Isla Isabella is the largest and most volcanically active island in the archipelago and you can get there directly from Santa Cruz.
With a chain of five volcanoes practically right through the middle, the highest of which is Volcan Wolf. Alecdo is the youngest and most active of the Galapagos volcanoes. Volcano Sierra Negra, on the south side of Isabella, is the best and most impressive illustration of a volcano. It is one of the largest craters in the world after Ngovongoro in Africa.
It was used by the American military during the Second World War, and was up until the mid 1900’s a Penal colony. You can see the ‘Muro di las Lagrimas’, ‘the wall of tears’ built by the convicts.
The small port of Puerto Villamil is the main town. But it is definitely not aimed at tourists. It has hotels, bars and restaurants, although it is best to ask in advance if you wish to eat. You can book three-day horseback rides up a volcano. The towns’ beach is an amazing two-mile stretch of ivory sand with palm trees to complete the vision.
Must-sees: the lagoon at Quinta Playa has the largest colony of Flamingos in the islands, the vegetation and the spectacle of the volcano make this a unique place, you can never forget.
Urvina Bay, North of Isabella Island is an amazing location because of the landscape left by the eruption of Alcedo Volcano, in 1954, with corals, and shells, exposed out of the water. There are land iguanas, and turtles, and some of the largest Marine Iguanas.
Take a tour along the cliffs at Tagus Cave, which was a pirate's refuge during 18th & 19th centuries. You can still see graffiti in the clefts made by the pirates, and you will see penguins, pelicans, flightless Cormorants and a mass of other seabirds.
There is a tortoise-breeding centre on the island where you can see tortoises of all sizes thriving, from the hatchlings to the big boys.