Explore one of the most important highland of Isabela such as the Sierra Negra volcano, the largest active volcanic crater in the Galapagos Islands. There are many things to do on Isabela. Relax at the “Shell Pearl”, which is a bay plenty of shallow, calm and clear water. Here you can go swimming and snorkeling with sea lions and penguins.
At your arrival in Baltra with the earliest flight, a driver will wait for you and drive you to Puerto Ayora, where you will take the next Speedboat to the Island Isabela. From Santa Cruz pier to the Speedboat, you will have to take a water taxi. Once arriving in Isabela you will have to take a water taxi from the Speedboat to Isabela’s pier. At your arrival, you will pay $10 per person entrance fee (Isabela local tax). Finally, a Spanish-speaking driver will take you to your hotel.
In the morning, you will climbing the Sierra Negra volcanic crater. It is simply not to be missed for geology lovers and adventure seekers. Since its last eruption in 2005, the geographically unique Sierra Negra Volcano is home to incredible lava paths adorned with the local plant and animal life. On the way to Sierra Negra Volcano, there is an evident change of scenery as you get closer to the highlands, from volcanic dryness with black soil and little vegetation to a humid florest with local and foreign plants introduced into the environment.
Sierra Negra is an excellent place for birdwatching (finches and “curracas” among many others). There are two paths to take, depending on the stamina of each person, one is a circuit which goes until the Sierra Negra Volcano lookout, and the other path goes is a straight way to the to the Chico Volcano.
We will travel by car to the Highlands of Isabela, following the route until the end of the road. There, we will begin a hike to a new geological world. During the hike we will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful views and incredible contrast between the volcanoes and the sea, to finally arrive to the edge of the Sierra Negra volcanic crater, the second largest active volcanic crater in the world. From there we will walk around this enormous 30 square mile crater. If we still have the energy, we can continue walking top the Chico Volcano, a place with unique scenery where there is a fusion of shades of red, oranges, yellows and blacks. Here, we can observe fumeroles and spectacular lava formations. On the way back from this hike, which can only be describe as Mars-like, we can enjoy our last evening on the beaches of Isabela Island.
In the afternoon, you will visit Concha Perla by your own. “Shell Pearl” is ideal for sports such as swimming or snorkeling site. It is a bay with shallow, calm and clear water that allows observing the fascinating Galapagos marine fauna and you can swim with sea lions and penguins, something that cannot be experienced in any other tropical region of the world.
The Los Tuneles Tour is the most spectacular site for scuba diving in Isabela Island. The water is shallow, calm and very clear- a sea sanctuary. A series of lava flows have produced unique geological formations, a series of arcs and tunnels underneath and above the water- a habitat for many local Galapagos Species. The entrance to the site is shallow and the waves can be strong, for this reason, the access can be complicated. The best time to visit the tunnels is between January and May. It is an exciting boat Adventure to a very unique geological site, a snorkeling paradise and home to various species of the incomparable enchanted islands.
There is an extension of 800 meters and an average temperature between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. The large quantities of seabirds such as the Albatros, Flamingos, Blue Footed Boobies, the magnificent frigate bird, are on the banks, where you can also see distinct species feeding such as the tortoises, iguanas, sea lions, manta rays, penguins, lobsters, and sea snakes. In a geographic context of countless colors and textures due to the different types of volcanic lava, and the colorful desert vegetation which includes Xerophitic plants among: cactus, “Palo Santo” (holy wood), and carob trees.
After breakfast, a guide will pick you up and you will discover the wetlands with bikes. The wetlands are a complex of trails that leads you to: El Cerro Orquilla (sightseeing point), El estero (mangroves and majagual forests, penal colony), La Poza Escondida (rock and wood trail), Poza Redonda (lava tube), El Túnel del Estero (lava tunnel, marine landscape), La Playa del Amor (coral and sand beach), Mirador de los Tunos y Pozas Verdes (trails with sightseeing points) and La Playita (beach).
The Breeding Center Arnaldo Tupiza was created for the protection of the giant tortoises, great place to see the efforts of conservation and animal welfare. Just a few minutes away from the town you will find a nice lagoon with pink flamingos, a natural habitat of these beautiful animals. Keep in mind that you will not visit all these sites, it depends on your local guide and tour itinerary.
In the afternoon, you will have a Kayak ride at “Las Tintoreras”. It is a chain of small islets full of cove and hidden beaches. The islet of Tintoreras is situates in the south of Puerto Villamil. It has a bay where it is possible to see sea lions, marine turtle, iguanas, manta rays, etc. This bay is connected by a superficial crack with crystalline water, which is closed off during low tide. In this crack, it is possible to see the sharks from Blanca Point swimming with the rest of the tropical fish and sea lions. It is necessary to travel in a boat to get to Tintoreras, and the access and routes are easy.
No Meals included
Around 5.20am a driver will take you to the pier to check in on the speedboat. From Isabela pier to the Speedboat, you will have to take a water taxi again. Once arriving in Santa Cruz you will have to take a water taxi from the Speedboat to Santa Cruz’s pier. Finally a Spanish speaking driver will take you to the Itabacca Channel. From here, you have to cross the channel and take a bus or a taxi to get to the airport and catch the latest flight.
Gulliver Expeditions is a tour operator that offers unique Ecuador and Peru tours. Specialized in adventure travel such as climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding. We offer both pre-planned packages as well as tailor-made tours that can include the Amazon rainforest, once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruises and expeditions to Machu Picchu.