by Voyages of Agape

One adventure you’ll want to add to the top of your bucket list: 

Just Passing Through Isla Isabel with 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.

The Agape at sunset
Isla Isabel and the Agape
Rachel on the Agape

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.

The Galapagos of Mexico - Isla Isabel
Hiking on Isla Isabel

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.

Hiking and exploration on Isla Isabel
Beach side on Isla Isabel

We saw nesting frigate birds, brown noodles, and blue footed boobies. 

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.

Lago Crater on Isla Isabel

Tips for planning your own adventure to Isla Isabel: 

What to do: 

On Isla Isabel you can hike, snorkel, dive, surf and even whale whale watch. It's truly an explorer’s paradise.

hiking on Isla Isabel
Isla Isabel
Where to stay: 

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!

Hanging on the beach on Isla Isabel
Where to eat: 

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.

fresh caught fish

Photos by John Guillote and Voyages of Agape