These two islands were by far my favorite on the trip. That is not to say I would have skipped a single one, just that if I had two days, these are where I would spend my time.Bartolomé Island is a classic example of good things coming in small packages. It is only a little over a square kilometer and is one of the youngest islands. Climbing to the top of the island provides a terrific view of its neighbors.I love the way the lava flow across the bay seems to mimic Pinnacle Rock’s shape. The barrenness of the landscape is stunning, but there is virtually no wildlife or flora. I did manage to just catch this beautiful heron taking off and the snorkeling off this beach was amazing. One of the highlights of the trip was swimming with a few penguins in this cove!
Genovesa Island has been open to tourists for only two years. It is home to many bird species who seem completely unfazed by human intrusion. There are colonies of Red Footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, storm petrels, Red-billed Tropic birds, finches, and mockingbirds, as well as the ubiquitous pelicans.
The Swallow Tailed Gull is the only full nocturnal gull and seabird in the world. The red ring around the Swallow Tailed Gull’s eyes helps its night vision.
Genovesa is one of the few places in the Galapagos Islands where Red-Footed Boobies are found en masse. They feed in the sea (wrapping their wings around their body to facilitate diving) and nest in trees.
The red-footed booby’s distinctive cry made us laugh every time.
The Lava Heron is endemic to the Galápagos. Doesn’t he remind you of a Disney villain?
Lava Herons feast on the Sally Lightfoot Crabs but don’t seem to make a dent in their population – thank goodness.
Finally, one last sea lion video. Notice the way the sea lion’s bark is not that different from the red-footed booby’s call!