On National Geographic Endeavour II today, we explored Bartolome, home of a small colony of Galapagos penguins. Bartolome is one of the youngest islands, and it is located next to Santiago Island in the central part of the archipelago. After an amazing sunrise, we went ashore for a walk, and we were transported back to a time when the land was newly formed. We began our day by hiking to the top of a tuff cone known as the islet of Bartolome, named after the First Officer of The Beagle. Walking on this young island allowed us to understand the formation and volcanism of the Galapagos Islands. The rocks are a great way to understand the area and its geology. We spotted a few lava lizards and painted locusts, some of the very few animals on this island. As we reached the top, we had a great view. Our guests enjoyed the magnificence of Pinnacle Rock.
After we visited one of the most iconic geological formations of the Galapagos, our breakfast was enhanced by dramatic views of the impressive volcanic landscape. We visited the beach near Pinnacle Rock, where we enjoyed how the sun made the sand sparkle due to a concentration of silica. Later, we went snorkeling along the channel between Santiago and Bartolome Islands. Many of our guests spotted whitetip reef sharks and very colorful parrotfish. The landscape was beautiful with lots of sea stars. We enjoyed the chance to be surrounded by Galapagos penguins and feel accepted as part of this environment.
After a delicious Mexican lunch, we had lectures on the photography of reptiles and Darwin. Afterwards, we went to Chinese Hat Islet to snorkel from the Zodiacs. The area is home to a small colony of Galapagos penguins. In a sandy-bottomed, sheltered channel, our guests enjoyed swimming with whitetip reef sharks, rays, and many fish. It was a nice and sunny afternoon. After snorkeling, we had the chance to explore the unique, small volcano that formed an island in front of Santiago on a sunset Zodiac ride. After a spectacular day full of activities in the field, we returned on board. Every day in the Galapagos is an opportunity to reconnect with the beauty of nature through unbelievable encounters!