Bartolome | Galapagos Island

 Bartolome Island

Most Galapagos Islands postcards feature a picture of Bartolome

Bartholomew is also called Bartolome Island and it is volcanic in nature. But that does not mean that it is not a good place for visitors to be at. If one thought that this is a place that is rocked up and down by volcanoes and continental shift, and therefore does not contain any scenic beauty, it is not so. There are some landscapes that are beautiful enough to make it look like the green and brown of the land are meeting the blue sky. There is a deliberate mosaic wrought by Nature that makes the soil, sky, and sea look like a leaf out of a picture book.

Quite close to Santiago Island, Bartholomew is famous for the Pinnacle Rock which has a conical, albeit asymmetrical shape. It is seen on the coast from afar and beams like a beacon to those arriving en route to the sea, being a featured landmark that no one can miss. Many tourists have also enjoyed climbing to the summit of the Island and the adventure of it is not to be equaled by anything but the beauty of the place. Apart from the attractive Pinnacle Rock this extremely beautiful region of the Galapagos Islands also reveals more beauty to be discovered underwater.

It is as if the word ‘isthmus’ was coined to describe the narrow stretch of land between the two bays of Bartholomew and Sulivan Bay. There are hundreds of varieties of aquatic life waiting to be discovered by those who enjoy snorkeling. Penguins, reef sharks, marine turtles and many other varieties of tropical fish are part of this region. Batholomew is one of several places in which the miracles of Nature have worked wonders.

As part of the repopulation and breeding projects that are undertaken to bring back fauna into this archipelago, there are mating and nesting areas for green turtles and herons. Swimming and snorkeling are great options if one is happy to meet face to face with the aquatic life of Bartholomew.

Being a volcanic island, there is much evidence of lava and craters to be seen on the landscape, and even the Pinnacle Rock is made of volcanic formations. The sight from atop the summit is nothing short of breathtaking.

Tourist Information

  • Landing: Wet Landing & Dry Landing
  • Wildlife Highlights: Galapagos Penguins, lava lizards, marine iguanas, sea lions, sea turtles, white tipped reef sharks, blue-footed boobies
  • Activity Highlights: Hiking to the summit for some of the best views of the Galapagos Islands, Swimming, and snorkeling
  • Conditions: Moderate walk up well-marked steps (1800 steps), Beach landing swimming and snorkeling (Two-sided bay)


  • From the summit, you can observe Pinnacle rock and the sunken crater, as well as the lava fields on James Bay (Santiago Island) and several surrounding Islands. One of the most photographed sites in all of the Galapagos.
  • Galapagos Yachts and Cruise Ships: Most boats that offer cruises in the Galapagos Islands include a visit to Bartolome Island in their itineraries. It actually is one of the most visited and photographed locations in the archipelago.
  • Since Bartolome is one of the central Islands and is relatively close to Baltra airport it is visited on the first or second day of the cruise itineraries.
Galapagos travel

Bartolome Visitor Sites

Pinnacle Rock
Pinnacle Rock, situated on Bartolome Island in the Galapagos, is a renowned natural landmark. This impressive spear-shaped monolith emerges majestically from the ocean's surface. The lower region of this well-known rock, as well as its volcanic ledges, are often frequented by the exclusive Endemic Galapagos Penguin, the only species of penguins found north of the equator. Additionally, the area is home to a variety of inhabitants such as sea lions, tropical fish, sea stars, and anemones. Adjacent to Pinnacle Rock lies a beach where sea turtles frequently gather to rest, creating a common spectacle for onlookers.
Bartolome Galapagos Summit Hike

Bartolome Island, boasts an amazing volcanic landscape. Here, visitors can climb to its summit and experience an incredible panorama over the archipelago. From the top, you can look out over lava formations like tuff cones and flows.

Hiking to the summit may be straightforward, but take your time in its surroundings. Stop at various rest stops along the route to admire breathtaking vistas over Bartolome's coastline or to appreciate endemic vegetation such as Tiquilia nesiotica or Chamaesyce bushes - which are among only few plants capable of growing on Bartolome's arid and volcanic slopes.

It is worth the effort. You will have stunning views of Santiago Island's lava fields as well as Isabela's volcanoes. Look down upon Sullivan Bay and its golden-sand beaches - one of the finest views available anywhere in Galapagos! It makes the effort worthwhile and stands as one of the finest experiences available anywhere on the islands.

Recommended cruise tours that visit Bartolome Island

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