Island Hopping in the Galapagos – Isla San Cristóbal
Swimming with turtles, sea lions and sharks, sun bathing on a beautiful secluded beach, eating fresh lobster and watching amazing sunsets – all in one day? That’s life on the Galapagos Islands.The current blog posts will all be dedicated to my experiences on the secluded archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, 973 km off the coast of Ecuador. Last weeks’ articles were about my experiences on the island of Santa Cruz and Isabela. This one is about the island San Cristóbal, next week’s article is dedicated to useful tips and tricks for traveling to the Galapagos Islands. The last island I visited was San Cristóbal, with its 6.000 inhabitants it’s a nice mix between Santa Cruz and Isabela. I spent a week in the main town Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the island and of the whole Galapagos province. I was volunteering at a restaurant, getting a free stay and dinner in return. I helped out in the kitchen and in service, saw a beautiful sunset from the restaurant every night and got to know people who grew up on the islands and their way of living.
My personal highlights on San Cristóbal:
Kicker Rock / Leon Dormido
Like on the other islands, I also went on a snorkeling tour on San Cristóbal. The tour went to Kicker Rock or also known as Leon Dormido (sleeping lion). The rock got its names because, depending from what ankle you look at it, it either looks like a sleeping lion or a foot that kicks something. The boat took us along the coast of San Cristóbal to Kicker Rock, with little stops to see blue footed boobies and a pelican nesting area. Once we reached Kicker Rock, we circled the rock by boat, before we got into the (cold!) water. We swam in a slim channel in the big rock, and then we surrounded the smaller rock on the right. If you’re lucky, this is a great spot to see hammerheads, unfortunately I wasn’t that lucky. Other than that I saw more turtles, sharks, sea lions and manta rays. After the cold snorkeling, we went to a nice beach to warm up and yet again snorkel there, where we were able to see more turtles and sharks.
Las Tijeretas, Punto Carmen and La Loberia
There are multiple places on San Cristóbal to go swimming and snorkeling for free. You will reach Punto Carmen and Las Tijeretas if you go to the interpretation center (a nice little exhibition about the Galapagos Islands) and then follow the paths leading you to either spot. Punto Carmen is a rocky beach where you will find many sea lions. Las Tijeretas is a nice snorkeling spot. You enter the water through a latter on the rocks and you will be able to swim with sea lions and turtles. The view isn’t half bad either. La Loberia is a beach behind the airport. It’s a 30 minute walk from the town. Here again, you will find sea lions, marine iguanas and you will be able to find turtles while snorkeling. At the other side of the beach, there is a path leading up to a cliff. On the way you will see many giant marine iguanas enjoying the sun and the view is nice. Wear sturdy shoes because you will have to walk on the rocks.
Last, but definitely not least: Playa Baquerizo. I hiked to the beach, which takes a little more than an hour from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. You also enter through the interpretation centre and follow the trail to Las Tijeretas. From the high view point, there is another small path leading you to the beach. The path was rocky, sometimes it was a little bit tricky, but that only made it more fun. When I reached the beach, I was the only person there. I found sea lions, marine iguanas, pelicans and sea turtles again. But compared to the other beaches, this one did not smell like a sea lion bathroom and had nice sand to lie down on. A few people came after me but it still felt very secluded.
These were my experiences on the Island San Cristóbal. To know more about the Galapagos, stay tuned! Next week’s topic: Island Hopping in the Galapagos – Useful Tips and Tricks.
If you rather want your tour to be preorganized, check out this page
Written by Ayke Sander