Today we explored Bartolome Islet and Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz Island, which are remarkably beautiful sites because of the impressive wildlife and landscapes. During the morning we hiked and snorkeled at Bartolome Islet. For the afternoon, we moved to Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz Island; here our guests had the chance to snorkel for the second time, and then go for a hike to finish the afternoon.
Bartolome is a small volcanic island located off the east coast of Santiago Island. The island is known for its distinctive Pinnacle Rock, a towering volcanic formation that rises out of the sea. The island is relatively barren, with a stark landscape of black lava rocks, orange volcanic ash, and sparse vegetation. The action started before breakfast at 6:15 a.m. with a hike up a staircase to the island's summit for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding islands and ocean. Our guests also had the chance to snorkel in the waters around Pinnacle Rock, where they observed a variety of marine life including fish and Galápagos penguins.
Our afternoon was spent on Sombrero Chino, a small islet off the coast of Santiago Island. Sombrero Chino is a geological marvel known for its unique crescent-shaped tuff cone, which was formed by a volcanic eruption. We began by snorkeling around the island and observed a range of marine life, including Galapagos penguins, sea lions, reef sharks, and tropical fish.
Overall, our expedition to Bartolome Island and Sombrero Chino with National Geographic Endeavour II was a fascinating adventure filled with scenic landscapes and unique wildlife experiences. We learned a lot from the expert team of naturalists. We left with a deep appreciation for the delicate ecosystems of Galapagos, and the importance of preserving them for all to enjoy.