Today we visited one of the most iconic geological formations of the Galapagos, Bartolome Island. We started early in the morning at first light with a hike to the top of the volcano of this small island. Taking the wooden staircase to the summit, we were surprised by a juvenile Galapagos hawk perching on the handrail, fearless and curious, staring at us. We and this magnificent bird spent some time looking into each other eyes.
The walk on this young island allowed us to learn about the formation and volcanism of the Galapagos. The rocks we found all around were tools for understanding the geology of the place. A few lava lizards and painted locusts, some of the very few animals of this island, were found during the hike.
We visited the beach near Pinnacle Rock where we enjoyed the sun rise, which made the sand sparkle due to its concentration of silica in glass form. Afterwards, we went snorkeling along the channel in between Santiago and Bartolome islands.
In the afternoon we visited Chinese Hat, a small volcano that formed an island in front of Santiago Island. Covered by pioneer plants, the area is home for a small colony of Galapagos penguins. We went snorkeling in the area, a sandy bottom sheltered channel were white-tipped sharks, rays, and penguins made our highlights.