Bartholomew Island, Galapagos

Picture Perfect Bartholomew


The Island of Bartholomew (or Bartolome in Spanish) is a rather barren island. It doesn't have much in the way of vegetation, and the native species consist of a few lava lizards and the insects they feed from. So why is it such a popular destination?

Simple - what it lacks in wildlife it more than makes up for in stunning landscape. Originally named after the second lieutenant of the Beagle (and friend to Charles Darwin) Sir Bartholomew Sullivan, the island is home to one of the Galapagos' most recognisable geological features, the famous Pinnacle Rock. The rock was formed by molten lava from an undersea volcano that rapidly cooled into thin layers of basalt, forming this distinctive and well-photographed landmark. The Rock even had a starring role in the 2003 Hollywood film "Master and Commander" with Russell Crowe! Today visitors have two choices of how to enjoy the views of this picture perfect island.

The beach site is wonderful for snorkelling and watching the abundant marine life. The more adventurous can hike up to a high viewpoint from which the views are breathtaking. Despite not being home to many land species, the Island has a colony of Galapagos Penguins. These little creatures are the second smallest penguin species in the world, and their numbers were unfortunately decimated in 1982 by El Nino when number fell to less than 500. Since then they have staged a comeback, but they are still monitored by the National Park to ensure their continued recovery. Other species to be seen around Bartholomew include Green Turtles, sea lions and white-tipped sharks.

Photos of Bartholomew Island

Fast Facts about Bartholomew Island

  • The most famous (and most photographed) feature on the Islands - Pinnacle Rock
  • Pinnacle Rock starred in the Russell Crowe blockbuster film "Master and Commander"
  • Visitors can swim and snorkel on the northern beach where green turtles nest from January to March
  • The 600m trail to the high viewing point will give you photographs of a lifetime


A walk on Bartholomew

The most-photographed island in the Galapagos

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Possibile Activities

Snorkeling, panga ride, hiking

Map of Bartholomew Island

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All cruises to visit Bartholomew Island