Isabela Island, Ecuador
Circle the Seawater LagoonSeptember 30, 1835.
The HMS Beagle sails into Tagus Cove at Isabela Island, and Darwin remarks on the unusual landscape. "We doubled the south-west extremity of Albemarle (Isabela) Island, and the next day were nearly becalmed between it and Narborough Island. Both are covered with immense deluges of black naked lava, which have flowed either over the rims of the great caldrons, like pitch over the rim of a pot in which it has been boiled, or have burst forth from smaller orifices on the flanks; in their descent they have spread over miles of the sea-coast."
Tagus Cove was long favored by whalers and pirates, while the caldera lagoon, separated from the sea by only a few meters, is a geographic marvel in and of itself.
A short hike from the landing area takes visitors past pirate graffiti, up along the rim of the caldera, and on a path to a viewpoint that overlooks the striking Darwin Volcano—and back to Tagus Cove.