by Voyages of Agape
As sun rose after a very rough 18 hour night passage, we could see Isla Isabel coming into view. The crew was exhausted after a long night of being seasick, the swell period had been a sort 4 seconds, with steep breaking waves off our stern. It felt like being in a washing machine all night. As we neared the island, frigate birds began to soar high above us, gliding effortlessly with their seven foot wingspans.
Isla Isabel is an isolated volcanic island about 18 miles off the mainland coast of Mexico and 40 miles west of San Blas. It’s a National Park nicknamed the “Galapagos of Mexico,” due to its huge population of nesting birds, thousands of iguanas and spectacular underwater scenery.
We spent three days hiking and exploring the island, above and below the water. The trails crisscrossed the island’s interior, ridge tops and remote beaches.
We saw nesting frigate birds, brown noodles, and blue footed boobies.
Our favorite to a 360 degree view of the island, including the stunning Lago Crater, an ancient caldera now filled with water. It’s amazing to be in a place where the animals are so blissfully unaware and unafraid of humans. It was like stepping back into time, into a wild place.
On Isla Isabel you can hike, snorkel, dive, surf and even whale whale watch. It's truly an explorer’s paradise.
For people without a boat, you can hire a ponga/boat to take you out to the island where you can camp in an abandoned research station. There are tour companies that will provide the gear and a cook to prepare food for you or you can bring your own tent and gear to camp. Make sure to bring lots of sunscreen, a hat, camera, Voyage Sandals with waterproof leathers and bug spray!
The island is a National Park and there are no restaurants or hotels but there is a small fishing camp at the southern anchorage where you can buy fresh fish, clams and lobster from the fishermen in the evenings.
Photos by John Guillote and Voyages of Agape