We began our expedition in the early morning by 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 for geologists and ecologists.
After the morning walk, we visited a different part of the island. This time we relaxed on a golden sand beach at the foot of the iconic Pinnacle Rock. Some of us explored the island from Zodiacs and others used snorkeling gear. This island has an amazing snorkeling site that harbors a large variety of fish and Galapagos penguins. Today, we were lucky to observe these amazing birds both resting on the rocks and chasing fish in the water.
In the afternoon, we explored an island called Sombrero Chino. We snorkeled in the channel that separates this island from Santiago, an island hundreds of times larger than Sombrero Chino. The sea here is shallow with good water circulation, which offers the best conditions for an amazing marine life. We also explored the shores of Santiago Island in the late afternoon. Aboard Zodiacs, we searched for wildlife. It was like being in another world, especially at sunset. Here we encountered a colony of Galapagos sea lions and some Galapagos penguins perched on the basaltic lava rocks, ready to spend the night in small caves.