Key Visitor Points
Bartolome Viewpoint & Stairs
Trek along a wooden boardwalk and wooden stairway for the best views of the entire Galapagos; although a challenging 30-minute climb, the rewards at the top are well worth the effort. Upon reaching the summit, travelers are greeted with an awe-inspiring panorama of the Galapagos Islands. Nearby isles like Santiago Island are visible. Moreover, the wonders of Bartolome are even more captivating from this angle, with the ancient lava flows almost alien-like in their beauty and Pinnacle Rock eye-catching even from a distance. Take the time to soak in this scenery—it’s probably the most famous perspective of the archipelago.
Perhaps the most iconic landmark of the Galapagos Islands, Pinnacle Rock is a lofty volcanic monolith rising from the ocean. The rock formation features a slightly sharpened tip that makes it look like an arrowhead, a unique shape owed to the erosion of the volcanic cone over time.
Between the Viewpoint and Pinnacle Rock, the island’s narrow expanse features a golden sand beach on opposite sides. With golden shores and brilliant waters, the northern beach is excellent for swimming and snorkeling—and it’s not uncommon for playful animals to join beachcombers in the water. Penguins, sea lions, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and other tropical fish often swim alongside snorkelers as they explore the ocean around the island. As such, Bartolome is one of the most popular snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands.
ky birders may even get a glimpse of the San Cristobal mockingbird, which is endemic to the island.