Bartolomé Island is a small volcanic island just off the east coast of the far larger Santiago Island. The uninhabited island covers just half a square mile, but is nonetheless a hugely popular tourist destination in the Galapagos archipelago thanks to its spectacular volcanic landscapes, easy to climb volcanic cone, and excellent swimming and snorkeling. Bartolomé was also the island to feature most prominently in the movie Master and Commander.
Main Visitor Sites
Pinnacle Rock – One of the most iconic and easily recognizable landmarks in all the Galapagos, Pinnacle Rock looks like a spear tip rising up from the ocean. It likely formed when magma was forced out from an underwater volcano, exploding out from the surface and forming the impressive volcanic cone. Galapagos penguins are normally found near the base of the rock. The waters around and below the base are also excellent for swimming and snorkeling, offering plenty of opportunities to swim with Galapagos sea lions, sharks, rays, octopi and a wide variety of colorful fish.
Bartolomé Island Viewpoint – For some of the best panoramic views in the Galapagos, hike up the 660-yard trail to the 375-feet-high summit of Bartolomé Island’s volcanic cone. Along the way you’ll pass various volcanic features, including spatter cones, tuff cones and lava flows. You’ll also see some of the island’s interesting and highly resilient plants, including lava cacti and Galapagos tiquilia. Once at the top you’ll have stunning views of Pinnacle Rock and the otherworldly lava formations out toward Sullivan Bay. Beyond them you’ll have wonderful views of Santiago Island and the shimmering Galapagos sea. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera.
Other Places to Visit in Galapagos
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