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Isabela, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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White-sand beaches, mangrove-filled lagoons, cloud-piercing volcanoes and turquoise coves that once harbored pirates welcome visitors to the vibrant shores of Isabela. This seahorse-shaped isle is the largest of the Galapagos archipelago and is composed of six joined shield volcanoes, of which five are still active. Some 16 species of whales have been sighted off the west coast, so cruisers keep their eyes peeled for the telltale spouts from the likes of humpbacks and orcas. Shore excursions include lava-flow treks at the Sierra Negra Volcano—Earth’s second-largest caldera—and dinghy rides to bays filled with sea lions, reef sharks, marine iguanas, sea turtles and rays. For a glimpse into the island’s human history, a trail leads to the Wall of Tears, built in the mid-1900s by the prisoners of a penal colony. A Tortoise Center offers looks at Galapagos giant tortoises, reaching up to 475 pounds, and their latest hatchlings.

Language: Spanish
Currency: US dollar (US$)

Isabela, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Weather
Temperature (Fahrenheit)
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 82 86 86 82 81 81 77 75 75 75 77 79
Low 64 66 64 66 64 63 61 59 59 56 61 63
Temperature (Celsius)
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 28 30 30 28 27 27 25 24 24 24 25 26
Low 18 19 18 19 18 17 16 15 15 13 16 17
Precipitation
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Inches 7 6 7 6 3 4 5 3 3 3 3 5
Centimeters 18 15 18 15 8 10 13 8 8 8 8 13
Precipitation Days
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Days 14 12 8 8 8 9 12 12 12 11 10 10