Sierra Negra Volcano (Isabela Island)

#11 in Best Things To Do in Galapagos Islands
Sierra Negra Volcano (Isabela Island)
DC_Colombia/Getty Images

Details

Hiking, Natural Wonders, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Sierra Negra Volcano stands majestically over Isabela Island, rising nearly 4,500 feet high. Admirers far and wide are drawn to Sierra Negra to peer into its glowing fumaroles and expansive caldera; with a diameter of 6-plus miles, the crater reigns as the second largest on the planet. Though the volcano remains active today, there hasn't been any recorded activity since 2005. Still, seismologists keep a watchful eye on all eruptive zones to ensure safety.

Despite Sierra Negra's seemingly ever-present fog, daredevils still come here to enjoy the sweeping (and if you're lucky, unobstructed) surrounding vistas. Just be sure to pack plenty of water, snacks and sturdy hiking shoes, since travelers say the trek can be challenging at times and facilities are not available along the trail. One reviewer also suggests wearing neutral colors to avoid attracting wasps while hiking around the crater's rim.

The easiest way to reach Sierra Negra Volcano is to take the 5.5-mile trail on foot or horseback from Santo Tomás, a tiny village located southeast of Sierra Negra, or to hail a taxi to the volcano's trail entrance from Puerto Villamil. You cannot visit Sierra Negra without a guide. If you decide to hire a guide on-site, expect to pay about $30 per person. Half- and full-day guided tours to the volcano are also offered by companies like Nature Galapagos & Ecuador and Rosedelco Operadora Turistica for $40 to $92 per person.

See all Hotels in Galapagos Islands »

More Best Things To Do in Galapagos Islands

Tortuga Bay (Santa Cruz Island)
Rancho Primicias (Santa Cruz Island)
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 10
#1 Tortuga Bay (Santa Cruz Island)

Outdoorsy types don't flock to these two white sand beaches simply to bake in the warm equatorial sun. Travelers visit this isolated strip of Santa Cruz Island's southern coastline for some quality face time with the Galápagos' marine turtles. If you visit between January and February, you may even catch sight of the black turtles laying their eggs (hatchlings emerge and make their way to the sea between April and May). Even if you're not a turtle-lover, you can still get up close and personal with the other beach combers like marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Read more
shalamov/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Galapagos Islands »

Explore More of Galapagos Islands

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019