This island of volcanoes has the most number of active volcanoes in the world. Known as the youngest island of Galapagos (approx 1 million years old), Isabella is the largest island by land and third smallest in terms of population. If not for anything else, visit Isabella to see its unique landscape surrounded by lava rocks and lava fields as new as 2005. We stayed at this beautiful little island for 2 days which was not enough for us. The shape of Isabela on the map is that of a seahorse. If you hike up to Sierra Negra and see the different points you can physically see the seahorse. There are two ways to get to Isabella island, either by a speed boat or by a small inter-island flight.
Note: If you’re going to Isabella by a speed boat, be prepared for adventurous massive waves. I got pretty seasick and had to close my eyes for most of my time on the boat! The trip was about 2-2.5 hrs.
We stayed at Hotel Albermarle, which was right on the beach: Detailed review for hotel here
Things we enjoyed doing and to not miss:
1. Hike up Sierra Negra volcano: Must do if you enjoy outdoors. Detailed review here.
2. Enjoy the beautiful Isabella beach (Puerto Villamil): We were staying at a hotel right in front of the beach which spoiled us. Again the sand was soft, white and the water was very clear. We could’ve spent another day just being on the beach and playing in the water with sea lions around! This was hands down our favorite beach of all the beaches we’ve been to on this trip.
3. Go kayaking. Put on a life jacket, grab the oars and go out in the water. You won’t regret it!! Detailed review of our experience here
Places to eat:
Isabela Island is not particularly known for good food, if anything it is known for the lack of good restaurants. Our guide Pablo who has lived on Isabela since 1998 told us there were only 3 restaurants when he moved there. There are quite a few now but none of them that stood out. We had dinner at a restaurant named Caesar’s which had nothing to rave about and at Restaurant Cafe and bar. Restaurant cafe and bar were pricey, however, one particular dish with fried plantain as a base for vegetarian and chicken pizza stood out. We really enjoyed that!