Isabela Island is the largest of the Galapagos Islands with a total land area of 4640 km2 (1790 ml2) and length of 100 km (62 miles) almost 4 times larger than Santa Cruz, the 2nd largest of the archipelago. The island was named after Queen Isabella of Spain, but originally it was named after the Duke of Albemarle. Isabela Island strides the equator.
One of the youngest, Isabela Island is situated on the western edge of Galapagos archipelago close to the Galapagos hotspot. At nearly 1 million years old, the isle was formed by the merger of six shield volcanoes. The settlements of Santo Tomas and Puerto Villamil were founded in 1893. By 1905, island's inhabitants were 200. Exports at the time were lime made from coral and sulfur mined from fumaroles. Tortoises were used for oil and meat. Popular attractions include the Flamingo Lagoon and El Muro de las Lagrimas wall (built by prisoners at the time when the island was a penal colony). Both are located in the south of Isabela Island.
Isabela Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Isabela Island dock (anchor) at Puerto Ayora - port town on the on the southern shore of Santa Cruz Island.
The following map of Galapagos Islands cruise itineraries shows the two main routes and all island stops (ports / landing sites) in the archipelago.
Isabela Island tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Popular Isabela Island shore excursion destinations are:
- Punta Vicente Roca
- Caleta Tagus (Tagus Cove)
- Bahia Elizabeth (Elizabeth Bay)