Arriving in Bartolome is to enter an other-wordly landscape, witness to the islands’ volcanic origins. The summit trail begins with a dry landing, though accompanying sea-lions can make the purpose-built dock more exciting. The trail winds its way uphill over volcanic ash and past craters. The only vegetation is the pioneer Tiquilia plant and the greenish Chamaesyce.
Bartolome is considered one of the best snorkeling sites in the central islands of the archipelago. Here, we swim at the foot of the famous Pinnacle Rock and around its base, observing many species of parrot fish, marine turtles, sea lions and, if we’re lucky, Galapagos penguins.
After a lunch on board, we motor to Sullivan Bay, located on the eastern coast of Santiago Island. Sullivan Bay is the most interesting lava field in the Galapagos. A short walk on lava is a unique chance to experience the volcanic origins of the islands. “Pahoe hoe” and “AA” lava are the predominant shape in this moon scape. After a land visit we have time to snorkel and enjoy the amazing white sand beach, where it’s easy to observe many different species of fishes, some turtles, sea lions and hopefully Galapagos Penguins.