San Cristóbal is one of the oldest islands of Galapagos, the fifth largest island of the Archipelago and the San Joaquín mountain is the highest elevation with 730 m.s.n.m.
The northern part of San Cristobal Island has some volcanic peaks which reveal its volcanic origin, it has the largest freshwater lake in Galapagos, known as "El Junco" and has an almost circular shape, this place offers some of the best Amazing island landscapes and is located south in the mountains of the island.
The offers for tourists are extensive: a freshwater lagoon, islets, rocky beaches that are the territory of sea lions, dive sites and more. A paradise for adventure.
From its history of the last century and the reign of terror that was lived in the Hacienda El Progreso, there are only two white walls in ruins.
Nature of San Cristóbal
Galapagos National Park, Tijeretas Hill, Corona del Diablo, Galapaguera of Cerro Colorado, Isla de Lobos, Laguna El Junco, León Asleep, Lobería Beach, Mann Beach, Punta Cormorant, Punta Pitt, others.
Climate of San Cristóbal
In the cold season that goes from July to December the climate is temperate, with temperatures that oscillate between 18 and 25 ° C with the presence of strong winds and garúa, while in the hot season that goes from January to June moderate rainfall and a temperature that fluctuates between 22 and 31 ° C.
Flora of San Cristóbal
Its vegetation includes Calandrinia galapagosa, Lecocarpus darwinii and trees such as Lignum vitae or matazarna.
Fauna of San Cristóbal
This island hosts frigates, sea lions, Galapagos tortoises, red-footed boobies, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, dolphins and Galápagos gulls. In the nearby waters there are sharks, rays and lobsters.
Typical Food of San Cristóbal
Ceviche de canchalagua.- prepared with onion, pepper, green, tomato, salt, lemon juice and fresh canchalagua. The canchalagua is a mollusk that is found on the banks, and is collected in the stones of the intertidal zones. It has a coveted edible fame because it is attributed some extra food power.
King prawns.- they are prepared with garlic, grilled and even spelled. The flavor of its meat is similar to that of the shrimp from the coast, but its consistency is a bit more hard and tasty.
Wahoo grilled.- its meat is white, tasty and has almost no thorns. It is served accompanied with white rice, fried potatoes or patacones and salad of cabbage, carrot and mayonnaise.
Corviches.- these peanut fried balls, green banana and fish make a great sandwich.
Viche, shrimp ceviche, and food based on fish and seafood.
Places to Visit in San Cristóbal
The Interpretation Center in San Cristóbal
It was built in 1998 by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation with the support of the Galapagos National Park. It presents exhibition and conference rooms, a natural history room that explains the origin of the islands, a human history room that describes the presence of man since the discovery of the Galapagos and the conservation room where he shows an interest in protecting and conserving environment.
Cerro Tijeretas in San Cristóbal
Named for the Frigatebirds that nest here, there are several options to take within the route with self-guided signaling. Start with the canyon, a symbol of World War II, follow the path to find a viewpoint from where you can observe the scenic beauty of the West of San Cristóbal and as a main point Leon Dormido, continuing the path to reach a new lookout from where we observed Tijeretas Bay, here is a statue of Charles Darwin, symbol of when the famous scientist landed for the first time in the Galapagos Islands. From here there is access by a path to the cove where you can enjoy diving or snorkeling with wolves, rays and sea turtles. In the last part of the walk you can ascend a staircase to the highest viewpoint to enjoy the landscape.
Mann beach in San Cristóbal
Beach of white sand formed by the fragmentation of shells, by the proximity to the populated center this place is of recreational use. Sea lions visit this beach frequently, the clarity of its waters allows snorkeling.
Cabo de Horno or Punta Carola in San Cristóbal
You can go to this beach to surf or observe surfing competitions or simply to swim and relax. It's a beach with fragmented shells. From this beach you can take a path that leads to Cerro Tijeretas. Snorkeling here is good for seeing sea turtles and sea lions.
The Lobería in San Cristóbal
The Lobería is a good place to observe colonies of sea lions. Due to climatic changes these must migrate to places more apt for their development, and when finishing this process they return and they are part of a really unique scene; Apart from the sea lions, you can observe coastal and dry vegetation where mangroves, salted forests, and manzanillo are common. It is frequented by frigate birds, plovers, pelicans and marine iguanas, lava lizards and the exclusive mockingbird of San Cristóbal.
El Progreso in San Cristóbal
First human settlement of the island. The Hacienda El Progreso was founded at the beginning of the century by Manuel J. Cobos, who encouraged the cultivation of sugarcane and even invented his own currency. In this place you can see the tomb of Manuel J. Cobos and ruins of his hacienda. Also in El Progreso is El Ceibo where there is a tree house and a restaurant.
The Soledad in San Cristóbal
Characterized by its unique vegetation and a viewpoint from which you can see a panoramic view of the west side of the island (Points of interest are: Isla Lobos, León Dormido, and Cerro Brujo).
Laguna El Junco in San Cristóbal
This lagoon is inside an inactive crater in the whole Archipelago is the only freshwater lagoon formed by the impermeability in the background, the accumulation of rainwater and the constant drizzle of the sector. Its name "Junco" is due to an endemic aquatic plant that grows around the lagoon. It is interesting to note that frigates, being seabirds, bathe with the waters of the lagoon, they do so to clean the salt from their feathers.
Ochoa Beach in San Cristóbal
A small beach surrounded by shrubby vegetation such as salty forest, manzanillo, chala, carob tree. It is also a habitat for blue footed boobies, frigates, terns and pelicans; In the sea you can see rays, turtles, wolves and tropical fish.
Puerto Grande in San Cristóbal
This recreational site is located opposite León Dormido. It is ideal for camping and kayak tours. Because this bay is protected by mangroves, it has calm waters that are suitable for swimming. On the beach you can see hermit crabs, lava gulls, blue-footed boobies feeding.
Sleeping Lion in San Cristóbal
In the middle of the sea northwest of Puerto Baquerizo is this ancient and eroded lava tufa volcanic formation. León Dormido, or Kicker Rock, is formed by two rocks of approximately 148 m high, named for its resemblance to a sleeping lion. Between the rocks a channel is formed that is possible to cross it in a small boat. This place is exceptional for taking pictures, diving, snorkeling and observing species such as blue footed boobies, masked boobies, frigates, pelicans and sea lions. In the sea you can see Galapagos sharks and hammers, sea turtles, eagle rays and many tropical fish.
Isla Lobos in San Cristóbal
On this site you can enjoy the charm and excitement of swimming with curious and playful sea lions. This place is habitat for sea lions, frigates, pikemen, pelicans, marine iguanas, lava lizards.
Chinese port in San Cristóbal
White sand beach that changes its appearance when the rainy season arrives, because the large amount of fresh water that is poured into the sea takes the sand from the beach and deposits it at the bottom of the ocean, returning to the rocky beach . You have to walk between 10 and 15 minutes on a path built of cut stone to access this beautiful hidden beach.
Galapaguera Semi Natural of Cerro Colorado in San Cristóbal
There are 12 hectares of dry forest in the Cerro Verde sector. It was built in 2002 with the purpose of increasing the population of endemic giant tortoises of San Cristóbal (Geochelone Chathamensi). It has a small interpretation center where you can learn more about these reptiles and the programs for their conservation and reproduction. For your convenience in the Galapaguera of Cerro Colorado have been created self-guided trails with panels in Spanish and English, ask for help to the person in charge of the site for better information..