"Island with a view" Isla Bartolomé by toonsarah

Isla Bartolomé Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 52 photos

View from Bartolomé

Bartolome is the most visited and most photographed island in the Galapagos. It was one of the islands I had most wanted to include in our itinerary, as it is generally recognised as having the best views in the archipelago. This view from the top of its peak is the must-have shot.

This was the third island we visited on our Galápagos cruise on the Angelito. Despite being keen to include it on our itinerary, it proved not to be one of my very favourite islands, as a combination of a relative lack of wildlife with which to interact, and relatively dull weather which failed to bring out the perspectives of this striking landscape, meant that Bartolomé didn’t make my “top five” list after all. But that is not to say it isn’t well worth visiting – there are no disappointing destinations in the Galápagos!

The landing here is a dry one, and the visitor trail all on a boardwalk and wooden steps, 375 in total, that lead to the highest point and that classic Galápagos view. As you climb you will see lava lizards sunning themselves on the hot boards or on nearby outcrops of lava, but few other land animals are attracted to live in this barren landscape. One of the main interests for visitors is the story of the volcanic activity that shaped this and the other islands, as demonstrated vividly in the spatter cones and other formations around you.

The other main interest is the view, and it certainly rewards your climb, even on a dull day. From this high point you can see Pinnacle Rock, Bartolomé’s “trademark”, immediately below you, and beyond it, Santiago and some other smaller islands. The contrast of white sand beach, green scrub-land behind it, volcanic island and blue sea is dramatic and memorable.

Later we spent some time on that beach, and here we did spot a bit more wildlife, including a Galápagos penguin that swam up and down, parallel to the beach, right opposite where we were sitting.

This is one of a series of pages about the various islands we visited on our Galápagos cruise. In those individual island pages I aim to describe in more detail what we did on each island, the environment and landscape, and the wildlife to be found there. But for detailed descriptions of the animals and plants etc I have included links to my main Galápagos page, rather than repeat myself too much here.

To follow our trail here as we experienced it, please read my tips in order, starting with our landing.

And when you have finished your visit to Bartolomé, do continue to the next island on our itinerary, Genovesa.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:A small gem of black lava edged with sand
  • Last visit to Isla Bartolomé: Nov 2012
  • Intro Updated Dec 31, 2012
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Reviews (5)

Comments (6)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Too bad about the dull weather, but this still looks like a beautiful island in your photos.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Feb 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      Thank you for visiting here with me Don - beautiful indeed, but lacking the woldlife I enjoyed so much elsewhere

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Fascinating scenery! Another interesting page!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Jan 22, 2013 at 1:36 AM

      Thank you Dee. I'm just back from a very different trip in snowy Norway, hence the delay in acknowledging your visit to Bartolome ;-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    I think it is my favourite island, because of the exciting vegetation and the landscape. But... I might have another favourite island soon :-)

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 31, 2012 at 6:21 AM

      Yes, the landscape is good. But for me it was less interesting because there was so little wildlife, and because really all you can do is climb the hill, look at the view (which is inded magnificent!) and walk down again - so it seemed less varied than elsewhere. But it was still great :-)

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Sometimes the places we most look forward to turn out not to be the highlights, it still looks like you enjoyed the visit!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 28, 2012 at 2:08 AM

      Absolutely! It just wasn't one of my top islands, but still well worth seeing for this view alone :-)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Fantastic new page with outstanding photos of your adventures on the Galapagos Islands. Now I know where your VT passport photo was taken. *winkygrin*

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 28, 2012 at 1:58 AM

      Thank you Holger :-) Yes, my pp was taken here by Fabian - just to prove I made it to the top of the hill!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    I also wanted to visit Bartolomé to see the famous Galapagos view. It was included in the cruise I booked, but it was cancelled and I was upgraded to Cachalote (which didn't visit Bartolomé during that week). I think that the small boat you can see in your main photo, anchored near Sullivan Bay, is actually Cachalote.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      Thank you for checking out this little page Malena. You have excellent eyesight to even spot that boat! It is certainly one of the yachts so could well be Cachalote :-)


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