Isla Isabela

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WorldEast PacificUnited StatesCentral AmericaMexicoMexico Offshore IslandsIsla Isabela

Isla Isabel

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing to Isla Isabel, Mexico

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21°50.75′N, 105°53.09′W
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Local chartlet

Isla Isabel is a small volcanic island about 15 miles off the west coast of Mexico, about 90 miles south of Mazatlan and 70 miles north of Banderas Bay. The island is less than half a mile wide and about three-quarters of a mile in length. It was made a National Park in the 1980s, and it has been called the "Galapagos" of Mexico. Isla Isabel is a major breeding and nesting area for frigate birds brown boobies and blue-footed boobies, which are all very tame.

The Mexican chart shows Isla Isabel about 1.5 miles NNW of its actual position, and gives a very poor representation of the actual geography and hydrography of the island.


The official chart is of little or no use, either on the location of, the approaches to or the anchorages on Isla Iasbel. In fact, it is probably safer to not use it.


Isla Isabel experiences the same weather systems as the Mexican coast from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta.

Sources for Weather forecasts:



This section does not apply for most islands, if that is the case for this one remove it. You may, however, list ismall islands adjacent to this one or list one or two of its neighbors.


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The Mexican chart shows Isla Isabel about 1.5 miles NNW of its actual position, and gives a very poor representation of the actual geography and hydrography of the island. The Google Earth image of the area helps much more than does the official chart. A safe approach to the southern anchorage can be made from the southward, being careful to avoid the reefs off the points to the east and the west.



List larger ports and harbors. If there are more then 2 paragraphs for a given port, create a dedicated page in the list for it (Port/Stop Template).

Note: Please indicate which ports are a port of entry.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Use this section only if there are few marinas not covered in pages under Ports. Remove if not applicable.


There is a small anchorage on the south side of the island with good holding on a sandy bottom in 8 to 12 metres. This provides protection from westerly, northerly and easterly winds and swells, but is exposed to the south. An easy dinghy landing can be made on the rather protected beach in the small inner harbour that is used by the local fishermen.

In southerly blows, there is some protection on the east side of the island, near a pair of isolated volcanic spires near shore.

Yacht Services and Repairs

List services. If no services are available on the island write "None" and remove all the subsections (Marine Stores, & Repairs/Yards, & Fuel, Water, & Electricity.

If services are included in specific port pages, the following line is appropriate, otherwise remove it.

Also see each Port.

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Give details on fuel
Give details on water
Give details on electricity

Things to do Ashore


This is a major breeding and nesting area for frigate birds, brown boobies and blue-footed boobies. The birds are very tame, and can be easily approached to within a metre or two, even during their mating rituals, incubating time and chick rearing. Tropic birds also nest on the island.

Grocery & Supply Stores





Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

This is a small, isolated National Park with no permanent residents and no facilities. Please leave nothing behind but fond memories.


List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


List links external to the wiki such as in Wikipedia.


Books, Guides, etc. Use the Reference template or not at your discretion. For example:

{{Reference|Rod Heikel|Greek Waters Pilot|Imray|Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire (2010)|9780852889718}}, expands to
Rod Heikell, Greek Waters Pilot, Imray Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire (2010), ISBN 9780852889718
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number

You may want to remove the above entries and use instead a link to the Country or Region that lists the relevant references. If so enter, after removing {{MagentaText|xx}}, the following:

See [[Country or Region#References_&_Publications|Coutry or Region]].

If you do not use the above link, please remove it.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit. Personal experiences?

  • In late Februaty 2010 we spent an idyllic three days on Isla Isabel, and our excursions ashore gave us a wonderful insight into the life cycles of the seabirds that nest here. It amazed us that the birds allowed us to spend this time so intimately among them, invading their privacy and their security during their mating, their nesting and their rearing of young chicks. It is such a vulnerable time for them, and through it all we continued to feel welcomed by them. Isla Isabel gave us experiences we will long cherish. --Sequitur

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Date of member's last visit to Isla Isabela and this page's details validated:

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Sequitur

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