Exploring Isabela Island

A chance to explore the largest of the Galapagos Islands on this 5 day island stay.

giant tortoise
isabela island
sea lion

Exploring Isabela Island

Prices from: £1,860pp for 4 nights

Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and offers a huge variety of flora and fauna. On this 5 day holiday you are based at a lovely tented lodge in the highlands and set off each morning with your guide to explore different parts of the island. In a shot space of time you’ll enjoy memorable wildlife encounters and breath-taking views as you experience the wonders of the Galapagos.

Highlights include a visit to atmospheric mangroves where bird and marine life thrives, seeing hatchling and juvenile giant tortoises, viewing amazing lava formations above an below the water, the chance to snorkel in calm ocean waters with colourful fish and turtles, and a hike up to the second largest crater in the world.

The lodge makes a perfect base, providing a quiet and relaxed setting where you can rest between excursions. The central lodge has ample areas for socialising and relaxing, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering superb panoramic views. The tented accommodation, reminiscent of a safari camp, is designed to help you feel close to nature. Surrounded by lush vegetation, you can sit out on your private terrace and enjoy being part of the scene.

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  • 4 nights on Isabela Island
  • Spacious tented accommodation
  • See tortoises, sea lions, boobies and more
  • Explore mangroves and lava tubes
  • Stand at the rim of a massive, active, volcano!

DAY 1: SUNDAY Your flight from the mainland lands at Baltra, where you are met and transferred to Puerto Ayora for the speedboat ride to Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. No activities have been planned this afternoon so you’re free settle into your new surroundings. The lodge is set in 16 hectares of forested grounds and is a peaceful location where relaxation comes easily. Lunch, dinner

DAY 2: MONDAY Your island exploration begins in earnest after breakfast today, with a trip to Los Humedales and a choice of walking routes. ‘Humedales’ means wetlands and all four species of mangroves that exist in the Galapagos can be seen here, as well as rock pools, sandy beaches and lava tunnels, and there are good chances of seeing flamingos. Next you visit the giant tortoise breeding centre, for close-up views of these creatures, young and old. The morning concludes with a visit to the Wall of Tears, painstakingly built by prisoners between 1945 and 1959 when the island served as a penal colony. Enjoy lunch back at the hotel, and later explore Sucre Cave for a botanical walk with your guide. You also visit Mango Gazevo where you have far reaching views across the south of the island and have good chances of seeing Galapagos finches, and The Triplets, three extinct volcanoes, to discover more if the island’s native flora. Later you return to Scalesia Lodge for dinner.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner  

Sea lion
DAY 3: TUESDAY This morning you board a speed boat for the 40 minute ride to Los Tuneles, named after the many lava tubes and bridges that can be seen here, evidence of the volcanic nature of the Galapagos archipelago. The waters here shelter many marine species including turtles, rays, white-tipped reef sharks and sea lions. You have the chance to go snorkelling for views of both wildlife and the fascinating lava formations. Back on land you can expect to see many birds including blue-footed boobies perching among the tubes and arches. You head back to Scalesia Lodge for lodge, and the afternoon is free for you do you as wish, either remaining at the hotel or enjoying time at the beach in Puerto Villamil.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Sierra NegraDAY 4: WEDNESDAY Volcano day! Today you travel to the southeast of Isabela to see the impressive Sierra Negra volcano, one of the most active in the Galapagos and the second largest caldera in the world with a diameter of 10kms. From here you walk across lava fields to Sierra Chico, another active volcano. The scenery here is stunning and you should get some amazing views, so be suer to take your camera. In all the hike will take about six hours, and there’s a stop for a tasty packed lunch on the way. Return to the lodge, where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner 

DAY 5: THURSDAY Following an early breakfast you check out of the lodge and return via Puerto Ayora to Baltra airport, for the flight back to the mainland.  Breakfast

Price from (pp sharing): £1,860 (ex. international flights)

Includes: ​Return flights from mainland Ecuador to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands, return transfers from Baltra airport to Scalesia Lodge, 4 nights twin share accommodation, meals as specified, guided tours as described in the itinerary, sales tax

Excludes: International flights and taxes, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park currently US$100 per person and subject to change, Galapagos transit card currently US$20 per person, entrance fee to Puerto Villamil currently US$10 per person, drinks, tips, optional activities at the lodge

Getting there: ​This holiday starts and ends in Quito on mainland Ecuador. Return flights from the UK to Quito cost around £675, depending on season and availability. We normally book these flights for you.

Departure dates: This itinerary starts on a Sunday and ends on a Thursday and operates year round.

Scalesia Lodge

Scalesia LodgeJust a 20 minute drive from Puerto Villamil, Scalesia Lodge, which opened in September 2015, is set in 16 hectares of grounds in the forested highlands of Isabela Island. From this elevated position there are views down to the coast and ocean. Accommodation is in spacious tents (30 square metres internal space) set on raised wooden decks. Each has a bedroom and en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower and 24 hour hot water. To the front is a large (23 square metre) terrace. The lodge has 3 separate areas where you can rest and relax, enjoying the company of other guests, catching up on some reading or just enjoying the views. The lodge offers individual excursions and activities such as mountain biking, trekking, kayaking and surfing, as well as set 4 and 5 packages.

walking across lava flow rock

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We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would be delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday. Call 01473 890499 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.