Bartolome and Sombrero Chino

Jun 20, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

This morning we woke up anchored in Bartolome Island. We started our morning with an optional early wakeup call, and off we were at 6:30 a.m. We had a great hike, going all the way to the top and taking pictures of the most iconic view of the Galapagos. Bartolome is relatively new, since it is less than a million years old, and our guests were able to witness how everything starts in the islands. They saw how the first colonizing plants arrive, and how little by little the place starts to be inhabited by other species.

After our early morning hike, we came back and enjoyed a delicious breakfast, and then we went to the beach to swim and do some snorkeling. This area around is perfect for water activities since there are large amounts of fish, and of course the animal that we all have been waiting for during the expedition, the very popular Galapagos penguin!! This little fellow is the third smallest penguin in the world and the only penguin living in the northern hemisphere. They are monogamous, which means they will remain with the same couple during their entire life. They are rare and very hard to spot since there are only 14,000 of them in the entire archipelago, and only a little colony lives around this area. The young explorers were thrilled to snorkel with them and see them in the water.

After lunch during a short navigation to Chinese Hat, one of our naturalists, Gilda, gave a very interesting talk about Darwin were everybody learned much more about his life. After the talk off, we were to snorkel again! It was awesome, we saw many sharks and penguins in the water. What an amazing aquatic day, snorkeling and the glass-bottom boat together with the penguins definitely made this an unforgettable experience.

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About the Author

Roberta Schiess


Born and raised in the Galápagos, Roberta Schiess Bahamonde’s grandparents were among the first permanent inhabitants of Santa Cruz Island, arriving from Switzerland in the 1940s. Her mother is also a naturalist guide in the Galápagos, so this is a profession she has been exposed to her whole life, and she often accompanied her mom as she guided visitors. 

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