Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos

Isla San Cristobal (for my gringo readers, “isla” means “island” in Spanish) is the eastern-most island in the Galapagos archipelago in Ecuador. The island is accessible by air from the mainland and by sea from the other islands ($30 each way from Isla Santa Cruz). In the main town Puerto Baquerizo Moreno there are hotels, hostels, tour companies, shops and everything else that you would expect from a small tourist town.

Ecuador - Galapagos - San Cristobal - Marine Iguana

Marine iguanas love to soak up some sun

Rather than stay on San Cristobal, we did a day trip from Isla Santa Cruz with Joybe Tours for $90. The tour started at 06:40 in the morning in front of the Joybe Tours office in Puerto Ayora. From here we walked a few metres down to the port for the 2 hour speedboat ride to Isla San Cristobal. I slept the entire way but people who were sitting on the upper deck spotted dolphins! The sea lions who live on the island dominate the port, occupying nearly all the benches in sight. Just like all the other wildlife in the Galapagos, they are completely unafraid of humans and you may find yourself sharing a bench with a group of lazy sea lions.

Ecuador - Galapagos - San Cristobal - Sea Lions on a Bench

Good luck finding a seat here.

About 5-10 bus ride outside of town, we stopped at a beautiful surf beach teeming with marine iguanas, sea turtles, and sea lions. The waves (not for beginners!) break just in front of a natural sea wall composed of volcanic rocks, which in turn form a small bay of calm water right in front of the beach. The water is crystal clear and there are loads of sea turtles milling about underwater. While a wetsuit isn’t required, the water was a bit chilly and I wish I had one!

Ecuador - Galapagos - San Cristobal - Big Sea Turtle

It might not look like it but this sea turtle is massive!

Ecuador - Galapagos - San Cristobal - Me with a small Sea Turtle

Don’t think he even knew I was behind him.

Next up, we got back on the boat and drove out to León Dormido (Kicker Rock). It’s a massive rock formation in the middle of the sea. We drove around it then jumped into the water to snorkel through the channel between the two rocks. Sharks, sea lions, and rays went about their daily business just a few metres below us.

Ecuador - Galapagos - San Cristobal - Kicker Rock / Leon Dormido

León Dormido (Kicker Rock)

Our last stop was a shallow, secluded bay with crystal clear waters. Luckily for us, there was a group of 6 sea lion pups playing on the beach who were more than happy to entertain us for a bit. Best of all, we were the only boat there.

Ecuador - Galapagos - San Cristobal - Sea Lion Pups

Ecuador - Galapagos - San Cristobal - Sea Lion Pup Laying Out

The tour concluded with a quick stop at the port followed by the 2 hour return trip to Isla Santa Cruz. It was a great day out!!

Have you been to Isla San Cristobal? If not, are you keen to go for a day or more?

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