Adventure Cruises in Isla Bartolomé

On cruises to Bartolomé Island (Isla Bartolomé), visitors will be introduced to one of the Galapagos archipelago’s most unique geological formations and iconic sights. Consisting of an extinct volcano, Bartolomé Island boasts an otherworldly landscape of multicolored lava formations, like frozen rivers of red, orange, and black paint splashed across the rocks. Any cruise to Bartolomé Island is nothing short of an adventure cruise. Stay long enough and the island begins to feel like something out of science-fiction.

Top things to do & see at Bartolomé Island

Pinnacle Rock is not only one of Bartolomé Island’s most iconic sights, it has become a symbol of the Galapagos as a whole! Jutting from the water like a jagged shark’s fin, Pinnacle Rock was formed primarily by wind and water erosion, but also shaped by human involvement when Allied soldiers stationed in the Galapagos during the Second World War used the rock formation for target practice.

Today the stone spire serves as a perfect photo opportunity, while its submerged base can be explored via snorkeling. Behind Pinnacle Rock, a small cave serves a penguin breeding colony

Hiking on Bartolomé Island is the best way to explore this unique landscape. Visitors in search of adventure activities on the island will need look no farther than the 114 metre climb to the top of the volcano and to Overlook Point. Though it involves a hike, the climb is done over 378 wooden steps, making it accessible to most visitors.

Overlook Point offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands and, far below, the shore and your adventure cruise ship bobbing in the water. This point also offers some of the best views of Pinnacle Rock and the island’s fantastic lava flows, offering a crash course in volcanology.

Snorkeling can be done from the white sand beach just to the east of Pinnacle Rock. Bartolomé Island underwater wildlife encounters include rays and reef sharks and the occasional penguin, in addition to candy-coloured tropical fish darting about the spectacular rock formations.

Despite its near lunar landscape, Bartolomé Island offers plenty of notable wildlife sightings, from the dragon-like marine iguanas and playful sea lion, to cruising reef sharks and regal lava herons. The island is also one of the best places to see the colorful Sally light-foot crab and spot the Galapagos penguin, the only penguin species found north of the equator.

Top Tips for visiting Bartolomé Island

  • A good camera will be worth the extra weight on your hike to Overlook Point. You’ll want to shoot Pinnacle Rock from every possible angle.
  • Despite the wooden steps leading to the top of Bartolomé Island’s volcano, a good pair of hiking shoes is recommended.

Best time to cruise Bartolomé Island

Anytime is the best time to visit Bartolomé Island, given that its geological highlights are unaffected by seasonality, while penguins nest and breed year round. Visitors should still plan ahead, however, there are better times of year to see wildlife and snorkeling conditions, in particular, may vary.

Bartolomé Island in January to March offers the best water visibility and excellent snorkeling conditions, while water temperatures are highest from February to April.

January to April on Bartolomé Island also brings intense sun and high temperatures, so bring sunblock, a good hat and plenty of water for your hike.

July to November bring more nutrient rich waters and a greater chance to see marine wildlife around the base of Pinnacle Rock.

Where do Bartolomé Island cruises depart from?

Galapagos small ship cruises that include Bartolomé Island on their itineraries usually depart from Baltra, Puerto Ayora or San Cristobal Island. Galapagos cruises departing from Baltra or Puerto Ayora are serviced by the airport on Isla Baltra. Puerto Ayora is approximately one hour from the airport, using public transport.

If your cruise is leaving from San Cristobal Island, you will be flying into San Cristobal Airport, near the port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Either airport is reached via flights from mainland airports in Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Our reservations team are available to help arrange your next Galapagos Adventure Cruise to Bartolomé Island. Contact us today.

Isla Bartolomé Reviews

  • 9.4 Superb
  • 17 Verified Reviews
  • 9.2 Superb
  • Montana S
  • United States United States

The view from the top was incredible. One of the most scenic pictures and sights of the trip. Also had the best snorkeling hands-down of the entire trip. The water was crystal clear, and we saw a variety of species up close!

Diving Isla Bartolomé in March on the Eden

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Indu T
  • United States United States

Lot of stairs but great views.

Diving Isla Bartolomé in September on the Anahi

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Eric T
  • United States United States

I will say that I have difficulty remembering exactly which island was which. I enjoyed all the excursions to all the islands, no complaints at all. The snorkeling was my favorite part. I wouldn't have changed a thing about the itinerary.

Diving Isla Bartolomé in February on the Estrella del Mar

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Meng Y
  • United States United States

The view from the crater was picturesque.

Diving Isla Bartolomé in February on the Grand Majestic

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kirsten P
  • United States United States

Breathtaking views - you can see almost all of the islands from the top of the climb!

Diving Isla Bartolomé in July on the Solaris

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Gail G
  • United States United States

Loved seeing and snorkling with the penguins

Diving Isla Bartolomé in October on the Nemo III

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Hassan A
  • United States United States

Beautiful volcanic views and nice beach. Snorkeling Wythe penguin was fun.

Diving Isla Bartolomé in January on the Natural Paradise

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Douglas S
  • United States United States

A nice hike to the top and then getting to snorkel and see penguins

Diving Isla Bartolomé in May on the Solaris

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Yilin Z
  • United States United States

Enjoy walk to the Overlook of pinnacle rock, beautiful scenery!

Diving Isla Bartolomé in January on the Grand Majestic

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Elizabeth H
  • United States United States

The hike to the top was great, getting to see so much of the surrounding landscape and other islands in the distance.

Diving Isla Bartolomé in January on the Solaris

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tjeerd D
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Nice snorkeling around the rock and seeing white tip sharks. Great hike to top of the mountain to see the view.

Diving Isla Bartolomé in April on the Nemo II

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Lyle B
  • Canada Canada

Highlight of the trip for me, would have liked to stay on the beach for a while to take on a little sun that day.

Diving Isla Bartolomé in January on the Estrella del Mar

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Katalin V
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Very special, seeing the special landscapes and animals

Diving Isla Bartolomé in April on the Galapagos Legend

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Dawn H
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

First time swimming with sharks!

Diving Isla Bartolomé in July on the Mary Anne

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kathy L
  • Canada Canada

The view is just spectacular!

Diving Isla Bartolomé in October on the Alya