Isla Bartolomé is a volcanic islet just off the east coast of Isla Santiago. It is one of the “younger” islands in the Galápagos archipelago. This island, and Sulivan Bay on Santiago island, are named after a naturalist and lifelong friend of Charles Darwin, Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan, who was a lieutenant aboard HMS Beagle.
Bartolomé has a volcanic cone that is easy to climb and provides great views of the other islands. We began our tour here by hiking up this cone in the morning – a relatively easy hike via a raised wooden walkway and stairs.
From the viewpoint we could easily see Pinnacle Rock, the distinctive characteristic for which Bartolomé is famous and the most representative landmark of the Galápagos.
The majority of our group chose to spend the afternoon on the beach (pictured just behind us above) where marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, crabs, dolphins, and sharks can be found. While the flamingos continued to evade us, we did observe a shark playing in the surf, just a few feet from where we stood.
The afternoon was a little windy and cold and thus Patrick and Buddy were the only passengers to join Cristina on a snorkeling outing. They were rewarded handsomely, however. Not only did they see sharks resting on the ocean floor, but they were also able to swim with a pod of dolphins. I was so jealous – I’ve always wanted to swim with wild dolphins!! I am kicking myself for being a wimp and not want to get cold.
Isla Santiago consists of two overlapping volcanoes, atop the northwestern shield volcano. The volcano in the island’s southwest erupted along a linear fissure, and is much lower. There are many volcanic fissures and a variety of red, orange, green, and glistening black volcanic formations.
We spent the evening meandering about Sullivan Bay, which is especially fascinating for those who are interested in geology and volcanology. Here you can walk over the un-eroded, black lava flow covered with lava bubbles and tree-trunk molds in the surface.
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