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TOP 7 THINGS TO DO IN SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
If you want to know what visit on your trip to Galapagos. These top 7 things to do in San Cristobal Island will make you fall in love.
San Cristóbal is located in the Pacific Ocean, 930 km from Cape San Lorenzo, the closest point to Galapagos from mainland Ecuador. It is located in the most eastern region of the Galapagos Islands. It is the second populated island after Puerto Ayora, on the Santa Cruz Island. The island have a wide range of attractions to explore and activities to enjoy. The beaches, scenery and wildlife make San Cristobal a must see destination.
Here is a list of the top 7 things to do on San Cristobal Island.
1. Visit the Interpretation Center
If you want to learn about the history, biology and geology of the Galapagos Islands, this attraction is the perfect place. The Interpretation Center was inaugurated in 1998 as part of the “Interpretation and Environmental Education Project”. The center is located about 10 minutes north of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Here visitors can enjoy three exhibition rooms: natural history, human history and conservation. In the Natural History room you can learn about the volcanic origin of the archipelago, its diverse ecosystems, the arrival and evolution of species. In the Human History room you will learn about the discovery and human colonization of the Galapagos.
Finally, the last section is dedicated to the conservation and development of Galapagos. Here a guide will give you a talk about the various environmental threats and protection programs.
Highlight: Admission to the Interpretation Center is free.
2. Enjoy in Lobos Island
This beach, called “Isla de los Leones Marinos” (Sea Lions Island), owes its name to the fact that 20 years ago there were about 1,300 sea lions living on this beach. When you visit this place you will see the beach full of cute, playful and happy sea lions lying on the white sand. This is one of the most striking attractions of San Cristobal and in general of the Galapagos Islands.
On this beach you can spend the day watching sea lions, snorkel and swim with these beautiful animals. You will also have the chance to see blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies.
Highlight: Snorkeling with sea lions, frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies.
3. Hike and snorkel at Tijeretas Hill
Tijeretas Hill, also known as Frigate Hill, is a beautiful viewpoint located in San Cristobal, two miles from the Interpretive Center. From here you can enjoy a panoramic view of Kicker Rock.
As its name suggests, Tijeretas Hill is home to 2 species of frigate birds found in the Galapagos. But frigate birds are not the only birds that like to nest on this rocky cliff. If you visit this place you will also be able to observe the blue-footed boobies.
At the base of Tijeretas hill, there is a small cove perfect for swimming, snorkeling, watching sea lions and tropical fish. In other words, the perfect place to see the life in the ocean.
Highlight: The name Tijeretas is a common name for frigate birds, so it was adopted for the hill, as these birds are a common sight in the area.
4. Admire Kicker Rock
Kicker Rock is an ancient and eroded volcanic tuff cone, which resulted in two large volcanic rocks 140 feet high. This attraction is also known as “Leon Dormido” (Sleeping Lion) since if seen from the south, this figure can be appreciated. It is also called Kicker Rock because of its boot-like appearance when viewed from another angle.
The rocks have formed an excellent channel that attracts a large number of marine species. Sea turtles, marine iguanas, eagle rays, sharks and an abundance of colorful fish are some of the animals you will see. Kicker Rock is considered one of the best places to dive or snorkel in the Galapagos.
Highlights: Spectacular rock formations; snorkeling and amazing marine life.
5. The Junco Lagoon – An incredible viewpoint
Junco Lagoon is a crater lake located high in the volcanic mountains of San Cristobal, 19 km from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The huge crater was formed in the caldera of a non-active volcano that filled with rainwater over the years. It contains a volume of approximately 9 million gallons of fresh water.
This amazing lagoon is the favorite place of frigate birds, it is common to see them washing the salt from their feathers, as well as white-cheeked pintails. There is a trail where you can hike and observe the amazing views of the island, the coast and the sea.
Highlight: Its name comes from a type of plant that is common in this area called “junco”.
6. Knowing Puerto Chino Beach
Puerto Chino is a small but impressive beach located southeast of the island of San Cristobal. This beach is a great tourist attraction for its turquoise waters and white sandy beach. In addition, Puerto Chino is the ideal refuge for sea lions, turtles and a great variety of marine birds.
It is a perfect place for hiking, enjoying the scenery, and swimming in its calm and peaceful waters. It is important to note that to get to the beach you have to walk over some lava rocks, sometimes they can be sharp, so be careful when stepping on them.
Highlight: Hiking, snorkeling, wildlife watching
7. Explore Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos Islands, located in the southwestern part of San Cristobal. This part of the island offers tourists to enjoy various excursion activities. In the urban part of P. Baquerizo Moreno you can observe friendly sea lions.
You can also visit the Natural History Museum, where you can learn more about birds, iguanas, sea lions and more. The only living species in the museum is a turtle named Pepe, who lives in an area behind the main building. Another attraction is the Cathedral, with its murals painted on Galapagos themes.
Highlight: Admire the Natural History Museum.
Now you know more about San Cristobal Island and its most outstanding places. You can’t miss the opportunity to get to know this top 7 things to do in San Cristobal Island.
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