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 Chinese Hat Island. This is a very small volcano close to Santiago Island, surrounded by small spatter cones: a captivating landscape. Because of its distinctive shape, Sombrero Chino has fascinated all visitors to the islands. It’s one of the smallest Galapagos Islands but don’t be fooled: it has a unique visitor site with an unforgettable view! Galapagos Penguins and Galapagos hawks are active here. A wet landing on the main beach of the island gives us time to enjoy the sandy beach, where sea lions rest and a variety of wading birds feed on the shore line.