Our expedition in the Galápagos Islands aboard of National Geographic Islander II started after a 3 hour and a half overnight navigation towards Bartolomé island. Located on the eastern side of Santiago Island, the tiny island has an area of only 1.3 km2 (0.5mi2).
In the early morning we visited the “Escaleras” visitor point. After a leisurely walk up 372 stairs we were rewarded with an iconic view of the Galápagos, as in seen in the movie Master and Commander. Bartolomé is the best area to appreciate some unique geological formations and pioneer vegetation. Our last activity on Bartolomé was a visit to a beautiful beach area where we enjoyed an active marine ecosystem that included playful penguins and sea lions, as well as sharks and a variety of other fish.
To finish our day, we visited the north side of Santa Cruz Island, at Cerro Dragón, home of a large population of Galápagos land iguanas. On a 1.7 mile walk along a dry forest, we noticed the combination of dry vegetation and green herbs, due to the abundant recent rain.