After breakfast, we say goodbye to San Cristobal to board our small plane for a thrilling flight across the archipelago’s azure waters and volcanic landscapes to Isabela Island. Amazingly, it is still in the throes of creation, formed by six active shield volcanoes. In fact, Isabela is one of the most volcanically active spots on the planet.
Once checked into your hotel, set out on a one-of-a-kind, self-guided easy hike. Isabela is a true treasure trove. As you explore along wooden walkways, observe an incredible variety of fauna and flora, from giant tortoises, flamingos, finches and mockingbirds. Continue through coastal ecosystems including white sand beaches, the alluring poison apple forest, a gaping lava tube, dark mangroves and brackish lagoons.
Seafood, Ecuadorian and international cuisine are all available in the small beach town of Puerto Villamil. You can grab a quick dip in the ocean, or a swing in a hammock, before setting out to explore the Tintoreras visitor site, as part of a shared basis boat tour. It’s a group of small rocky islets filled with hidden coves and isolated beaches, explored by small boat and with snorkeling gear. Get ready for close encounters with the endemic Galapagos penguin, as well as reef sharks, sea turtles and sea lions. At the end of the day, your evening is free and easy. (B)