Gapagos Expedition Journal: Exploring Bartolome Island on Our Northern Islands Tour

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Galapagos Islands Bartolome Island Sunset

On our Northern Galapagos Islands tour, we explore the unusual island of Bartolome, which guards various hidden treasures just waiting to be found by visitors. This fantastic itinerary includes a Wednesday afternoon arrival at Bartolome Island on the Santa Cruz II Galapagos Cruise

Highlight of Bartolome Island: The Renowned Pinnacle Rock

One of the primary draws of Bartolome is arguably one of the most recognizable locations or scenes from the Galapagos that many people have seen, whether in postcards, periodicals, or documentaries. Renowned for its sailboat-like design, Pinnacle Rock is a towering geological phenomenon. It is visible almost everywhere in Bartolome, standing proudly at the island’s edge. 

The Pinnacle Rock is a highlight of the Northern Galapagos Islands.
The Pinnacle Rock is a must-visit site during your stay in Galapagos!

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Things to Do at Bartolome Island


Scuba diving from the beach, which has some of the best sand in the archipelago, is another activity we provide to our visitors at Bartolome. Our guests will begin swimming and snorkeling past the pinnacle to reach another bay from this lovely beach. Seeing Santa Cruz II Galapagos Cruise hang around here is not unusual; some visitors may be lucky enough to swim with a group of them! Although we could not locate or swim next to penguins on this occasion, we could identify a few sharks!

We soon discovered something else in the ocean that was far larger than the whitetip reef sharks when we were swimming with a small group of them. We approached this shadow circling the water and saw it was a massive blacktip shark, which is a little more challenging to notice in these areas. That this unusual guest was here shocked and delighted us all very much! 

Glass-bottom boat

During their stay at Bartolome Island, we provide our guests with various activities, including a glass-bottom boat ride along the coast and even alongside Pinnacle Rock. This allows our guests to view some Galapagos penguins, which are part of the BIG15 group of iconic species in the Galapagos, as they hang out atop the rocks or swim and fish in the calm waters of Bartolome, which is one of the few places they get to call home! 

People enjoying the glass-bottom boat aboard Santa Cuz II
You’ll love watching the Galapagos marine life from our glass-bottom-boat.

A Hike to the Top

A walk to the island’s top is the final activity of the day that Bartolome offers its guests. This trip is different because it consists only of climbing a wooden stairway (372 steps altogether!), which is quite simple and will get us to the island’s summit. Along the route, a few rest areas double as vistas. Our visitors can progressively regain their breath at each location, to have it stolen by the breathtaking scenery!

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Visitors who ascend the stairs are rewarded with a stunning panorama at the summit, featuring a nearly 360-degree view of the nearby islands. Reaching the summit during this afternoon activity allows us to witness a breathtaking sunset, making it the ideal moment to bid farewell to Bartolome and return to the Santa Cruz II to continue our Northern Galapagos Islands Itinerary exploration of the islands in the following days! 

Updated:June 7, 2024

Published:March 2, 2018

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