We disembarked on a pre-breakfast outing to hike on Bartholomew Island. The hike consists on an uphill stairway to the summit of the island. Along the way we learned about the geology of the place, featuring some spatter cones and collapsed lava tubes. Some of the species of flora here are pioneers and all highly adapted to the area’s drier climate.
Bartholomew Island is an open book of geology and showcases the process of pioneer succession in which life is established for the first time on a new terrain. Once on the top of of the island and the end of the staircase, when were able to see one of the most breathtaking landscapes of the Galapagos, showing pinnacle rock with north and south beach on the sides and a patch of green mangroves in between.
After the hike we came back to National Geographic Endeavour ll to suit up for snorkeling. We had the opportunity to swim and snorkel at the beach as well as in deeper water. Several Galapagos penguins were spotted, as were sea lions, a couple of diamond sting rays, and a large variety of fish.
After lunch our mother ship repositioned to a different visitor site called Champion Islet. We went deep-water snorkeling along a small channel in between Chinese Hat and young lava flows of Santiago island. Several species of fish were spotted, a couple of white-tipped reef sharks, and one Pacific green sea turtle. After snorkeling we had the opportunity to go on a Zodiac ride and photograph Galapagos penguins perched on the black lava fields.