Bartolome and Santiago Islands

Today we get to visit the beautiful Bartholomew Island, one of the most photographed islands in the Galápagos and home to the famous pinnacle rock. Three groups are up at 6:30 a.m. to do the first walk and off we go. We arrive at Bartholomew and are immediately marvelled by the amazing geological features of this island. We encounter lava lizards, finches flying, Galápagos hawks, spatter cones, and cinder cones, all with in the first half hour! After three hundred and seventy steps, give or take a few, we arrive at the top where we get one of the most extraordinary views in Galápagos. We all take many pictures and rest for a few moments, and then go down and back to the Islander for a delicious and well-deserved breakfast.

After breakfast, we head out for beach and water activities. Some of us hike over a dune to a second beach for a nice, quiet walk; others stay at the landing beach for swimming and snorkeling. As soon as we start snorkeling, we encounter sea lions, white tipped reef sharks and a couple of very playful penguins. In short, the morning was a big success!

While we are having lunch, the Captain navigates Islander to our next destination, the island of Santiago. Here we have another chance for water activities and also a walk. As we disembark on a black beach, we run into very curious and friendly sea lions. Some are walking around, others are sleeping and some of them swim with us. On the walk we find more wildlife: mocking birds hopping among the shrubs, lava lizards doing their territorial push-ups, and the tiny Darwin finches. When we reach the coast we find sea lions actively living their lives to the fullest! We also find a few Galápagos fur seals.

It has been a full day; a visit to the volcanic islet of Bartolome, beaches and snorkeling, and we have observed several species of birds and many sea lions. Certainly this has been a very good start to our voyage.