Bartolome – The most Photographed Island

Galapagos island is a treat to all Photography lovers and you get to see a beautiful landscape in every direction of the island. Bartholomew Island is one of the most photographed island mentioned by our tour guide and I could realize that when we landed on the island. The island is relatively new only less than a million years old compared to other islands in Galapagos. The volcano eruption that left this island rocky and dry with beautiful landscapes across the island. The Pinnacle rock and the lava formations in the background adds the beauty to this island. The island does not have much vegetation and you can find several lizards, birds and marine animals along the shore of the island.

Once you reach the island, there is a moderate hike to experience the 360 view of this island with Pinnacle Rock and turquoise blue ocean in the background. You will need to climb ~375 steps that starts from flat elevation to gradually becoming steep as you heads towards the top of the viewpoint. It is totally worth the climb and highly recommend to do this if you visit Bartholomew Island. You are sure to capture some beautiful shots across all angles from the viewpoint 🙂

Pinnacle Rock

Pinnacle Rock is a tall, pointed formation across Bartholomew’s shore, easily recognizable as one of the famous Galapagos landmark. The crescent, white-sand beach at the foot of Pinnacle Rock and the waters off its edge are great for swimming, snorkeling with penguins, and relaxing among the small colony of birds and wildlife.

Activities to do in this Island

Hiking path to the viewpoint
  • Hiking to see the panoramic view of the island – As you hike, you will come across small to big lizards, colorful crabs climbing the lava rocks close to the lava rocks.
  • Snorkeling – One of the most famous spots to do snorkeling. The water is very shallow,  wonderful place to see all the marine life here and at arm’s length from swiftly moving penguins, sea turtles, colorful fish, and sharks that come to the area to feed and clean themselves on the island’s coral reefs.

  • Walking – There are lots of trail paths near the beach where you can take a stroll surrounded by the black lava rocks, see the rock formation of varying colors.
Blue footed Boobies
  • Wildlife – Blue-footed boobies, Pelicans, Laughing gulls, Penguins, Turtle, Hawks can be seen seen in this island. Isabella and Bartholomew islands are the only destinations where you can find penguin colonies. It’s not always common to see them all the time and we were lucky to spot couple of them during our visit. We were so fortunate to see a penguin swimming right close to our legs during the snorkel area.

Getting to the Island

This is one of the most famous Galapagos attraction, if you are planning to book a trip on your own, you must do it in advance. The tour also starts very early 6 AM to catch the best views of the island and you must be in Santa Cruz island to take this trip. Most tours pick you up from your hotel or any assigned meeting point. It’s a 45 minute bus ride to board the boat from Itabaca Channel to Bartolome island. Once you board the boat, it takes around 2 hours to reach the island. Since it’s a 2 hour boat ride, I recommend to take a comfortable Yacht boat and you will need to be ready to experience the weather conditions. On our way back to Santa Cruz, we experienced heavy wind conditions and was a very rough ride. So be prepared for the weather.

View of the volcanic formation from the stairways.
Final steep walk to reach the top awaiting surprise to see 360 view.

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