Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. This modern safari-style tent resort sits in the middle of a 40 acre property with dense forest and spectacular views to the coast.
From Baltra, guests reach Isabela Island either by transfer (bus and car) to Puerto Ayora to board the speed boat (chartered or public) to Puerto Villamil (2 ½ hours approx.), or via an inter-island flight with a local airline (30 mins approx.).
At Scalesia there are 16 comfortable tents - 53m² including terrace, 4 with king size beds, 12 with twin, all with hot-water tempered glass showers - and 3 different social areas for relaxing and reading. Programmes from 2 to 4 nights include transport from Puerto Villamil, all meals and activities. There is also a half-board rate excluding activities.
The most pristine of the 3 populated islands in the Galapagos, Isabela is home to six large volcanoes. The island is divided into two sections, with the northern half of the island famous for its wild and remote environment, characterised by shallow waters. The southern part of the island casts a shadow over the north, with its towering volcanoes and spewing fumaroles. In terms of wildlife, Isabela concentrates the vast majority of all species found in Galapagos. In the Puerto Villamil area alone there is an abundance of blue footed boobies, pelicans, penguins, flamingos, herons, ducks, finches, tropical birds, sea turtles, sea lions, marine iguanas, manta rays, sharks, eels and tropical fish. Sally lightfoot crabs, hawks, owls, dolphins and whales among others species are often spotted, while Galapagos tortoises and land iguanas roam freely in Sierra Negra Volcano.
January 2019 “Why I love……Scalesia Lodge” Naomi’s island musings
Scalesia Lodge is a tented camp on Isabela island in the wondrous Galapagos. Isabela is the least developed of all the inhabited Galapagos islands, and the experience here feels very authentic. There are very few places of quality to stay on the island, and all of them except Scalesia are in the rapidly expanding town of Puerto Villamil. By contrast Scalesia is located inland, on a volcanic hill, surrounded by beautiful tropical vegetation and woodland, in a spot so peaceful and serene you wouldn’t know there’s a world outside. The huge and comfortable safari tents allow you to fully immerse yourself in the nature that surrounds you.
Best of all you can see 11 of the ‘Big 15’ Galapagos species on Isabela, including blue footed boobies, marine iguanas, sealions land iguanas, Galapagos tortoises and Galapagos penguins; but for me the real wildlife highlight was life under the water! Scaleisa arranges a variety of excursions including walks around the crater of the massive Sierra Negra volcano, to the Wall of Tears, and my favourite, snorkelling trips to the lava tunnels and Tintoreras. I saw hundreds of beautifully coloured reef fish, white tipped reef sharks, marine turtles, rays, starfish, even seahorses and sea cucumbers!! It was magical.