When your cruise ship docks at the Isabela Port, you are entering an island that occupies approximately 60% of the Galapagos land area. This land formation is a result of several volcanoes that merged to create one island; only one is active. These volcanoes are Sierra Negra, Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Wolf and Ecuador. From among these, Vulcan Ecuador remains active.
For a nice choice of books, clothing and souvenir items, shop at the Charles Darwin Research Station; it will help fund the research station. The profit of the shop is used for the operational expenses of the station and helps to sustain the research facilities.
A great number of shirt selections exist at the Darwin Station Tienda. These are the big selling items on the island. They have prints of the tribal, marine and animal species that you can find in the island.
If you are into gold and silver products, visit the Fabian Salame store to find products by a Tiffany's designer. You will be pleased with the many selections of jewelry and other gold and silver items.
For your other needs, you can directly go to the Avenue Charles Darwin and head to the main supermarket. You will find affordable items in the basic place frequented by locals. You will be surprised to see people drinking beer as they walk and shop around the area.
Things to See
You will enjoy the sight of flamingos and other different species of wading birds. Be sure to have a camera ready to capture these beautiful birds. The best place for bird watching is the Laguna de Villamil. You will see local and cruise tourists enjoying the view of the birds flying and scattering about the area.
If you are interested in some mountain adventure, you can climb the Volcan Sierra Negra; it has a height of almost 5,000 feet. As you go to the volcano, there is a designated departure area in the Santo Tomas village; you can choose to walk or horseback ride to the volcano. When you reach the top, you will be in awe at the 6 mile view. You can follow a trail that leads to active fumaroles and see species of birds that include owls, flycatchers, hawks and finches.
For water adventure, visitors can enjoy a boat tour to Punta Moreno to see a great number of shore birds and penguins. You can also follow a trail the leads to lava rocks; you will see the channel between Isabela and Fernandina which is a favorite place of whales. Bird and whale watching activities are productive in this area.
Snorkel at the Mariela Islas and you will encounter rays and marine turtles. For a view of iguanas, pelicans and cormorants, go to the Urbina Bay located within the Volcan Alcedo area.
Restaurants and Bars
Enjoy Asian food at the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge or The Rock. Visitors typically are very satisfied with the sushi served. You can also find restaurants along the Avenue Charles Darwin and find many local food choices to enjoy. For inexpensive meals, go to Garrapata in Santa Cruz or the Rock. However, for the more fancy meals, dine at the Hotel Finch Bay and Angermeyer Point for waterfront dining experience in the island.