Española Island is the oldest of the Galapagos Islands, as it sits on the southeastern end of the archipelago. The islands are of volcanic origin, formed because of the activity of a hot spot. As the Nazca Plate slides to the southeast over the volcano, new land area is produced and new islands develop. This means that the islands towards the northwest are the youngest, and those on the opposite end are the oldest.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we visited two islands in the center of the archipelago. On Bartholomew, we climbed a wooden staircase to the top of an old cinder cone for a chance to see the famous vista that captures many islands at once, in addition to Pinnacle Rock. In the afternoon, we navigated towards Sombrero Chino, where we had a great time snorkeling from Zodiacs and spotting wildlife. This is the home of a small colony of Galapagos penguins as well as Galapagos sea lions.