Isabela is located in the western portion of the Galapagos and together with its great neighbor Fernandina, is one of the recent emerging of the archipelago. Isabela island maintains a unique enchantment inside the populated islands of the archipelago
Isabela island maintains a unique enchantment inside the populated islands of the archipelago, the tranquility perceived while walking its sand streets and the natural surroundings close to the urban areas are the characteristics that distinguish it.
Several volcanoes have become active during recent years in the island, this is the case of the Wolf volcano which recently became active.
By sea: from Puerto Ayora in cabotage boats. The journey lasts for about 2 hours.
By air: from Baltra island in small planes, the flight time is of about 30 minutes.
30 minutes in a plane from Baltra or 2 hours from Puerto Ayora in a boat.
Isabela is also interesting for its flora and fauna. The young island does not follow the vegetation zones of the other islands. The relatively new lava fields and surrounding soils have not developed the sufficient nutrients required to support the varied life zones found on other islands. Another obvious difference occurs on Volcan Wolf and Cerro Azul; these volcanoes loft above the cloud cover and are arid on top.
Isabela’s rich bird, animal and marine life is beyond compare. Isabela is home to more wild tortoises than all the other islands. Isabela’s large size and notable topography created barriers for the slow-moving tortoises; apparently the creatures were unable to cross lava flows and other obstacles, causing several different sub-species of tortoise to develop. Today, tortoises roam free in the calderas of Alcedo, Wolf, Cerro Azul, Darwin, and Sierra Negra.
Introduced goats multiplied to over 100,000, but were eradicated by the Galápagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Foundation in 2006-2007. Since then, the vegetation has recovered greatly.
Other noted species include penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, boobies, pelicans and Sally Lightfoot crabs abound. Galápagos land iguanas, Darwin’s finches, Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves, and very interesting lowland vegetation. The west coast of Isabela in the Bolivar Channel is the best place in Galápagos for viewing whales and dolphin.