The Galapagos archipelago was formed by volcanic activity, many of the islands are covered in lava field, some volcanoes are still active today. Volcan Sierra Negra most recently erupted in 2005, you can hike to this new lava field today. It is a popular daytrip to take from Isabela Island. For our guided trips we went with Pahoehoe Galapagos – easily found on the main strip, and extremely reliable. A small group loaded into a pickup truck and we were on our way, zipping through the countryside.
Bring a jacket (preferably waterproof) for the cool misty morning, but layer with light clothing for the hot afternoon. Pack plenty of water and a snack, if you think you’d need more fuel than the lunch provided (sandwich, fruit, juice, and cookies). Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and spoke perfect English – he was able to answer every question and provide further facts about the flora and fauna of the trail. From the trailhead your in for a ten mile hike – round trip, an out and back. It has very light elevation gain, only really strenuous due to the length of the hike. During the dry season the path was dusty, there are very few views until the first vista – but it is pretty magnificent.
Hiking through the clouds, they halt along the rim. The caldera is the largest in the Galapagos. Continuing on it was interesting to learn some of the plants. Darwin’s shrub is endemic and comes in two varieties, thin and thick leafed.
In the right season it flowers.
The Galapagos cotton plant is also endemic, often with a big bright yellow blossom.
Eventually the walk around the rim leads to the lava field, a major change in scenery.
Colorful sparkling lava rock scattered the ground, blue, gold, red, different due to temperature.
While on the hike out you have to stay with the group, the hike back you are free to go at your own speed.
Good to know
+Hike length: 10 miles
+Cost: $35 pp including transportation, lunch, and naturalist guide
+Restroom at the trailhead