While staying at Finch Bay, we also booked a day tour on their yacht to the island of Bartolome. Our friend Ayaka joined as well, and together with another group of people, we left early in the morning to begin the 2 hour sail. The yacht was quite luxurious and comfortable, so the 2 hour sail definitely did not feel very long at all.
We arrived to Bartolome and were blown away by its landscape! The island consists of an extinct volcano and a variety of red, orange, green, and glistening black volcanic formations. As one of the younger islands of the Galapagos, Bartolome is famous for its iconic panoramic view of mesmerizing volcanic landscapes as well as the Pinnacle Rock, an unusual and pointy looking rock formation. It was like stepping onto another planet!
We hiked up a looooong set of stairs and were rewarded with a phenomenal view of the Pinnacle Rock!
After exploring the island by land, we proceeded to explore the abundant of life that was awaiting for us underneath the sea! As we rode on the panga to the snorkeling site, the most amazing thing happened. A pod of dolphins surrounded our panga and joyfully swam next to us for a short period of time. We were all giddy with excitement as we watched the dolphins put on a natural performance for us, just inches away from our panga! Bridge was so excited she nearly jumped into the water to swim away with the dolphins, lol!
As we neared our snorkeling site, we got even more charged up because we had our first penguin sighting! The whole reason I signed up for this day trip was because Bartolome was one of the most promising islands for penguin viewings. We hadn’t seen any penguins on our entire Galapagos cruise, and so I was reallllllly hopeful to see them in Bartolome.
Our first penguin sighting was a family of 3 penguins–a male, female, and their baby penguin. It was too good to be true! As our panga got closer and closer, this time it was I who nearly jumped out to hug the penguins!
Our guide gave us the green light to get into the water shortly, and ofcourse, I immediately began swimming towards the penguin family, with the guide shouting behind me “don’t get too close to them, you will scare them!”
I got as close as I responsibly could manage, without terrifying these cute aquatic flightless birds. I even took a selfie with them! 😂
After gawking at them for awhile, I decided it was time to get underneath the water to see what other wildlife awaited me. I love the tranquility and focus of being under water, just gliding along like a fish and being mesmerized by all the sea life around me. I saw sea turtles, schools of beautiful fish, white tip sharks, and then…..all of a sudden, a penguin darted past me in the water! Instinctively, I immediately started swimming after it, with Bridgette following right next to me. We were determined to catch up with that little guy!
Eventually, the penguin slowed down and just started bobbing up and down the water. It was the cutest thing! We kept a safe distance from it as not to scare it away, but we were close enough for me to be completely spellbound by it!
Eventually, the penguin began swimming away, and I instinctively tried to chase it down once again. I was so focused that I hadn’t realized I was swimming further and further away from our group and the panga that was waiting for us. Finally, at one point, I heard Alan yelling my name and I turned around to see him swimming frantically towards me to drag my unwilling body back to the panga where everyone was waiting for us. I was sad to say goodbye to the penguin but alas, it was time to go and I certainly was leaving the Galapagos with no regrets.