docks at 2pm every day. The crossing is 2 ½ hours and costs $30. Boats leave Isabela at 6am in order to make same-day flight connections from Baltra.
Underwater Wildife Haven
On Isabela you will find whale sharks, sea lions, manta rays, hammerheads, green turtles, marine iguanas, penguins...
Nowhere else on earth can you see penguins north of the equator, submarine reptiles and cormorants with flippers!
Hotel Albemarle . S/N En Malécon . Puerto Villamil . Isla Isabela . Galapagos . Ecuador