Exploring Isabela Island

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

giant tortoise
isabela island
Room
sea lion

Exploring Isabela Island

Prices from: £2,435 pp 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. There are set activities each day, detailed below, and you can choose to stay for 2, 3 or 4 nights enjoying different excursions each day. We have based the guide price on a 5 day-4 night stay. Your flight is scheduled to land on Isabela at 1pm, so you can take part in the afternoon activities on the first day. On your final day you have breakfast at the lodge and depart on a morning flight back to the mainland via Baltra.

Scalesia 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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Summary

  • Return flights from the mainland to the Galapagos Islands
  • 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!
lodge surrounding
THURSDAY and MONDAY

Tintoreras and Los Humedales and Tortoise Breeding Station.
This morning you visit the islet of Tintoreras just a 10 minute ride by panga (dinghy) from Puerto Villamil. Tintoreras is the Spanish word for for the white-tipped reef sharks that are often sighted here, along with sea lions, penguins and marine iguanas. Go snorkelling and see what you can see! You return to Scaleisa Lodge for lunch and in the afternoon take a walking tour of Los Humedales to explore the mangroves, lava tunnels, pools and beaches. You should observe an array of bird life. Afterwards you have the chance to visit the tortoise breeding centre to spend time among some of these impressive creatures, icons of the islands. You then head back to the lodge to freshen up before dinner. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 

Turtle
FRIDAY and TUESDAY

Los Tuneles and afternoon beach activities
Take an exciting speedboat ride to Los Tuneles, to see how the volcanic nature of the Galapagos Islands has shaped the geology. There are amazing lava tubes and bridges both above and below the surface of the water, and the scene presents excellent photographic opportunities. Wildlife seen here includes white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, manta rays, turtles and many species of fish, and this is a great place to enjoy some snorkelling. Have lunch at the lodge and the rest of the day is free for you to explore Puerto Villamil beach, or select one of the following activities, available at extra cost: biking, kayaking, surfing. Breakfast, lunch, dinner   

lave rocks
SATURDAY and WEDNESDAY

Volcan Chico and Sierra Negra, Cueva de Sucre, Mirador del Mango and beach
Time for some hiking! You visit 2 active volcanoes this morning. The walk takes about 6 hours and takes you to Volcan Chico and Sierra Negra, the latter with the second largest crater in the world. The views are breathtaking. You have time to enjoy a well-earned snack, and then return to Scalesia Lodge for lunch. This afternoon you visit Sucre Cave near Puerto Villamil, and have a short walk in the area, before travelling to Mirador del Mango with stunning panoramic views of the south of Isabela Island. Look out for Darwin’s finches which frequent the area. Breakfast, lunch, dinner

sea lion
SUNDAY

The Wall of Tears is a moving sight, constructed stone by stone by prisoners of the penal colony that existed here in the mid 20th century. The dimensions are huge, almost 100 metres long and 20 metres high in places. Many of the prisoners perished during its construction, which ended in 1959, and the site is believed by some locals to be haunted. Enjoy a change of scene this afternoon as you swim and snorkel in Concha Perla bay, whose shallow waters are ideal for watching marine species such as turtles, penguins, sea lions and innumerable fish. Bird watching is good on land. There is the opportunity to enjoy one of the following activities during your visit: kayaking, surfing, biking. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 

Price from (pp sharing): £2,435 (ex. international flights)

Includes: ​Return flights from mainland Ecuador to Baltra in the Galapagos Islands, return flights from Baltra to Isabela, and return transfers from Isabela 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 can begin on the day of your choice and operates year round. We have based the holiday on the 5 day itinerary, but 3 and 4 day itineraries are also available.

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 each day and activities such as mountain biking, trekking, kayaking and surfing.

walking across lava flow rock

Take the next step...

We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday. Call 01473 599082 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.