The largest and second most volcanically active island in the archipelago, Isabella, can be accessed directly from Santa Cruz, by boat from Puerto Ayora or by plane from Baltra (30 minutes). Puerto Villamil, Isabella’s main town is a much mellower version of Puerto Ayora and the most popular port after Puerto Ayora to hang out in a hammock and watch the boobies fly by. True to island attitude, expect only the most basic tourist accommodations, restaurants and bars (and we mean basic!).
The town’s beach is a spectacular two-mile stretch of silky bone-colored sand sprouting swaying palms in just the right spots. A five-minute walk from town, you will find a tucked-away lagoon sprouting flamingos. Hikers will appreciate the numerous trails heading inland and up the sides of the Island’s volcanoes.
The Ballena Azul Hotel sells a small, but informative guide to Isla Isabella for about USD 4.
Pelican perched on a rock in the Galapagos.
Private 5-seater plane: USD 65 one way/USD 130 round-trip; Monday through Saturday (30 minutes each way). Tickets can be purchased at the EMETEBE office near the port supermarket. Open: 7:15 am – 10:45 am and 2:00 – 6:00 pm. Phone: 05-526177.
INGALA (the national boat company) travels between the Santa Cruz and Isabella twice a month. Check at the INGALA office located near the supermarket and post office for scheduled departures (their schedule seems to constantly change).