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A distant view of Kicker Rock

San Cristobal Island Travel Guide

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The easternmost of the Galapagos Islands, San Cristobal hosts the capital city of the archipelago, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. From here, it’s pretty easy to access the visitor sites, which include the engaging Interpretation Center plus myriad beaches and inland sites that teem with wildlife. San Cristobal is also geologically the oldest island in all of the Galapagos.

Cruises & Tours to San Cristobal Island

San Cristobal Island Visitor Spots

Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) – This is one of those classic Galapagos visitor sites that has it all – snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, or simply relaxing on the postcard perfect white sand beach by the turquoise water. Wildlife abounds on this serene beach on San Cristobal’s northern coast, including sea lions, shore birds, finches & mockingbirds, and small sea creatures like fish and sponges.

Pitt Point – A landing at this olivine beach on the northeastern tip of San Cristobal takes you into one of the best birding sites in the whole archipelago. It is unique as the only place where all three species of booby (Blue-footed, Masked, and Red-footed) can be found as well as storm petrels and frigates. Activities here include hiking up a steep trail to the top of the cliff or snorkeling, diving, or kayaking from the beach.

Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) – Although there is no dry landing here, Kicker Rock is an impressive geological formation that most cruises make sure to navigate around. In Spanish, its name means “Sleeping Lion” for its striking resemblance to the slumbering king of beasts. But don’t let that name fool you – actually, the formation towers hundreds of feet above sea level and is awake with sea life for those who care to snorkel or dive here. In addition to the tropical fish that can be found all across the Galapagos, you also might see hammerheads, manta rays, and other sharks. It’s located a bit over an hour from the shores of San Cristobal.

Lobos Island – While sea lions (lobos marinos) are common all throughout the Galapagos, few places offer visitors a chance to see them in such abundance as Lobos Island. This islet has a significant sea lion population and is one of the best places to snorkel alongside these playful animals.

Tijeretas Hill – This area, not far from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is named after the frigatebirds that have made it their home. In fact, it is one of the few places in the Islands where you can see both magnificent and great frigates living in harmony. If you climb the hill, you will get nice panoramic vistas of the surrounding area. If you prefer to snorkel, there is an inlet that offers a calm snorkeling or swimming site.

Galapaguera/ Interpretation Center – The Interpretation Center/ Galapaguera is one of the most engaging places to learn about the Galapagos Islands with hands-on exhibits and expert naturalists who offer presentations about the archipelago’s natural and human history. Here, you will learn about ongoing projects in the Galapagos Islands and how important it is to conserve this fragile ecosystem.

El Junco Lagoon – This is the largest body of freshwater in the Galapagos, with an average of about 9 million gallons. While this tends to fluctuate based on the season and dry spells, it is fed entirely by rainwater and is an important source of water for all of San Cristobal. In fact, on your way up to the lagoon, you will pass by various haciendas and farms that produce a large amount of the coffee and fruit found in the Galapagos thanks to the water that comes from El Junco.

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