Isla del Sol is an enchanting tropical island that has been cited as one of the world’s top luxury destinations. With white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush vegetation and centuries-old ruins, it is a paradise for all who love nature and relaxation. The island is well known for its many fine resorts, penthouses and villas. In addition, Isla del Sol is also home to some of the best golf courses in the world.
Isla del Sol is one of the most famous luxury island destinations in the world. The island has been a popular getaway for celebrities, royalty and wealthy individuals for centuries.
The first evidence of human habitation on Isla del Sol dates back to pre-Colombian times when it was used as a base by the Chumash people. Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed on Isla del Sol in 1542, naming it San Salvador Island after Saint Salvador, patron saint of navigation. In 1602, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed past Isla del Sol on his voyage to the island of Guam. In 1687, explorer Gaspar de Portolà and soldiers searching for Montoya explored and claimed San Salvador Island as a Spanish mission base in then-known territory of Alta California.
Then, around 1768, two French explorers were shipwrecked on Isla del Sol at nightfall after taking refuge from hostile natives in a cave near what is now known as McCalla Beach Park. The island was uninhabited until 1822 when Colonel Robert Stockton established an offshoot ranch named “San Pedro Rancho” where he raised horses , cattle, and sheep.
Later that year Maria Antonia Josefa de la Concha y Barragan from Rio de Janeiro became the island’s first recorded resident, followed by a handful twenty more European settlers as well as Mexican and Cuban ranchers who snuck onto Isla del Sol to avoid paying land claims fees in California. By late 1822, San Pedro Ranch was covered with eucalyptus trees and had some 300 head of cattle grazing inside its boundaries.
Isla del Sol has a warm, dry climate year-round. The island averages at least one day of sun per week and very rarely experiences below freezing temperatures or high humidity levels. Extremes in daily temperature range are common with daytime highs reaching the mid to upper 80s Fahrenheit (27-30 °C) during the summer months and nighttime lows averaging in the low 50s Fahrenheit (10-13 °C). Winters are mild, often snows being rare occurrences; highs typically reach the lower 70s F (~21°C), however, frost can occur on either side of this range during the cooler mid-to-late fall months, reaching as low as 30 F (~0–11°C). Overcast days are not uncommon, and blue skies rarely seem to stretch more than a few miles in any direction.
Since the island’s first inhabitants were of European and Mexican descent, traditional Hispanic culture has had a strong influence on Isla del Sol. Celebrity status is much less prevalent than in mainland California, with locals preferring to enjoy simple pleasures such as socializing and engaging in ranching activities rather than chasing after celebrities or becoming known for any one thing. Given this laid-back lifestyle, islanders are often considered reserved by mainland Californians who may not be familiar with their customs or ways of life.
Residents of Isla del Sol are limited to attending school on the mainland; however many children still attend public school on Isla del Sol, a primary school teacher and two classrooms being sufficient to handle all island needs as of 2015. Children who reside within the territory are entitled to free education provided through eucalyptus-wood cane schools in neighboring Huandacal Valley if they qualify by passing entrance exams administered at Huandacal High School.
The island’s political landscape is dominated by Democratic Party representation, with a large and active central committee. The current Mayor of the island, Andrés Soto Rivera (D), took office in 2018 after defeating incumbent mayor José Luis Castillo in a landslide victory. Of all US states, only Hawaii has more registered Democrats than California; moreover, Isla del Sol sends more delegates to the Democratic National Convention annually than any other mainland territory outside of Washington D.C..
Bordering Mexico on one side and Ventura County on the other makes Isla del Sol subject to federal jurisdiction, with both state and county police forces securing island territory. As a result, residents are excluded from the right to vote for local and federal offices, but eligible to pledge their political loyalty via party membership. In addition, Democratic Party representatives actively encourage islanders’ affiliation with the party due to its near-complete domination of public affairs in Isla del Sol coterminous areas.
Island residents are, however, eligible to purchase federally subsidized health care through the island’s only clinic. Water and power grid services are also provided by state-run utilities. Education is free through eucalyptus-wood cane schools in neighboring Huandacal Valley, though residents must pass entrance exams administered at Huandacal High School to qualify.
Tourism is a key economic driver on Isla del Sol, with visitors attracted to its nearly pristine eucalyptus forests, picturesque fishing villages, and world-renowned hot springs. Experienced hikers can venture into the island’s rugged interior, while divers and kayakers explore dozens of offshore wrecks. Retailers catering to tourists line the coastline near Huandacal Valley.
Isla del Sol Island is a beautiful and serene getaway located in the Galápagos Islands. Established in 2009, it’s now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. Offering a wide range of activities and services, Isla del Sol is perfect for tourists who want to experience all that the Galápagos Islands have to offer.
What Is The Island’s Official Name?
Isla del Sol is the island’s official name. However, it’s commonly known by its Spanish name, Isla de Sal.
Where Is It Located?
The island lies in the eastern part of Ecuador and covers a total area of about 3 square kilometers (1 sq mi).
How Accessible Is It From Mainland Ecuador?
There are no regular passenger services to Isla del Sol from mainland Ecuador at this time; however, there are occasional charters that provide limited access for tourists visiting on cruise ships .
How Many Tourists Visit The Island?
In 2014, a total of 1,165 visitors visited Isla del Sol for an all-inclusive trip. Most arrived on ships during low season and enjoyed their stay in one of the island’s seven resorts located over 9 km (5 mi) to 11 km (6 mi) away from each other along the coastline or between them into three villages: Playa Chicarapappa, Chavín de Huantar and Ráo Gallegos.
What Are The Island’s Main Attractions?
The island’s major attractions include its crystal-clear waters, high mountains, and rich wildlife. Some of the island’s most popular activities include diving, snorkeling, hiking and horseback riding.