The Galapagos Island of Bartolome

The Galapagos Island of Bartolome is famous for a tuff volcanic cone known as Pinnacle Rock.


the galapagos island

This attraction has become one of the best recognized and most photographed sights in this Archipelago.

Around Pinnacle Rock the Galapagos penguins walk precariously along its narrow volcanic ledges.

Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers.

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Just below the surface, shoals of tropical fish dodge in and out of the rocks past urchins, sea stars and anemones. A perfectly crescent, pink and white sandy beach lies just to the east of the pinnacle.

The Green Sea Turtle use the beach as a nesting site and can sometimes be found wading in the shallow water near the shore, or resting in the sand to recover from the arduous task of digging nests, laying eggs and covering them over.

This towering rock face is actually an eroded lava formation. Formed when magma was expelled from an underwater volcano, the sea cooled the hot lava, which then exploded, only to come together and form this huge rock made up of many thin layers of basalt.

Pinnacle Rock is considered to be an emblem of the Galapagos Islands and is one of the most recognizable sites of this Archipelago.

The underwater world of the Galapagos Island of Bartolome is really impressing. You can snorkel with the penguins, marine turtles and other Galapagos Tropical Fish

The bay is also an excellent place to go swimming. The twin bays are connected by a thin isthmus.

On the other side you have the unique possibility to observe female marine turtles (depending on the season) that are waiting in the water of the bay for the night.

You will have the opportunity to see when they come to the dunes on the beach to lay their eggs.

One of the major highlights of this Island is certainly the hike to the top of the summit of the volcano. In about 40 minutes the trail takes you over wooden steps and boardwalks up to the top.

The Galapagos Island Landscape consists of plants that have adjusted to the dryness like cacti and it seems like almost from out of space.

The route is not difficult and presents a volcanic museum, a site left untouched after its last eruption, where cones stand in various stages of erosion and lava tubes form bobsled-like runs from the summit.

When you reach the top you will be presented to a spectacular view that will take your breath. This is one of the most photographed motives on the Galapagos Archipelago.

You can see the twin bays, Pinnacle Rock, the moon-like landscape as well as an underwater crater.

From the top you can see Santiago Island that is close by and its famous Sullivan Bay is fascinating.

To reach the Galapagos Island summit, you'll have to make a dry landing from the boat. However, to visit the beach, a wet landing is necessary.

Don't forget to bring your camera here for some wonderful photo opportunities of the neighboring Galapagos Islands and superb scenery.

A short panga ride takes you to the first of the two beaches. A short walk to the south beach leads through mangroves and past dune vegetation. Mating sea turtles are frequently seen as are white-tipped sharks, rays, blue herons.

Returning to the north beach offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities. Galapagos Penguins are frequently seen swimming in these waters.

The Island of Bartolome might look pretty desolate with mostly dried shrubbery like candelabra cacti and a few lava lizards running about.

But what makes this Island so special besides Pinnacle Rock is the fact that out here, you can spot the ever playful Galapagos Penguins, which are the second smallest penguin species in the world and the only ones living in a warm climate.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides). Click to order from Amazon

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!

There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.


Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands. Click to order from Amazon

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.

Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!


Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.

Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!


Moon Spotlight Galapagos. Click to order from Amazon

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.

But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.

Small, well-priced, and reliable!


Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.

This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!


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