The Galapagos Islands are known as the great reserve of fauna in the world and are a must for snorkeling and discovering endemic species.

The Galapagos Islands, an archipelago that needs no introduction

This volcanic archipelago is recognized as the great reserve of marine and terrestrial fauna that so upset Charles Darwin during his scientific research campaign aboard the Beagle.

Classified as a National Park, the biosphere reserve has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978.  The archipelago comprises several islands, 4 of which are inhabited: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Floreana and Isabela.

It’s the latter that we’d like to focus on today.

Isabela Island is the largest of the Galapagos Islands

It is characterized by its seahorse shape, which makes it unique.

Above all, it is the most active and recent volcanic part of the archipelago. It’s also the youngest island, “growing” as it concentrates the most active terrestrial and submarine volcanoes.

Many different activities are possible here. In particular, the naturalist Isla Tortuga, just a stone’s throw from Puerto Villamil.

It’s a beautiful getaway that will delight many of our travellers, as it’s little-known by tourists yet teems with a multitude of birds and underwater fauna.

Ideal for travelers wishing to get away from the tourist hotspots while enjoying the biodiversity of the Galapagos archipelago on an island with its own unique flora and fauna.

Day trip to Isla Tortuga

Located around 40 minutes from Isabela, Isla Tortuga is an ancient volcanic caldera, only half of which remains submerged.

It is so named for its turtle-like shape, which can be seen in the distance: the islet forms the body, and the rock represents the head of the turtle that has come to the surface to breathe.

Program for isla Tortuga outing

You’ll spend the day exclusively on the boat, or snorkeling in the water. No disembarkation possible.

Your boat will sail along the island at a leisurely pace, allowing you to observe the many and varied species of birds it shelters.

These include blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, seagulls, petrels and red-necked frigatebirds, which can be seen in the distance trying to seduce their females.

For the snorkelling session, an open sea experience awaits you, with schools of fish of all colors, rays, starfish and turtles.

If you’re lucky, it’s also one of the few places where you can observe hammerhead sharks while snorkelling.

Back on board, you’ll also enjoy watching iguanas clinging to the rocks, sea lions resting and pelicans fishing.

This is one of the Galapagos Islands’ main nesting sites for seabirds.

You certainly won’t know where to turn…!

All in all, a rich day out

On the way back to Isabela, you’ll have the chance to observe some traditional deep-sea fishing with the boat’s crew.

Although less well known than other snorkeling sites on Isabela Island, Isla Tortuga makes a lasting impression with its abundance of birds and the treasures hidden beneath its marine depths.

Lovers of snorkeling and ornithology will be delighted by this getaway!