Wall of Tears Hike

The Wall of Tears (El Muro de las Lágrimas) was built by prisoners on Isabela island in 1945. The wall itself isn’t all that impressive to visit, but the Wall of Tears hike is spectacular.


How to Do the Wall of Tears Hike


Starting west of the town of Villamil, the trail to the Wall of Tears is 5km long. It’s best to start early in the morning to avoid the extreme heat.


Blue lake with cactus and volcanic rock, wall of tears hike

The view from the trail


The first stretch of the Wall of Tears hike was pretty unremarkable. But soon the trail took us through beautiful volcanic landscapes and past serene postcard beaches.


The only downside was that the trail is exposed to the intense sunlight, and we were baking hot within minutes.


Trees shading trail on wall of tears hike

A shaded part of the trail


Thankfully, the trail eventually reached a canopy of poisonous manchineel trees. Here, we came across a giant tortoise cooling himself in the shade. He seemed completely unbothered by us as we snapped his photo and watched him very, very slowly munch some grass. (seriously, when we passed him on our way back I swear he was still working on the same mouthful).


Man crouching next to giant tortoise

Adam with our tortoise buddy

When the heat got too much for us, we cooled off at Playa d’Amor. As we relaxed in the water, we were joined by some marine iguanas paddling themselves along.


We spotted a flock of blue-footed boobies on a nearby beach, so we made our way towards them for some photos. To reach the birds, we had to walk through the shallow sea, then clamber painfully over jagged rocks. It was worth it when we finally got there and managed to photograph these iconic Galapagos birds.


Galapagos (88 of 148)


Tips for the Wall of Tears Hike


The Wall of Tears hike is intensely hot, and fairly deserted. There is nowhere to buy a drink, and for long stretches there is nowhere to even rest in the shade. So be sure to bring plenty of water, wear strong sunblock, cover up your skin, and do all that other stuff your mother warned you to.


Looking for more independent activities on Isla Isabela? Click here

Leave a Reply