Swimming About: A Day With Galapagos Penguins in Bartolome

Bartolome Island, galapagos penguins in bartolome

20 to 24 February 2017 – Encountered Galapagos Penguins in Bartolome

Our cruise aboard the Yacht La Pinta took us on a journey to the island of Bartolome.

This island is famous for several reasons, one of which is the monumental tower of Earth that pokes out into the sky and is known as “The Pinnacle of Bartolome.” Leading up to this pinnacle is a relatively wide stretch of sandy beach. Opposite the pinnacle, and on the other side of the beach, is a volcanic cone that one can climb up to get some fantastic views of the island and the surrounding scenery.

pinnacle rock, bartolome, galapagos penguins in bartolome

Standing tall: The Pinnacle of Bartolome

Perusing With Galapagos Penguins in Bartolome

During our time here we had the opportunity to not just see the Galápagos Penguin in Bartolome but also swim along with several of them! It’s interesting to note that, on this island specifically, there is an estimated population of 30 to 40 penguins. Nevertheless, we got to swim with a substantial number of them, providing us with an unforgettable experience as they interacted with us by getting up close to our bodies and then darting away. After they had satisfied their own curiosity, they climbed atop a couple of rocks nearby and simply watched us swim along. Everyone from the cruise was thoroughly impressed with how docile they were.

galapagos penguins in bartolome

The Galapagos penguin is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only species of penguin capable of living north of the equator and survives, in part, thanks to the cool waters that are brought in and up by the Humboldt and Cromwell currents. It is considerably smaller than the Emperor Penguin in Antarctica.

Sometimes it’s not just the opportunity of getting to see these creatures that make this journey in the Galapagos so special, it’s what happens when you see them that turns it into a completely magical experience. You just never know in what way these animals are going to interact with you!

And to top it all off…

Following our encounter with the penguins, we continued to swim through the ocean water further down the channel. It was then that we suddenly found ourselves next to a school of white-finned sharks! Apparently they were resting below us, at the bottom of the sea between a small cluster of rocks. It was a thrill for all of us, and the ability to get to appreciate these sharks so closely (without the fear of getting attacked by them) made for a pleasant memory in the minds of our guests.

After we had finished going for our little snorkelling expedition, we all climbed back aboard La Pinta and settled in happily for the night, reflecting peacefully on the beautiful and natural things we had all witnessed. We were once again delighted by the islands and touched by its magic.

bartolome island, galapagos penguins in bartolome

Until next time, Bartolome

Bartolome Island serves as just one example of various other magical spots to visit in the Galapagos Islands, so be sure to check out the various Galapagos itineraries that you can choose from. Always keep in mind that just because you’ve experienced one island doesn’t mean you’ve seen them all! Bartolome is just the tip of the magical iceberg!

Christopher Klassen

About Christopher Klassen

With parents that worked for the U.S. Foreign Service up until he graduated from high school, Chris was raised to have the heart of a nomad throughout his life. He has resided in Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Panama and Ecuador throughout his years, and just recently spent the past four up in Canada finishing his Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy & English at the University of British Columbia.