Today we explored Bartolome Islet and Cerro Dragon, two sites on Santa Cruz Island known for impressive wildlife and landscapes. In the morning, we hiked and snorkeled at Bartolome Islet. In the afternoon, we moved to Cerro Dragon, where there was another chance to snorkel and hike.
Bartolome Island is a small volcanic island off the east coast of Santiago Island. It is home to the 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 6:15AM with a hike up a staircase to the island's summit for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding islands and ocean. 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.
Cerro Dragon, or "Dragon Hill" in Spanish, was named after the land iguanas that inhabit the area. Located on the northwest coast of Santa Cruz Island, it is a volcanic hill formed over a million years ago by a series of volcanic eruptions. Once we reached the top of the hill, we were able to observe breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Along the way, we encountered Galapagos land iguanas basking on our path. We also spotted Darwin's finches, Galapagos flycatchers, and Galápagos mockingbirds.
Overall, our visit to Bartolome Islet and Cerro Dragon was a memorable and educational experience, adding to our newfound appreciation for the natural wonders of the Galápagos Islands.