Bartolome Island is a volcanic islet off the east coast of Santiago Island. It is one of the youngest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. It is named after Lieutenant David Bartholomew of the British Navy. With a total area of 1.2 km2, this island offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the archipelago. The island's formation consists of an extinct volcano and a variety of bright red, orange, green and black volcanic formations. A volcano over 100 meters high marks the island. It is not famous for its fauna, but for its lava landscape that seems almost unreal and allows you to go back in time to the evolution of the islands.
Most boats stop at the spectacular and famous Pinnacle Rock, the most famous rock on Bartolome Island. If you take a panga (small boat) tour, you may, with luck, see the small and friendly Galapagos penguin. This is the only type of penguin found in northern Ecuador. Just off Pinnacle Rock are the twin bays, the main feature of the island.
The underwater world of the Galapagos is truly impressive and it is here that you can snorkel or simply swim with penguins, sea turtles, and other tropical fish. The twin bays are connected by a narrow isthmus. On the other hand, you will have the unique possibility to observe female sea turtles (depending on the season) waiting for the night in the water near the bay to lay their eggs on the beach. Do not approach exhausted animals as you might scare them away.
The highlight of all visits to the islands is undoubtedly the hike to the top of a volcano. A hike of about 40 minutes will take you to the top of a staircase and wooden walkways. The landscape is made up of plants that have adapted to the aridity such as cacti, something so strange that it seems to have come from outer space.
Once you reach the top, the spectacular view will undoubtedly take your breath away. This is the most photographed place in Galapagos and should not be missing in any photo album. Here you will appreciate: the twin bays, Pinnacle Rock, the lunar landscape and the underwater crater. In addition, you will be able to observe the nearby island of Santiago and its famous Sullivan's Bay, fascinating.
Due to the dazzling afternoon sun, it is recommended to make this excursion in the morning, where you will be rewarded with an extraordinary view.