Aside from offering the most charming town in the Galapagos Islands, and the most accessible, beautiful beach, Isabela Island offers a wide range of fun day tours and excursions.
A spectacular formation of lava tunnels and arches partly submerged in the sea. Here you can snorkel in several places and normally you see turtles, manta rays, sharks, sea lions, penguins among others. This tour should be booked in advance and requires a Galapagos Naturalist Guide.
Sierra Negra & Volcan Chico Hikes
Sierra Negra is one of the largest active volcanic calderas in the world at 11km in diameter. From the edge of the Caldera where you can take in spectacular views of the volcano that erupted as recently as August 2018. One hour further on and you arrive at ‘Volcan Chico’ where fumaroles and parasitic craters can be seen. This tour should be booked in advance and requires a Galapagos Naturalist Guide.
The Tintoreras are a series of small islands directly in front of Puerto Villamil. A boat takes 5 minutes to cross the bay and goes slowly along the coastline so you can see the Galapagos penguins and boobies. You can also snorkel in between the islands. There also get off the boat and take and a short trail that takes you to see sea lions and a spectacular water alley full of resting sharks. This tour should be booked in advance and requires a Galapagos Naturalist Guide.
Wall of Tears
A large wall made of lava boulders constructed by prisoners in 1948. It lies about 7km from the town and the road leading to it is in good shape, suitable for hiking or biking. Various, well sign-posted nature trails lead to lagoons, viewpoints, secluded beaches before the wall. There is a checkpoint with park guides, but you can do this trail on your own.
Be prepared for extremely hot weather conditions on this trail. Bring a lot of water (4L each or more). Bring sunscreen and a sun hat as well.
Concha de Perla
Concha de Perla is like a natural swimming pool, closed off from the sea. It is a next to the docks. It is a beautiful place to swim and snorkel. It is a 5 minute walk from town and you can visit on your own.
Giant Tortoise Breeding Center
This National Park run center is where the giant tortoises are raised from eggs to adolescence before being set free in their natural habitat in the highlands. The center is fun, especially for the children and there is a good interpretation room. It is a pretty 30 min walk from town or 5 minutes in a taxi. Going with a local guide will being the experience to life, but you are free to visit on your own.
The Wetlands of Isabela Island are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path and boardwalk that winds through the swamps. This activity can be done on your own, just be sure to stick to the path!
To the west of Puerto Villamil there are various salt and brackish lagoons which house an impressive variety of coastal and sea birds. Here, visitors can also find the largest concentration of flamingos in Galapagos. You can do this activity on your own.