Recent News
Loading...

Recent Posts

10 August, 2013

Exploring Isabela Island Galapagos

Sea Lions on the dock of Isabela Island Galapagos
Isabela Island Galapagos
After our visit to the beautiful Santa Cruz Island, we took a small boat to our next destination namely the stunning sea-horse shaped Isabela Island formed of 6 volcanoes of which 5 are still active. It was quite a rough but breathtaking ride through turquoise waters. Upon arrival in Isabela we were greeted by sea lions sunning on the dock. Can you imagine anything more unique? This island is the biggest in the Galapagos archipelago and with almost a million years behind it also one of the youngest. Undisturbed by progress, the human population here leads a peaceful co-existence with wildlife like giant tortoises, iguanas, blue footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, sea turtles and with white-tipped reef sharks to name a few. To preserve all this beauty, make sure to visit with a Green Awareness.


Sierra Negra Volcano Crater Isabela Island
Sierra Negra Volcano

Sierra Negra Volcano

About 27 kilometers from the sole settlement Puerto Villamil towards the north-west is a volcanic crater named Sierra Negra, a popular hiking destination. The fact that this volcano was active as recently as 2005 has not hindered the tourist activity in any way and has even added more to its mysticism and charm. From the drop-point we hiked about 1 kilometer to the huge caldera - the second biggest in the world - from where the views were absolutely stunning.


Landscape on the way to Volcano Chico Isabela Island
Landscape to Volcano Chico
We hiked for another 5 kilometer on an easy path next to the caldera - enjoying all along the way a fabulous view over the crater - till we reached the famous Jaboncillo tree. This proved to be the perfect place to rest our feet in the shade. After a small break, we continued hiking towards the Volcano Chico which is a quite challenging hike of about an hour through lava fields. Remarkable is the word to describe the amazing flora and if you come across any fauna then all your tiredness disappears in a jiffy simply by looking at something so unique and beautiful. The main highlights surrounding Volcano Chico are lava fields belonging to different eruptions, fumaroles and a stunning panoramic view of several volcanic peaks. 

There is no place here to provide even a bit of respite from the burning sun, so make sure to carry enough water and plunge yourself liberally with sun block.


Holiday Nomad with a Sea Lion on the dock of Isabela Island
Isabela Island dock

Concha de Perla

Close to the dock area in Isabela is a path leading into the depths of the mangrove forest, this trail leads to the beautiful Concha de Perla. Home to sea turtles, sea lions and penguins, Concha de Perla is a popular snorkeling spot not just because of its beauty but also because of its safety. There is a main pool teeming with marine life in all its glory and a little bay over the ledge of volcanic rock. We unfortunately did not have the chance to swim with sea lions here but we did come across lots of huge sea turtles and tropical fish.


Blue footed boobies and galapagos penguins sitting together on a rock
Blue Footed Boobies and Galapagos Penguins

Las Tintoreras Bay

A few minutes away from Puerto Villamil is a cluster of little isles names Las Tintoreras. We took a small boat and headed towards Las Tintoreras. On the way we saw many blue footed boobies and penguins sitting in harmony together on the rocks.



Las Tintoreras Iguanas on Isabela Island
Las Tintoreras Iguanas
Once arrived, we took a walk through the lava field and sighted many iguanas. The little iguana babies started to explore the surroundings on their own and the entire island was literally covered by iguanas of various sizes. 


Sea lion playing with its pup on Isabela Island
Las Tintoreras Beach
On a deserted beach we saw a sea lion playing with its pup, it really felt like being in paradise. Nature can be so beautiful. In a channel lots of white-tipped reef sharks were resting at the bottom. We concluded this excursion of a life-time by going snorkeling in this shallow bay surrounded by mangroves. This time we were lucky enough, we snorkeled with the white-tipped reef sharks - don't worry they are not aggressive - and two sea lions were swimming along with us. What an incredible experience. 


Wall of Tears

During your stay do make it a point to walk through the little town of Puerto Villamil as well. Discover the typical relaxed Galapagos lifestyle or take a historic break and visit the Wall of Tears located on the outskirts of this town. This wall stands in commemoration of the prisoners who were made to labor under harsh conditions. In order to keep them occupied, they had to construct this wall of lava stones. As per a local legend, souls tortured by tyranny still cry out at night. 



Freya - Holiday Nomad, a Travel and Photo Blog



34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Jaklien it's an incredible place

      Delete
  2. Lovely travel documentary with beautiful pictures. Isabela Island seems to be the quintessential holiday spot where one can have a great time amidst nature without while having a relaxed vacation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) The Galapagos are a unique place, not really a place for resorts or the like but an incredible place to see wildlife and beautiful landscapes.

      Delete
  3. These places look beautiful, so many animals and untouched nature to discover. I'd definitely would love to go one day, thanks for sharing Freya! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another place I would love to go. Hopefully, one day.
    Amazing photos, Freya. The iguanas look creepy. Brr-rr!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha yes those iguanas look creepy but they don't bite :)

      Delete
  5. I was a bit disappointed by Isabela. I think it's because I had just finished an 8 day cruise and missed the people I'd met there. Then I travelled over to Isabela, which was really quiet, and it rained the whole time!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that, yes rain can spoil quite a lot but it's an amazing beautiful island.

      Delete
  6. Sounds a wonderful tour! the herd of iguana looking beautiful and like as discover. such Island seems awesome in the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Galapagos are indeed awesome

      Delete
  7. Love these photos, Freya! You're so lucky to have visited the Galapagos and have such an amazing experience. Love the boobies and penguins picture. I can't imagine seeing an iguana covered island. That may be a bit creepy yet cool to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha yes it was a bit creepy but that island was just incredible, definitely a must see ... just watch your step :)

      Delete
  8. I didn't know there were that many volcanoes and five active ones. I need to rewatch Ring of Fire. I should have remembered that for sure.

    I love the seal shots just sunbathing. Living the good life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it's the most volcanic island from the Galapagos archipelago

      Delete
  9. Those sea lions are so cute and adorable!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That looks like a serious paradise. I would definitely be dousing myself in the glue that companies like to call SPF 70, but it would totally be worth it. I love volcanoes and the wildlife looks incredible too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous pictures! That's amazing you got that close to that sea lion. I take it they are a bit domesticated around the dock?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mike, they are not domesticated but they are not afraid at all from humans, similar to all the wildlife on Galapagos. That's what makes this place so unique.

      Delete
  12. Beautiful photos! This is one of my dream trips! My husband visited the Galapagos before I knew him and I'm insanely jealous of that fact - we would really like to visit with our girls before the older one doesn't want to travel with us anymore!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a dream destination, you'll love it.

      Delete
  13. Spectacular series of the water's animals! such a great tour. thanks for sharing with us....

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my gosh, you were able to get so close to that cute little sea lion. What an amazing place. Beautiful photos of Isabela Island.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cathy, yes they are not afraid from people at all but of course it's not allowed to touch or feed them.

      Delete
  15. Those sea lions are adorable and the terrain is exciting; changes so much - green plants to sand and rock with cacti. Incredible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an incredible island, just amazing.

      Delete
  16. Iguana pile for the win!

    Amazing array of terrain shown there. Great stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Galapagos are just stunning including the iguanas :)

      Delete
  17. The seals are so cute! I want to visit the Galapagos so bad and see all the penguins, iguanas, seals and animals. Animal lover paradise :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Samantha, it is indeed an animal lover's paradise :)

      Delete

I love to hear from you, so feel free to leave your comments.
All comments are moderated ... spam comments will be deleted.
Bloggers can use any of the available IDs or alternatively open ID or name/url to leave a link to their blog or latest post.
Looking forward to hear from you!
Freya - Holiday Nomad