Bartolome and Sombrero Chino Island

Oct 24, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


We began our expedition in the early morning, visiting Bartolome Island before breakfast! We had a dry landing and we explored the lava fields and the tiquilia forest that make this island unique. Tiquilias are pioneer plants that colonize new islands together with lava cactuses. Bartolome is a dream place for geologists and ecologists.

After the exploration walk, we visited a different part of the island where we could relax on a golden sand beach at the foot of the iconic Pinnacle Rock. We also explored the island from the Zodiacs and snorkeling gear. This island has an amazing snorkeling site that harbors a large variety of fish and Galapagos penguins. Today we were lucky to see these amazing birds in the water as they chased fish.

In the afternoon we explored another island called Sombrero Chino where we went snorkeling in the channel that separates this island from Santiago. The sea here is shallow with good circulation, which provides the best conditions for seeing amazing marine life. We also explored the shore of Santiago Island in the late afternoon aboard the Zodiacs in search of wildlife. It was not bad, as we encountered a colony of Galapagos sea lions and some Galapagos penguins perching on the basaltic lava rocks, ready to spend the night in small caves.

Just amazing!

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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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