Trekking Volcanos

Spring Breaking in Isabela Island Pt. 2

Between our 3rd and 4th modules, we have a week-long spring break in which we are free to hop between islands of the archipelago. This blog will cover my 2nd day on Isabela Island, after I separated myself from the IES Abroad itinerary, to climb a volcano with some of my friends.


After a long day of exploring Floreana Island and snorkeling at Los Tuneles in Isabela, my fellow IES students and I were anxiously waiting for our dinner to be served. We were exhausted, sticky with sweat, and I was contemplating whether to continue with IES’s itinerary and head to Santa Cruz Island, or stay behind on Isabela with some of my friends. When my friends told me they were going to hike a volcano the following day, there was no doubt in my mind I would stay behind and do the same. I had booked no hotel, no ticket back home, I was going to climb a volcano and figure out the details later. My friends and I ditched dinner, sprinted over to a tour agency and secured a $30 Sierra Negra tour with lunch and transportation included for the following morning.

Volcan Sierra Negra

Sierra Negra is an active shield volcano located on the southern end of Isabela Island. This volcano’s caldera boasts a diameter of 6 miles, reported as the 2nd largest in Ecuador. A caldera refers to the volcano’s center, similar to how some centers are described as craters. Craters describe a funnel-shaped pit of a volcano, whereas calderas describe an inward collapsed volcano. The Sierra Negra volcano last erupted in 2018 and it’s HUGE. I paid $30 for a tour with a couple of friends, and a natural guide accompanied us for the 10 mile hike that took approximately 5 hours.

Volcan Chico

After hiking Sierra Negra, our tour group moved on to hike Volcan Chico. There, we all sat down to have lunch at the highest point of the volcano. The walk to Volcan Chico had me convinced I was walking on Mars. Just look at the pictures below, doesn’t it look like the set of Star Wars?

Published by ximena.figueroaenri

Class of 2023 Biology Major, Women Gender Studies Minor IES Galapagos Islands

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