Bartolomé and Rábida Islands

Nov 12, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

As we began our first full day of exploration, we arrived at Bartolomé Island. This island has a very impressive landscape and most of its geological features are well preserved. We started our morning by climbing to the top of a large cinder cone, from the top the view is perhaps the most famous of the archipelago.

At our return to National Geographic Islander, we had a very well-deserved breakfast awaiting us. Later on, we went to a nearby beach to swim and snorkel along the coast. Many of our guests found large schools of fish and marine invertebrates. We also had an option to snorkel from the Zodiacs in deeper waters. In that area, we experienced quite strong winds of 22 knots. Although the winds were strong, that only added to the beauty of the ocean.

Towards the end of the morning, we navigated towards Rábida Island and began our afternoon with snorkeling along the cliffs. This place was great to snorkel, it was very calm and full of life, and we had the kayaks deployed to the water, a great chance to exercise and to observe the wildlife along the coast.

As we were done with the water activities, we returned aboard and later on had a wet landing on the red beach of Rábida. At this location, we encountered several Galapagos sea lions and got to see the always-inquisitive Galapagos mockingbird checking our shoes up close and personal.

We had a great sunset at the shore and saw brown pelicans fishing near the beach. This was a great day, adventurous and amazing.

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About the Author

Gilda Gonzalez


Gilda was born in Ambato, located in the very heart of the Ecuadorian Andes. Since she was a child, she loved animals, often rescuing street cats and dogs. Her parents always made sure there were nature books and plenty of Jacques Cousteau’s videos at home. She graduated from high school with a degree in chemistry and biology. Afterwards, Gilda obtained a B.A. in tourism and hotel management in Quito. She also studied English, French and German, later spending two months in Brussels, Belgium.

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