Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. It is the largest of the Galapagos Islands, located in the eastern Pacific Ocean west of mainland Ecuador. It has an area of 2,249 sq mi (5,825 sq km), and its northern tip, Albemarle, is crossed by the Equator. It has unique species of flightless cormorants and penguins as well as large numbers of iguanas and a flamingo colony.
Learn more about Isabela Island with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Isabela Island is the largest island of the Galápagos with an area of 4,640 km²,and length of 80 miles (100km) nearly 4 times larger than Santa Cruz, the next largest of the islands. This island was named in honor of Queen Isabella of Spain who sponsored the voyage of Columbus.
Isabela's rich animal, bird, and marine life is beyond compare. Isabela is home to more wild tortoises than all the other islands. Isabela's large size and notable topography created barriers for the slow moving tortoises; apparently the creatures were unable to cross lava flows and other obstacles, causing several different sub-species of tortoise to develop. Today tortoises roam free in the calderas of Alcedo, Wolf, Cerro Azul, Darwin and Sierra Negra.
Other noted species include penguins, cormorants, Marine Iguanas, boobies, pelicans and Sally lightfoot crabs abound. Land Iguanas and Darwin Finches, Galápagos Hawks, Galápagos Doves and very interesting lowland vegetation. The west coast of Isabela in the Bolivar Channel is the best place in Galapagos for viewing whales and dolphin.