Right at sunrise, we started our day by climbing to the top of Bartholomew Island. From the top, we enjoyed the most famous landscape of the archipelago. The weather was great with a light, cool breeze.
This island is mostly arid, and few plants survive in these dry conditions. The lava cactus and grey mat plants are both endemic to the island. It is always amazing to see how life can grow in conditions like these.
We returned on board for breakfast, and then we headed to a golden beach for snorkeling and a chance to enjoy the warm, sunny morning. Later, we had the chance to go deep water snorkeling while some guests took tours on the glass-bottom boat to observe the marine life around Bartholomew Island.
In the afternoon, we went to Chinese Hat Islet for various activities. Some guests went deep water snorkeling or to a nearby beach. Others went kayaking or on a Zodiac ride along the coasts of Santiago Island and Chinese Hat Islet.
This area has a small population of Galapagos penguins, and we had a special opportunity to see a small group of eight penguins. A young brown pelican pushed a few in the water and sat in the middle of the penguins.
Along the coast, we found Galapagos sea lions. A male barked along the coast while a pup chased a juvenile brown pelican.
We had a great time on these two islands. We also enjoyed some music, including the lovely voice of one of our guests later in the evening.