Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos, but has a relatively small population of only around 2,200. One of the gems of the archipelago, this is laid-back island living at its finest. The beach is lined with humble but delicious seafood restaurants, and there is a nice range of accommodations. The population center of Puerto Villamil stretches along a beautiful expanse of beach. This enchanting town is full of colorful characters who are bound to make your stay unforgettable. This island is visited by only a few commercial tour boats, but is accessible by air or water transport.
The tranquil appearance of the island belies an incredible array of activities to choose from. The area surrounding the town has been rustically cultivated with hiking trails that allow visitors to explore many natural attractions independently. Its rich animal, bird, and marine life is beyond compare. Isabela is home to more wild tortoises than all the other islands together. The island is known for its flamingos, which gracefully traverse the lagoons and marshes at dusk. On the west coast of the island the nutrient rich Cromwell Current upwelling creates a feeding ground for fish, whales, dolphin and birds. These waters have long been known as the best place to see whales in the Galapagos. Some 16 species of whales have been identified in the area including humpbacks, sperms, sei, minkes and orcas.
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