The Beautiful Bay of Isabela Island (Galapagos Islands)

About Galapagos Islands, Isabela Island, Places to See

I will never forget the first time I saw Isabela Island.

As we got closer, the first thing I noticed was the crystal clear turquoise water. The water was so clear and calm I could see right to the bottom.

isabela bay


We had been traveling across choppy grey-blue water for about 2 hours, so when I saw the calm waters in the sheltered bay of Isabella, it felt like a cool drink of sweet papaya juice after hiking a volcano all morning. I did find the trip between islands exciting, I constantly found myself searching the waves for marine life, but I was anxious to reach Isabela.


Entering the Bay on Isabela Island, Galapagos

When we set out on our trip to the Galapagos I was so excited about seeing all of the animals. So as soon as I saw the beautiful water of Isabela I wanted to get out of the boat and into some snorkel gear. A couple of minutes after we entered the bay, someone said that they had seen a sea turtle! I didn’t get to see it, but that got me even more excited about getting in the water.

The water was so calm and clear that we could see below the water line of the anchored boats, almost as clearly as we could see above it.  This made for an interesting effect, the boats appeared to be just sitting on top of the water, kind of hovering there. I had never seen that before. It really stands out in our pictures, they look doctored, but they’re not.


The “Floating Boat” – Can you see its bottom?

As we approached the dock the atmosphere was relaxed and laid back.  People were hanging around chatting and seemed happy to see us arrive.  They smiled at us as we got off the boat, and greeted us with a friendly “buenas tardes” (good afternoon) which is the custom here in Ecuador.


Panorama of the Dock on Isabela Island, Galapagos (Click to enlarge)

As we walked up the dock to the Chiva that was waiting to take us to the lodge, we saw a wooden gazebo at the end of a short dock. The sun bleached wood against the turquoise water was too beautiful to pass up, I had to stop and take a picture. To my surprise there was a sea lion lounging around inside the gazebo, he took the picture to a whole new level.  It went from a beautiful photo, to a Galapagos treasure.

From there we climbed aboard the Chiva and were on our way.  They say that it’s important to make a good first impression, Isabella Island has that idea all wrapped up, especially when the sun is shining.

Have your camera ready as you approach Isabela, you never know what you might see as you search for your Galapagos treasures.  I hope the sun shines for you too.

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Dena Haines! I'm an traveler, photographer and Canadian entrepreneur. I'm a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for travel brands. I blog at GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel) and Click Like This (How to Use a GoPro).

6 comments… add one
  • Agent N Jan 13, 2012, 10:31 am

    Magic boats and seals…. this post made me happy.

    • Dena Jan 17, 2012, 6:51 pm

      Hi Agent N,
      It’s so nice to hear that this post made you happy!
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Argee Jan 15, 2012, 10:32 am

    Can’t wait to see it for myself. Still many more months before our condo in Salinas  is done… ’till then I’ll have to keep drooling on this.

    • Dena Jan 17, 2012, 6:58 pm

      Hi Argee,
      A condo in Salinas, how exciting!  That’s a really nice city. 
      Please let us know what you think of Isabela when you do get to see it for yourself.
      Thanks for your comment.

  • CA Galapagos fan Jan 16, 2012, 1:20 pm

    This is spot on what it feels like to arrive on Isabela!   It is really magical.

    • Dena Jan 17, 2012, 7:06 pm

      Thanks so much!  The pictures don’t  really do it justice, it’s much better in real life.
      Thanks for commenting.

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