The largest island in the archipelago formed from six immense volcanoes that rose from the sea about a million years ago and created a lava crust that eventually eroded into soil over which gave a foothold for the unique, fearless wildlife that call it home.

Puerto Villamil, Isabela’s only town is a much mellower version of Puerto Ayora and possibly the most popular port after Puerto Ayora to hang out in a hammock and watch the boobies fly by. Over the last several years, numerous quality hotels, restaurants, and tour operators have blossomed in and around town. Many are poised on or nearby the town’s centerpiece — the beach.

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. Snorkeling is excellent at several spots near town, and sea kayaking is sublime.

Hotels in and around Puerto Villamil

Scalesia Lodge – is a new hotel and an entirely new concept on Isabela Island where travelers stay in luxury tents with spectacular views over the forest. The main lodge is modern with excellent service and cuisine. The lodge is normally visited as a 4 or 5 day all inclusive package

Iguana Crossing Hotel – is Isabela’s premier luxury beachfront hotel named after, you guessed it, the marine iguanas that cross the hotel property every day year round. Iguana Crossing is well known for their cuisine, and the company that operates the hotel (Opuntia Hotels) offers a novel “Active Tour for Foodies” which tours the Galapagos’ gastronomic delights as you enjoy the sites and adventure.