Concha de Perla on Isla Isabela
We debated whether to spring for a tour to Las Tintoreras (around $40). But the more we looked into it, the more we realised that the nearby Concha de Perla on Isla Isabela offered the same wildlife watching and snorkelling possibilities. The difference is, Concha de Perla can be visited independently and completely for free.
How to Visit Concha de Perla on Isla Isabela Independently
Just a short walk from the town of Villamil, Concha de Perla is a calm bay, accessible via a wooden walkway. So after renting our snorkels from a shop in the town (for $3), we strolled along the platform and dove right in. Well, Adam dove right in, I gently lowered myself in- I’m a wimp when it comes to cold water. Though thankfully the water here turned out to be beautifully warm and clear.
Leaving our belongings on the platform, we swum across the first calm stretch of water. After a painful clamber over black rocks, we swum into the second.
We were rewarded with one of my favourite sights of our entire trip- three massive sea turtles resting on the sea bed. They were unbothered by us as we swam around excitedly, amazed by just how huge they were up close.
Adding in some marine iguanas swimming alongside us, a gigantic starfish, and the usual array of beautiful fish, and I was pretty happy with our choice of Concha de Perla! Of course, it would have been even better had we seen the penguins who often visit this spot, but then again, the wildlife on the Galapagos is never a guarantee.
Tour agencies offer trips to Concha de Perla on Isla Isabela. But really there’s no need to bother, as you can easily walk here yourself (ask for directions in the town). If possible, bring some shoes that you can swim in, as the climb over the rocks is not pleasant for bare feet.
Looking for more independent activities on Isla Isabela? Click here