Bartolomé and Rábida Islands

Aug 20, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


We are in the center of the Galapagos, on our way to the youngest islands. Our first full day was spent on Bartolomé and Rábida Islands. This morning, we began early with the first light of day exploring Bartolomé Island. The landscape looked like that of the Moon with craters everywhere! Although seemingly barren, there are some small creatures that thrive here, and we spotted some of them. There was a Galapagos snake and many lava lizards!

At the end of the exploration walk, it was time for a well-earned breakfast. After, we got ready for snorkeling, and boarded Zodiacs to explore the marine world. While snorkeling, we had encounters with white-tipped reef sharks, many types of fish, and even penguins. It was the best! What a fantastic morning with so many surprises.

In the afternoon we explored Rábida Island, which was a major highlight of this trip as it has an amazing snorkeling site and a red sandy beach, and is home to Galapagos sea lions. Kayaking was also a great option; the shore of this island is home to many different types of animals. The beach outing at sunset allowed us to see this landscape in even more detail. The glowing red beach with sea lions was an amazing view against the reddening sky at sunset.

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About the Author

Juan Carlos Avila

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Juan Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador. He spent part of his elementary schooling in the province of Cotopaxi, a beautiful area in the Ecuadorian Andes ringed by volcanoes. In 1989 his family moved to the Galápagos and settled in the highlands of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in this archipelago. It was here that Juan Carlos finished high school and gained his deep love for nature.

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