Bartolome Island and Sombrero Chino

Aug 29, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today we visited the little Island of Bartolome, located southeast from Santiago Island. Here our guests enjoyed a hike to the Summit of Bartolome, which had them climbing over 399 steps. Once on top the view is spectacular—two golden beaches with green mangroves in between, and black lava flow in the background. Other guests decided to enjoy the golden sandy beach and practice some snorkeling. We had four Zodiacs going out for deep water snorkeling, where white-tipped reef sharks were spotted among the colorful fish. Glass-bottom boat rides were offered, and our guests were delighted with the dry snorkeling option.

National Geographic Endeavour II was then repositioned towards Sombrero Chino, where once again our adventurous guests went snorkeling in the protected waters. There were colorful, silvery fish everywhere, and many playful Galapagos sea lions and Galapagos penguins. Finally, our day was capped off with a coastal exploration on board our Zodiacs, with wonderful weather conditions.
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About the Author

Vanessa Gallo


Vanessa Gallo’s grandparents arrived in the Galápagos Islands in 1936, making her the third generation of her family to live and work in this magical archipelago. She left the islands for the capital city of Quito for high school, where she discovered that learning foreign languages was one of her main interests. Coming from a family of naturalist guides, it was not a surprise that she also became one at the age of 17. Vanessa left the islands once again for Switzerland, where she earned a diploma in tourism and strengthened her language skills and knowledge of the travel industry. She has also travelled extensively to destinations including as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Canada, the Canary Islands, Mauritius, and many European countries.

About the Photographer

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

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