This tour invites you to explore two prominent wonders of the island: the iconic Wall of Tears and the fascinating Wetlands. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the island as you uncover the impactful past of the Wall of Tears, a structure built by prisoners during the colonization era. Then, delve into the impressive wetlands, home to an astonishing variety of wildlife, from pink flamingos to giant tortoises. Get ready for a day filled with discoveries and natural beauty on the majestic Isabela.
Wildlife you’ll have the opportunity to observe
- Marine Iguanas
- Tropical Fish
- 4 types of mangroves
- Giant tortoises
- Panoramic view of the island
- Endemic island vegetation
- Indigenous birds of the area
The tour includes:
Preparation and Meeting
Bike Ride to the "Arnaldo Tupiza" Tortoise Breeding Center
The first stage of this exciting excursion involves a bike ride. Your first destination is the “Arnaldo Tupiza” Tortoise Breeding Center, which is located 1.5 km from Puerto Villamil. During your visit here, you will have the opportunity to witness giant tortoises in the process of feeding, enjoying the lush vegetation surrounding the center. You can marvel at native plants such as manzanillo, algarrobo, palo santo, uña de gato, espino, chala, rodilla de caballo, algodón, lechoso, muyuyo, espuela de gallo, arrayán, chililica, and the Galápagos daisy.
Route to the Wetlands
Once you have thoroughly explored the Tortoise Breeding Center, you will hop back on your bicycle to head to the second point of interest, known as “Los Humedales” (The Wetlands). During the bike ride, you will have the opportunity to come face to face with giant tortoises in their natural habitat, a unique privilege that offers an intimate insight into the majesty of these creatures. Additionally, on the way to the Wetlands, you will discover fascinating resting spots, such as “El Estero,” an exceptional site where you can observe the four types of mangroves present in Galápagos.
Exploration in the Wetlands
Once you reach the Wetlands, you will venture into a fascinating natural ecosystem. The trail named “El Estero” will take you through a 227-meter route bordered by 1.5-meter-wide lava rocks. This environment features a picnic area and is home to the four mangrove species found in the Galápagos. This place is also steeped in stories and legends from the time of the penal colony in Isabela, making it a site of great historical and cultural significance.
Visit to the Poza Escondida
Continuing with your tour, you will head to the Hidden Pool, a trail that combines stone and wood and is distinguished by its lush mangrove forest. At the end of this trail, you will discover a pool surrounded by corals, a space where iguanas find shelter and nest. Additionally, you will reach the viewpoint known as “Cerro Orchilla,” which is accessed by climbing a series of steep stairs. From this point, you can delight in a spectacular panoramic view of the island.
Exploration of the Wall of Tears
The highlight of this tour is the visit to the famous “Wall of Tears.” This historical monument is a poignant testimony of Isabela’s past, as it was built with the effort of prisoners during the colonization era. As you explore it, you’ll appreciate how it was erected with heavy rocks, becoming an imposing structure that tells significant stories of that time.
Back to the port
After a day filled with exploration, culture, and history, you will head back to the port. The return is scheduled for around 12:00 p.m., depending on the duration of activities and the day’s conditions.
Bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a water bottle, and personal items for the journey.
If you have your own snorkeling or diving equipment, you can bring it either a day before and leave it at the agency or on the day of the tour.
The tour can also be conducted in the afternoon, starting at 1:00 p.m. and concluding at 5:30 p.m.