Early in the morning, we woke up to a view of Bartholomew Island. This small island is known for its geology and great snorkeling opportunities along the coastline.
Before breakfast, we went on a hike to the top of Bartholomew. The hike offers an opportunity to learn about the process of primary succession, where life establishes itself on a new terrain. Bartholomew is known as an open book for geology. We spotted different kinds of volcanic cones as well as pioneer plants, a couple Santiago lava lizards, and insects like Galapagos large painted locusts.
Once we made it to the top of the island, we arrived at one of the most spectacular vistas of the Galapagos. We observed the north and south beaches of Bartholomew in the distance and Pinnacle Rock in between. This scenery is shown in movies like Master and Commander.
After breakfast, we suited up for deep-water snorkeling and beach snorkeling off the coast of Bartholomew. We spotted a couple whitetip reef sharks, stingrays, a few playful Galapagos sea lions, and a large variety of fish.
While some of us snorkeled, others had the opportunity to take tours in the glass-bottom boat and learn about different species of fish. A naturalist told guests about specific species found in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
After lunch, we hiked along the shore of Santa Cruz Island to scout Galapagos land iguanas and birdlife, including Darwin’s finches and Galapagos mockingbirds. We were lucky to spot several land iguanas. Some were feeding, and others were resting under shrubs and prickly pear cacti. This site is known as Dragon Hill due to a high number of land iguanas in their natural habitat. Guests had the opportunity to photograph the iguanas, and everyone enjoyed observing the iguanas’ behaviors.