The trek was 16km and begun with us walking up to the rim of Volcano Sierra Negra, and traversing the rim of the caldera along the east side, before heading into the Volcan Chico lava fields north east of the main crater.
The walk was quite easy as it was mostly flat with only a very slight incline in some sections. The first section was through some very green areas, covered in plenty of local plant life.
Our first stop was the caldera of Volcano Sierra Negra. And it is huge. Our guide said it was the 2nd largest in the world (may want to fact check… but it was big!), with a diameter of 10km and a circumference of 32km… The pictures don’t do justice to how huge it really is!
After taking some snaps we headed onwards to Volcan Chico. Along the way we saw a wild Galapagos tortoise that our guide said that he had been in the wild his whole life. We were very excited as majority of the tortoises on the island are not born in the wild, they are born in breeding centres and kept there until age 5 to ensure they have a much better chance of survival when they are released. This guy however was between 30 and 40 years old, and was looking really healthy!
Once we reached Volcan Chico the scenery changed entirely. The ground was all hardened lava flows from previous eruptions, some older than 1000 years! Some of the older lava flows had sparse cacti, but all of the newer ones had no plant life at all.
We walked through this eerie landscape for a few kilometres, finding several mini vents from the volcano along the way until we reached the end point. Here we could see the rest of Isla Isabela and several other of the Galapagos islands - Islas Fernandina, Santiago, Pinzón and Santa Cruz - spread out before us.
It was pretty cool to see more of Isabela too, as even though it is easily the largest island in the chain, only a tiny portion of it is inhabited.
Although the trip was $35 - which we thought was a little expensive for what it involved - we really enjoyed it, and our guide Julio was really informative giving us a great lesson on volcano geology.