Pictorial Travel Guide: Galapagos’ Punta Moreno.
Wild dogs once roamed the lava fields of Punta Moreno on Isabela Island, living off of brackish water and marine iguanas and sea lions.
Their origins likely lie with the Galapagos’s first governor, General Jose Villamil, who abandoned several dogs on Isabela following a hunting expedition there in 1835. The canines’ reign, however, ended in 1980 when they were eradicated by the park service.
Despite their elimination, the island still has a few things that can bite, namely lava, cacti and Galapagos’ most active volcano, Sierra Negra.
Located on the north coast of Isabela Island, Punta Moreno’s mile-long trail runs over fragile lava that breaks under your feet like a thousand ceramic plates. And if you fall, this sharp lava can cut you just as easily as glass.
Upon our arrival from the Galapagos Odyssey, Punta Morena felt vacant and devoid of life aside from the mangroves that crowd the shore near our dry landing. But a closer look revealed two coastal lagoons amid the charcoal black lava flow, where flamingos, birds, fish and plant life relish in the brackish waters. Three different types of cacti have also found a home at Punta Moreno, popping up out of the lava like jack-in-the-boxes springing towards the equatorial sun.
We had deceptively beautiful weather during our visit to Punta Moreno with Adventure Life. Sunshine and bright blue skies greeted us at dawn and stayed with us the entire time. It was a perfect day for bird watching and panoramas with all three volcanoes–Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul (both on Isabela) and La Cumbre on Fernandina Island–revealing themselves.
Know Before You Go: 3 Tips For Visiting Punta Moreno
1. Punta Moreno is notorious for its heat, especially during the hot season (December to May). So, if possible, try to visit the island during early morning hours. And, no matter when you go, make sure to carry water with you.
2. Be careful not to scare the Flamingos. They are sensitive to noise and frighten easily. Also, because of the extreme conditions at Punta Moreno, it’s important to stay with your group at all times.
3. Closed-toes hiking shoes work best for exploring the lava fields. The trail to the large lagoon requires you to cross a half mile of broken lava, which must be navigated carefully.
More Stories From Our Galapagos Adventure:
*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!
Disclosure: We were hosted in the Galapagos by Adventure Life; however, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.