What you need to know about the Galapagos Sierra Negra Volcano
The Galapagos Sierra Negra Volcano stands impressively over the picturesque Isabella Island, with a height of around 4,500 feet. Admirers from all over the world are attracted to the Sierra Negra volcano to peer into the humongous crater, which has a 6-mile diameter that makes it the second biggest crated on earth.
Even though the volcano is still considered active, there has not been any major activity on the site since 2005. However, seismologists still keep a keen eye on the major eruptive zones in order to guarantee safety for the visitors.
Despite the seemingly omnipresent fog that surrounds the Galapagos Sierra Negra Volcano, many visitors still visit this location to relish in the sweeping surrounding vistas.
The entire landscape here seems as if something out of a science fiction scene in a movie.
Its massive caldera offers the perfect setting for hiking in beautiful volcanic terrain to not only enjoy the calming landscapes that surround this volcano but also see the native flora and fauna that makes Galapagos famous.
The easiest route of reaching the Galapagos Sierra Negra Volcano is by hiking the 5.5 mile trail. You can choose to either do it on horseback or on foot, for those who are in good physical shape.
It is good to note that it is not possible to visit the Sierra Negra Volcano without a certified guide. This is done to ensure that you not only have the best experience but also to ensure public safety.
After a half hour’s drive from the small Puerto Villamil town, a route that passes through some lava flows and humid vegetation, visitors then arrive at the Park outpost where the Galapagos Sierra Negra Volcano hike begins.
The first hour of the hike is an uphill climb through some fern covered vegetation, but the gradient is relatively low with a gentle slope that most hikers will comfortably manage.
Once you reach the rim’s edge, you will then start getting superb views of the ten-kilometre caldera. The hike then continues along the caldera’s rim, and you will notice the vegetation getting drier as you slowly advance to the area of the crater that is protected from clouds and winds.
The Galapagos Sierra Negra Volcano hike then winds down by visiting Volcan Chico, which are several small craters that erupted in the 70s. Here you will see beautiful volcanic landscapes and fumaroles.
Before returning, you can have a small picnic lunch in the shade of the large trees. Ensure you carry lots of water when tackling this hike, and remember you can always use horses to reach the Sierra Negra Volcano.