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 Puerto Villamil - Profile

Location

Puerto Villamil can best be described as the “jewel of the Galapagos harbours”. The harbour is protected by a southern string of low islands and reefs and therefore is a more protected, calm anchorage.

A large island with only 1800 inhabitants, Isabela is connected to the island group by daily “fast” ferries to Santa Cruz.

There is snorkelling off your boat with the highlight being the colony of Penguins that live here and visit your boat to feed, as well as hiking or biking to a tortoise preserve outside town, and to the “Wall of Tears”, about 6 miles out along the “beach road”. Most of the tour sites on Isabela however are spread farther apart than on San Cristobal and Santa Cruz and are only accessible by boat.

Position 00° 57.93'S, 90° 57.65'W (anchorage)

Clearance

Whilst this port is not an official Port of Entry, yachts calling at Puerto Villamil as their first port of call in the Galapagos have in the past been able to clear in and out here with no problem. Following a small glitch mid-March 2014 when a new Port Captain was appointed here, yachts without an Autographo can once again clear-in here and be granted up to a 20 day one-island visit. Be sure however to have an onward port as the destination on your zarpe (i.e. Marquesas) - see Galapagos Formalities for more details.

Most Galapagos agents have a representative in Villamil or a person from one of their other offices who will travel to Villamil to attend arriving yachts.

There is no immigration office here and documents (crew passports etc.) must be sent to Puerto Baquerizo Morrena (Wreck Bay, Isla San Cristobal) or Puerto Ayora (Academy Bay, Isla Santa Cruz) to complete formalities.

Last updated March 2014.

Docking

Entry

The harbour is protected by a southern string of low islands and reefs. While there is a small boat entry through these islands, sailboats will need to round to the south and west of the group, and enter through a buoyed channel. Entry is not easy as it is encumbered with reefs, so make sure you arrive with good light and keep a good lookout for reefs in the approaches to the anchorage.

Anchorage

The anchorage area is bounded by low volcanic islets, is generally quite calm but it is best to anchor in as far as possible to avoid any swell. The available area is a lot smaller than it looks as you enter, because it is mostly filled with submerged reefs and shoals. Reefs are above water at low tide.

The water in this protected area is quite shallow - 3 to 4 metres. There are large coral slabs on the bottom so it is easy to foul the anchor, but the anchorage is well protected from the swell.

Dinghy Docks

There are 2 dinghy dock areas.
There is a very convenient, big concrete pier in the town, however the approach through the surf can be difficult and there is alot of swell. Useful for a quick drop off, or visit.

The main dinghy dock is to the very east of the town. At high to mid tide, it is possible to carefully pick your way directly from the anchorage to this dock. At lower tides you have to go out around the long way. Land at the small yellow pontoon east of the quay, or on the beach west of the same quay - go the western end of this small beach where there is less breaking swell. A local fisherman, Henry Segovia, runs a small bar and restaurant on this beach – The Little Yacht Club.

To reach town from this dock, follow the road, which bears to the left and stay left when the road branches. Town is about a 15-20 minute walk away.

Services for yachts are very limited.

The Capitania is in the settlement, about 1 km to west. All boats must report here.

There are some fees to be paid: anchorage, exit permit (zarpe) as well as overtime at weekends. The port captain will allow up to 20 days.

Rubbish Disposal - 2012
Only waste for recycling can be left on the islands. This is not collected from boats and must be taken by taxi to the recycling centre and paid to be disposed of. To find out more, read here.

Last updated March 2013.

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