This morning, we anchored on Bartolomé to see the island’s unique landscapes, including its endemic flora and fauna.

Our walk started in the early morning with a dry landing. We walked along a wooden boardwalk to the very top of eroded volcanos. From there, we enjoyed one of the most stunning views of this enchanted archipelago. It took us 370 steps to get to the top, and we stopped at several lookout spots to enjoy the scenery. We learned about the island’s geological history and about the surrounding islands and islets.

The dramatic volcanic environment helped us picture the beginnings of the Galápagos Islands. Bartolome is comprised of dozens of spatter cones. Even though the habitat looks inhospitable, the island is home to a small, if bizarre, variety of species, including the only penguin that lives in the tropics. Galápagos penguins live along the rocky coastline of this remote island.

Only a small amount of plant life has managed to thrive on this hostile but beautiful piece of land. Such life forms have unique adaptations to survive the dry environment. The lava cactus is only found in arid conditions. These cacti can get nutrients from dying stems as newer ones emerge.

Tiquilia nesiotica is an interesting plant that grows comfortably in the arid soil made of ash. You can see it scattered over the soft soil along the trail. The plants maintain a certain distance from one another to avoid competition for nutrients with their conspecifics.