Biking Los Humedales: The Wetlands of Isabela

Isabela Island, Things to Do, Travel Tips

Imagine biking the wetlands of Isabela in the Galapagos Islands. You whiz by blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, and marine iguanas, you hop off the bike to explore cactus forests and lagoons. Doesn’t sound like your everyday bike ride does it?

It’s a very unique experience!

Cactus lined lagoon

Getting to the Isabela Wetlands

A lot of people that tour the wetlands go by van. Other people walk there from town, though it’s quite a hike.

I chose to bike the wetlands, it was hard but rewarding.

The dirt roads of the town, quickly gave way to a long sandy trail. There were long stretches of beach on one side, and dry cactus forest on the other. Then the terrain changed and there were lagoons hidden away on little foot trails.

Exploring tunnels of trees!

Lagoons, Beaches, and a Tragic History

The magic of biking in the wetlands is exploring all the tiny foot trails that branch off the main trail. You never know what you’ll find!

One trail led to a secluded inlet where waves lapped at mangrove roots, another led to a wooden staircase where you could climb up and see clear across the island. Several led to isolated lagoons lined with cacti, and another led to a nesting site where brightly colored marine iguana were crawling all over eachother.

The last path I took led to the historic Wall of Tears, the ruins of a penal colony. The sole purpose was to give the convicts hard labor, many people died in the process.

Marine iguana at the Isabela wetlands

The Wall of tears

How To Cool Off Afterwards

What was the best part of biking to Los Humedales? Cooling off at the beach afterwards, of course!

It was a 6 km ride (with an incline) to get to the furthest point of the wetlands. After that I couldn’t think of anything better than running into the waves of Isabela’s gorgeous Playa Grande beach!

The section far out of town on the way back from the wetlands is pristine with fewer people. If you’re lucky, you might just spot an enormous group of blue-footed boobies that is known to frequent that area.

Want to take a swim with blue footed boobies?

Have you explored the wetlands of Isabela? Please share you thoughts by commenting on this post.

Meet the Author

Lisa Cho is an expat living in Ecuador, originally from San Francisco, California. She writes about the Galapagos Islands on this site and about her mainland Ecuador adventures on

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment