After viewing Los Gemelos (the twin craters), our next excursion was to walk/crawl through lava tunnels! In the village of Bellavista in the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, you can walk through lava tunnels or lava tubes. This is just 7 km (4.3 miles) inland from Puerto Ayora, the main town where we were staying.
What is a lava tube, and how are lava tubes formed?
The outer skin of the molten lava hardens while the liquid magma continues to flow through, leaving behind a cavity of empty tubes or tunnels.
As you descend into the tunnels via stairs, you quickly lose sight of the sun and enter the darkness. Even though they have lights hung throughout. you still have limited visibility. For the most part, the hike was through extremely large portions of the tunnel with high ceilings, but there is a portion in the middle where you have to crawl on your hand and knees to get through to the other side. It’s not for very long – maybe 8-10 feet, but be prepared to get a little muddy. Overall, the hike is easy.
We did the trek backward and entered through the exit, and exited through the entrance.
It looks like you’re in a huge cave!
Doesn’t even seem like it, but the lava tunnels are under here.
It’s wild to think we were walking through where lava used to flow!
Tips for the Lava Tunnel hike:
- Bring sturdy shoes (these are our favorites). There is limited visibility, and the floor is sometimes uneven and slippery.
- Sometimes there is a bit of water dripping on you. Bring a rain jacket if that bothers you.
Do you like to hike? Where is your favorite hike?