Sombrero Chino and Bartolomé, Galapagos

Today we visited the Island of Sombrero Chino. In English the name means Chinese Hat and is a good way to describe the shape of the island. Our Naturist Guide preferred to call it Pizza Hut which made us all giggle. The island features great white sand beaches, sea lions and sally foot crabs. We were also very lucky to run into the top of the food chain, the Hawk. Which sat perched literally a meter from me as we walked past.

In the afternoon we sailed to Bartolomé Island. On this visit we had the opportunity to learn about the geological history of Bartolomé, as our naturalist explained its dramatic volcanic features, including unusual splatter cones. Bartolomé Island (also called Bartholomew) has two main areas of interest. A hike to the summit of the island provides a clearer perspective of the islands’ not-too-distant volcanic origins, and the panoramic view is one of the best among the islands. From here are visible the double-sided beach of Bartolomé directly below, the volcanic tower rising out of the water next to it, and Santiago in the distance. There is great snorkeling among the submerged volcanic rock and around the base of the tower. A short hike to the beach on the opposite side is worth the minimal effort. It is not unusual to see sharks in these shallow waters, and marine turtles nest here from January through March. We finished off our day with the most picturesque sunset of the trip.

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