Have questions? We're here.
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal South America trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip

Bartolome Island, Santiago Island

Up early for more adventures!
Sample daily itinerary
Sample daily itinerary (Staci Edwards)

Bartolome island is an interesting place.  The rocks are fantastic--there are amazing lava formations everywhere. And, on the way in....we saw a Galapagos penguin!!!  That was an artist's inspiration, for sure!
Acrylics, penguin
Acrylics, penguin (Staci Edwards)

Galapagos penguin
Galapagos penguin (Staci Edwards)

Long ago, a group of penguins followed the cold Humboldt current up from Antarctica and settled here.  They are the most northerly penguin in the world, and the only species to live in the tropics.

acrylics, penguin, detail
acrylics, penguin, detail (Staci Edwards)

We also encountered Blue footed Boobies on the cliffs.

I won a beer because I knew that Booby means "bobo", which is Spanish for clown, stupid, or fool.  (Because of their silly dance and how they wouldn't run away from the pirates.) 
Another reason to paint!
acrylic painting, Blue Footed booby
acrylic painting, Blue Footed booby (Staci Edwards)

The blue color comes from the fresh fish they eat--so color indicates health.  Females can tell if their suitors are good hunters for their young.  It changes quickly--even 48 hours of a restricted diet and the color fades.  Scientists studied couples and dulled their feet with makeup...and the females produced smaller eggs with less yolk.  They concluded the females didn't want to invest in a male that wouldn't provide. 

Blue footed booby facts
Blue footed booby facts (Staci Edwards)

Other cool Blue Footed Booby facts:  Their skulls have 'air bags', to protect their brain when they dive into the water at 60 mph.  They can dive into water as shallow as 2 feet!  They have this really cool mating dance...apparently the higher they lift their feet, the more attractive they are.  After the dance, he offers her a pebble by putting it on her foot.  If she doesn't like it, she kicks it off and he offers her another one.  Their nostrils are permanently closed, and they eat most of their fish underwater.  The males have larger tails and are smaller, so they can hunt shallow or deep.  They feed the young early on.  The female is larger and can carry more food, so she hunts for the chicks when they are bigger. Average life span is 17 years.

We leapt off the dingy and navigated past a sleeping sea lion, and the group behind us encountered him awake.

The barren landscape has its own unique beauty.

You can definately see the volcano's work.
You can definately see the volcano's work. (Staci Edwards)

You can see a caldera just under the surface.

We walk up a wooden staircase and take in the sights.

Our group, hard at work.

We saw a Galapagos hawk here!
Galapagos hawk
Galapagos hawk (Staci Edwards)

Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay was a strange landscape as well.

It felt very un-earthly.

The rust color you see is actually the 'print' left by a tree as the lava enveloped it.
The rust color is the 'print' a tree left behind when the lava came through!
The rust color is the 'print' a tree left behind when the lava came through! (Staci Edwards)

Today's snorkeling highlights: 
I saw a penguin underwater but it zipped by so fast I couldn't get a photo!

White-tip reef shark
White-tip reef shark (Staci Edwards)

Underwater Lava Tube
Underwater Lava Tube (Staci Edwards)

For more highlights of today, see the album!
Today I started a list of fish we are seeing, using a species book on the boat.  I kept adding to it until the trip was over. 
snorkeling siting list
snorkeling siting list (Staci Edwards)


South America Travel Guide

Favorite South America All Trips

Top South America Travel Destinations

South America Trips by Departure Date

Top Experiences in South America

South America Trips by Duration

South America Trips by Activity

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By