Isabela Island, Galápagos
Isabela is one of the youngest islands, about 1 million years old, and the largest in the archipelago, formed by the merger of six shield volcanoes: Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul.
Ecuador is the only inactive volcano, in contrast to Sierra Negra, which is one of the most active, having last erupted in June 2018.
Isabela boasts beautiful white-sand beaches, lush forests, and plenty of wildlife, such as the endemic Galapagos penguin, marine iguanas, flamingos, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, white-tip sharks, flightless cormorants, pelicans, and more.
You can explore the island on board a cruise or stay on land at a beachfront hotel, the latter being our preferred choice.
From Puerto Villamil, a village of about 3000 inhabitants, you can hike to Sierra Negra Volcano; visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center; go snorkeling at the Tunnels or Concha Perla; kayak by the pier; bike to the historic Wall of Tears; climb the stairs up Orchilla Hill; take a boat trip to Tintoreras Islet; and enjoy lunch at one of the tropical fruit farms in the highlands.
This is indeed “nature concentrate” in one easy-to-visit island – with plentiful photo opportunities for couples!