Sierra Negra: A Volcano in the Mist (Galapagos Islands)

Isabela Island, Places to See, Planning Your Trip, Things to Do

Before our trip to the Galapagos, I didn’t want to get very close to a volcano, in fact the idea of being anywhere near one scared me a little.

Was I scared the morning we set out to hike the Sierra Negra Volcano on Isabela Island? No, I was intrigued and excited!

Sierra Negra: A Volcano in the Mist

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That’s often the way it is when I think about trying something new. At first I may have some reservations, but ones the time comes to get out there and experience it, I’m excited. It also helps to make sure the information I have is trustworthy, from people that actually know the potential dangers, if there are any. In this case I felt a little silly, because a dormant volcano is nothing to be afraid of.

The landscape we drove by on the way to the volcano was really cool. On either side of the road it looked like a dumping ground for leftover liquid asphalt. It was easy to picture the lava flowing through the area and then just hardening there. In most places the plant life had grown up, covering over that type of landscape, so it was really interesting to catch a glimpse of it.


As we got closer to the volcano the weather got foggy and wet. That made the path kind of slippery. Thankfully the hike was fairly easy, no steep climbing or anything like that. We took it slow, and the Naturalist Guide was always up front showing us the best way to go.

Did we let the dull weather ruin our fun? No! We talked and laughed the entire time. Our daughter had gotten a little bit of a sunburn the day before, so it was funny when she looked down at her muddy feet and started joking around about being a chocolate dipped strawberry.


When we reached the caldera, it was misty so the visibility was not very good. As we ate our snacks we kept staring into the mist, hoping it would clear. It did clear a little and we could see down into the caldera. It was exciting to see what had once been red-hot liquid rock, and to know that we were standing on the edge of the second largest caldera in the world.



The fog did not allow us to get clear pictures of the caldera, but we cherish the pictures we did get. We have a lot of fun memories from that hike, and to have hiked up a volcano with my family was a pretty amazing adventure!

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Dena Haines! I'm an traveler, photographer and Canadian entrepreneur. I'm a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for travel brands. I blog at GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel) and Click Like This (How to Use a GoPro).

2 comments… add one
  • J_rasool Aug 12, 2012, 10:43 am

    Thank you for your post. I am travelling to the Galapagos Islands next week with my daughter and her family. An active volcano doesn’t seem to worry me, but heights do! Is the trek up to the volcano a steep climb? We are to travel in a jeep until some point where we will climb the rest of the way. The jeep ride is making me nervous. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

    • Bryan Haines Aug 12, 2012, 12:37 pm

      The ride is actually mostly through woods and fields. The ride isn’t scary at all. – I don’t think you’ll have any trouble. On the hike, you should be fine as well – just stay away from the edge. Your guide will help you, it does drop off quite quickly. Have a great trip!

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