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Galapagos Expedition Journal: Turtles and Penguins of Bartolome and the Chinese Hat

Green turtles were mating in the water in front of us when our Zodiac pulled up to Bartolome, a mound of lava less than half the size of New York’s Central Park, just off Santiago Island in the Galapagos. Bartolome is a breeding and nesting ground for the turtles. It’s also favorite stop for visitors to the Galapagos because of its fantastic geology, an energetic climb up 376 wooden steps to a commanding view from the summit of the islet’s biggest volcanic cone, and spectacular snorkeling with sharks and rays in the clear water around postcard-famous Pinnacle Rock.