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Isabela Island

Isabela, the archipelago’s largest island, was formed by the joining of six young volcanoes: Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negra, and Cerro Azul. All of these volcanoes, except for Ecuador, are still active, making Isabela one of the most volcanically active islands in the archipelago. Eruptions have been recorded in the last fifty years for Wolf Volcano, Alcedo, Sierra Negra, and Cerro Azul. In addition, Wolf Volcano, with an elevation of 1707m, is the highest point in the Galapagos which results in an arid zone at the top of the island. The vegetation zones on Isabela do not follow a similar pattern as the other islands due to the many relatively new lava fields and the surrounding soils that have not developed sufficient nutrients to support the varied life zones found on other islands. Regardless, the island’s rich fauna is beyond compare. It is home to various wild tortoises, with separate species on each volcano. On the west coast of Isabela, the nutrient rich waters of the Cromwell current creates a feeding ground for fish, whales, dolphins, and birds. This is also known as a great place to spot whales as 16 species have been identified in the area including humpbacks, sperms, sei, minkes, and orcas. Isabela is a great place to explore and see firsthand the geologic forces that have created the Galapagos Islands, including uplifts at Urbina Bay, tuff cones at Tagus Cove, and pumice on Alcedo Volcano.

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