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Contours Travel Ecuador Galapagos Fernandina volcano

Galapagos Volcano Eruption

June 30, 2018

A few weeks ago, there was a powerful and week-long volcanic eruption in the Galapagos Islands. The eruption on Fernandina was a dramatic reminder of Galapagos geological history!

And on nearby Isabela Island, the Sierra Negra Volcano erupted just a couple of days ago, after more than a decade of dormancy.  To safeguard visitors well being, the Galapagos National Park and the Emergency Operations Committee have placed the volcano on orange alert, and cancelled all on-site excursions. Additionally, 250 locals have been evacuated from the highlands of Isabela as a precaution.

Lava flows are visible from expedition vessels, particularly when sailing along the southern section of the Bolivar channel, between Isabela and Fernandina Islands. Guests of the archipelago are expected to be amazed by the natural lightshow in the next couple of days. However, keep an eye on further developments.

Are you travelling to the Galapagos in the coming days?
  • There is no need to change your itinerary
  • The hike along the rim of Sierra Negra volcano if off-limits. Everything else remains the same.
  • Itineraries that include cruises with La Pinta (Western), Santa Cruz II (Western) and the Isabela II (Northern) will take you past the site of the eruption.
Why are these eruptions non-threatening?

The volcanoes in the Galapagos have several fissures through which lava and pressure can easily escape. For instance, Sierra Negra’s magma chamber received intermittent injections of molten rock, thus causing a morpho-geological phenomenon called “tumescence”. In other words, the volcano’s innards became swollen with magma. When the volcano filled to the brim, this magma found many fractures and weak points through which to release the liquid rock and its contents. Additionally, Galapagos volcanoes are not as explosive as continental volcanoes.

So worry not and enjoy the lightshow, a one-of-a-kind life experience awaits for you in Galapagos Islands.