We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

where to go on isabela

New York City
Level Contributor
151 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
where to go on isabela

Not doing a cruise..going land based. Who can recommend what to see and where to go on Isabela? I hear about the west coast, north coast, etc. Looking also for a cheaper hotel on the island, as well as possible kayak rentals, mountain biking, snorkeling, etc. where we can go unattended, or with a guide if need be. Planning on two days there like i said...then flying back to Baltra I guess. Only have 6 full days Any tips helpful..thank you

Ecuador
Level Contributor
392 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: where to go on isabela

Why don't you try a Galapagos islands hoping trip? Travelers really love this. It is definetely one of the most convenient ways to see the islands on these days............

Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
60 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: where to go on isabela

Hi googoo,

in Isabela you'll be able to visit just the South coast and Sierra Negra Volcano.

The only way to see the western and northern side of the island is if you book a 8 day cruise that includes that landing sites in the itinerary.

Anyhow, don't fret, last year we spent 5 days in Puerto Villamil and we simply loved it. You can go about on your own and see A LOT of wildlife. (e.g. go to the wall of tears by taxi and come back on foot)

As day trips you can go to Los Tuneles, La Lobería, Las Tintoreras/Bay Tour, Sierra Negra Volcano (you cannot miss this one)...

As for the hotel, they are cheaper than in Santa Cruz but you'll have to search the web for rates.

Cheers!

Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
850 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: where to go on isabela

As the previous poster said, you can only easily see the south coast and the volcano as everything else is reserved for cruise landing sites. You should be able to charter a boat to Punta Moreno but I think you are looking at around $400 per person and there should be enough to see on the west coast for your 2 days. The main reason to get to Punta Moreno is to see flightless cormorant.

On the beach in front of the Albemarle hotel you should see various shore birds, blue-footed etc especialy on the rocks on the west side plus there is a viewing platform. You can walk west from there along the beach or along the sandy road at the back. The road reaches an Iguana crossing and from there there is a boardwalk inland that passes various small lakes on its way to the tortoise breeding center. Ther are lots of finches around the grounds.

On the beach by the Iguana crossing there are (unsurprisingly) Iguanas but also ghost crabs and shore birds.

The sandy road westbound continues all the way to the wall of tears (I think about 6 miles so as the previous poster said, get a taxi or official tour). There are many short trails off the road so it is worth walking back but take lots of water as there is nothing along the route. Shortly before the wall of tears there is a viewpoint where you can climb the steps for panaramic view of the island. You can get the taxi to wait at wall of tears and then take you to the viewpoint but you either need to speak Spanish or get your hotel to explain to the driver what you want before you leave. There is no chance of getting a taxi at the wall of tears.

The volcano must be a tour because you need a guide with you. Beware it gets very muddy on the trail. It is possible to climb the volcano on foot or by horse.

There are penguins at the public dock area. A few yards inland from there, is a trail on the right that leads to an area where you can snorkel.

You can get a boat/tour to Las Tintoreras which is a very small islet just off shore where you can see reef sharks and small iguanas.

From town, go up the street with Flamingo in its name and you find the flamingo lakes. Best to go late just before sunset.

You can hire bikes which is an alternative to taxi to the wall of tears.

There are no flights on Sundays. An alternative is fast boat which is £30 each way. Boat leaves Puerto Ayora at 2pm 7 days. Return boat leaves Isabela at 6am. Takes about 2hours. Book in advance at the public docks in Puerto Ayora. To get from Puerto Ayora to Baltra, take taxi (the white pickup trucks)to Itabaca Canal ($15) then ferry (80c) then free airport bus. Luggage allowance on internal flights is only 15kg total. International 20kg plus 7kg carry-on. Boats may charge extra if you have more than 1 bag ($10).

Only hotel I have stayed in is Albemarle which is very nice but not really in the cheap category.

On my new website there is a gallery for Galapagos and the flycatcher and ghost crab were both taken on Isabela. www.dpphotoimages.com Sorry you can't enlarge them yet.

LA
Level Contributor
98 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: where to go on isabela

thanks guys (this answered my question in my other post)....any indication on the hotel price?

how is hotel san vincente?

Cuenca, Ecuador
Level Contributor
47 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: where to go on isabela

Others have pretty much covered the topic, but I wanted to add that I think the two MUSTS on Isabela are Los Tuneles and Sierra Negra. I would also recommend going to Campo Duro for lunch after Sierra Negra...great food plus he has a halfway house for giant tortoises placed their by the PNG breeding program. Because of extensive organic gardens, the tortoises have developed a sweet tooth for bananas and papayas. They will literally eat out of your hand. Plus, you can become a Patron to a tortoise..no money, just name the Tortoise and then let any friends and family you have know to visit your tortoise and update you on its progress.

Not too far away is a fantastic lava tube. This is one of the newer Park Sites. Used to be private property and is now called Las Cuevas de Sucre. Set in the transitional zone in a forest the Park says is now completely endemic plants. It's lush greenery leading into the entrance. Not lit inside like the lava tunnels on Santa Cruz, so a flashlight is a MUST. Inside, the tunnels ceilings look like you're walking through a gold mine. Nice. No guide needed, just transport who knows where it is.

Los Tuneles is the highlight of most anyone's trip. GO!! No guide necessary if you don't mind no English. Manta and turtles on the way. Lava tunnels in crystal clear water where you can snorkel with penguins, tropical fish and sea lions. 2 active volcanoes looming above in the distance. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

Someone mentioned snorkeling Concha de Perla. Don't just go to the first inlet...cross the lava border at 12 o'clock from the pier and go to the second long inlet. It's a turtle cleaning station.

San Vincente is a good option for a budget traveler as is the Wooden House or Red Mangrove's 'old house'.

New York City
Level Contributor
151 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: where to go on isabela

Hello. I just returned from my galapagos trip and stayed at the San Vicente for two nites. Very clean, nice room with nice grounds. A/C, TV, very do-able. Was included in the two day land tour from santa cruz.....let me know if you need advice further, googoo

LA
Level Contributor
98 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: where to go on isabela

googoo,

many thanks.

FYI, i think we will take the boat from santa cruz (right after the cruise) and stay 2 nights at isabela, most likely on casa de marita (it has a low season price which is above the same as san vincent, which quoted me cost per person).

afterwards we will have 2 more nights at puerto ayora to cover what we havent seen during the cruise (the cruise covers only charles darwin station)

i would take the advice above for the tours, probably the lava tunnel, the voclano and the small island next to it.

would be nice if you have any additional comment.

and we will be there in about 10 days!!!

New York City
Level Contributor
151 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: where to go on isabela

Cool. Heard the lava tunnels were very cool. Make sure you get to Tortuga Bay. Nice. Real Nat GEo stuff. The boat ride to Isabela could get rough...but its fine. Saw a dolphin come completely out of the water in the boats wake. Opt for the rear seat of the boat to avoid being inside.....

London. UK
1 post
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: where to go on isabela

Wow! I've just read all the above and can't wait to get there! We're getting the boat both ways and spending 4 nights at Casa de Marita after our cruise. I think we'll definitely be doing all of the above. Will post when I return.

10. Re: where to go on isabela

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12 April 2010, 05:15