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San Cristobal Island - Galapagos

About San Cristobal

Is home to a small town, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and the Junco Lagoon, located 700 meters above sea level. El Junco has been the object of a study in which the sediments on the bottom of the lake were analyzed to uncover information about the vegetation and climate of the archipelago thousands of years ago.

 San Cristobal Fast Facts


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San Cristobal Visitor sites:


Puerto Baquerizo MorenoPuerto Baquerizo Moreno

This relaxed town overlooking a harbour is the capital of the Galápagos Islands. You can visit the Natural History Museum as well as the Cathedral with its painted murals depicting Galapagos themes. The Natural History Museum is full of birds, iguanas, sea lions and dolphins as well as whalebones, tortoise shells, corals and crabs. The only living species in the museum is a tortoise called Pepe, who lives in an enclosure behind the main building.

  • Highlights: Natural History Museum
  • Possible Activities: Tortoise in Museum
  • Type of Landing: Dry Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Kicker RockKicker Rock / León Dormido

This striking rock formation is an interesting view and a great place for kayaking or diving. These two rocks are located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, these rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, this site is often visited for kayaking and scuba diving. Marine life spotted in this area includes turtles, sharks, octopi and reef fish.

  • Highlights: Great snorkeling: sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies & frigatebirds.
  • Possible Activities: Snorkeling & dinghy ride
  • Type of Landing: No landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Lobos IslandLobos Island

The name of this island means "Sea Lion Island". This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

  • Highlights: Snorkeling with sea lions, frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies
  • Possible Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 mi/1 km), dinghy ride and/or snorkelling.
  • Type of Landing: Dry landing
  • Difficulty: Easy/moderate

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Pitt PointPitt Point / Pitt Islet

Pitt Point (Punta Pitt) is situated on the north-eastern tip of the island of San Cristobal. Arrival to this site is typically by a wet landing. A steep trail takes up a cliff and through a ravine leads visitors to an area with an abundance of birds. Here, frigatebirds, storm petrels, and the Nazca, Blue-footed and Red-footed Boobies can be spotted. This site is also great for snorkeling and scuba diving.

  • Highlights: Wonderful landscape, sea lion colony, three possible species of boobies.
  • Possible Activities: Dinghy ride, snorkeling, kayaking & hike (1.55 mi/2.5 km)
  • Type of Landing: Wet landing
  • Difficulty: Moderate/difficult

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Witch HillWitch Hill/Cerro Brujo

Located on the northern coast of San Cristobal Island, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. The white powdery sand and the abundance of animals in this area make it especially idyllic. Animals around Witch Hill and its beach include sea turtles, rays, and various types of Booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkeling.

  • Highlights: Beautiful rock formations, sea lions, shore birds, finches and mockingbirds; snorkeling: nice tropical fish, anemones, sponge coral
  • Possible Activities: Hike, dinghy ride, snorkeling & kayaking
  • Type of Landing: Wet landing
  • Difficulty: Easy walk along the beach

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Interpretation CenterInterpretation Center

The Interpretation Center on San Cristobal Island is a point of information about the Galapagos Islands. Located in San Cristobal's largest town, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the center was opened in 1998 as a phase of the project "Interpretation and Environment Education Project." The Center, in accordance with the goals of the project, provides information about the origins of the archipelago, both geographical and cultural.

Visitors enjoy the expositions on natural history, human history, and conservation. The Natural History Room explains the volcanic formation of the islands, climate, and how various species came to the islands. The Human History section of the Center describes the discovery of the island by humans, the colonization of the island and the history of human settlements. The conservation of the islands represents the movement to protect the wildlife and natural environment through various means of population and tourist control. The Interpretation Center also has an outdoor stadium, audio-visual equipment, and meeting rooms.

  • Highlights: Galapagos History and nature information
  • Possible Activities: Short walk
  • Type of Landing: Dry Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

La GalapagueraLa Galapaguera/Jacinto Gordillo Tortoise Breeding Center

This is a new visitor site in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. In the Breeding Center, you will be able to admire the hatchling tortoises from their birth until the are 120 days old when the grown tortoises are taken to their natural habitat.

  • Highlights: Giant tortoises in captivity.
  • Possible Activities: Short hike (0,6 mi / 1Km)
  • Type of Landing: Dry Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy / moderate

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Ochoa BeachOchoa Beach

Ochoa Beach is located north of San Cristobal Island, approximately 30 minutes by boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The visiting area is restricted to the beach; it has an area of 160 meters. In the area there is a considerable colony of Galapagos Sea Lions. One of the outstanding floras in this site is Piscidia or matazarno (Piscidia carthagenensis), this species is highly valued for its toughness and long life. Ghosts and hermit crabs are common species in this site visit.

  • Highlights: Sea Lions, Piscidia or matazarno
  • Possible Activities: Snorkeling, Scuba diving
  • Type of Landing: Dry landing
  • Difficulty: Difficult

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Tijeretas HillTijeretas Hill

This hill provides visitors with an impressive view of the bay from one side and the town from the other. The area is also great for observing both the magnificent and great frigatebirds and a diverse array of flora. The site also offers safe snorkeling and swimming.

  • Highlights: Frigate birds, cacti, red mangroves
  • Possible Activities: Snorkeling, swimming
  • Type of Landing: Dry landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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El Junco LagoonEl Junco Lagoon

The Junco lagoon, located about 700m above sea level, is one of the few permanent freshwater bodies in Galapagos. Frigate birds are often seen here washing the salt from their feathers as well as white-cheeked pintails and common gallinules. Its name comes from a type of plant that is common in this area called "junco".

  • Highlights: One of the few permanent freshwater lakes, frigates, white-cheeked pintails
  • Possible Activities: Bird watching
  • Type of Landing: Dry landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Puerto Chino BeachPuerto Chino Beach

Located (15.2 miles / 24.5 km) away from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and a few miles from the Breeding Center Cerro Colorado, this walk takes approximately 30 to the beach.

  • Highlights: Hiking, swimming, snorkeling
  • Possible Activities: White sandy beach, marine birds, snorkeling
  • Type of Landing: Dry landing
  • Difficulty: Moderate / difficult

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Punta Carola BeachPunta Carola Beach

Located on the trails behind the visitor's center, Punta Carola is only a few minutes' walk from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. It's a small, sandy beach, home to sea lions and shore birds. In Punta Carola you can see exotic flora and fauna. There is ideal for surf. Even, so if you're looking for a place to put down a towel and relax for a while, this is a better bet.

  • Highlights: Sea lions, shore birds
  • Possible Activities: Surfing, Snorkeling
  • Type of Landing: Dry landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

San Cristobal Pictures

El Junco Lagoon
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Highlands
La Galapaguera

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