We started our day hiking on Bartholomew Island, a place known as an open book to geology, where we can learn about the different volcanic features that started holding the base of primary succession of our endemic ecosystems. Pioneer plants and small volcanic cones were spotted on the way up to the top of the island. Once at the highest peak, we encountered one breathtaking landscape of Bartholomew’s north and south beaches, with green mangroves in between. After breakfast, we went snorkeling off a sandy beach and as we swam further into the deep water, we spotted a large variety of fish suspended along the vertical walls of the tuff cone that created Pinnacle Rock. A couple of white-tipped reef sharks were also spotted as well as marbled rays and sea lions. Some of our guests chose the option to experience our glass-bottom boat, where you can learn about the marine life in the islands and not get wet.

After lunch, we navigated to Chinese Hat. This is a small parasitic island off the coast of Santiago. Along the coast of Santiago we could see an extensive black lava field from 1897. We chose to snorkel along the black lava field, as the water was calm and clear. This was definitely one of the best snorkeling outings of our trip. Every single one of them were different, but this one was full on dense schools of fish and some reef sharks sleeping within the underwater caves. Some Galapagos penguins were seen on the lava, just basking and getting ready to spend the night within some crevices they found on the lava flows near the water.

A Zodiac ride was offered to experience some better photography and enjoy the colors of the late afternoon.  Penguins, sea lions, sharks, and fish of all colors and sizes made this day a great expedition on land and under the sea.