Frigate Bird Hill, Tortoise Breeding Centre and Puerto Chino Beach,
San Cristobal Island
The easternmost island in the archipelago, San Cristobal has a small town, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno where in recent years a number of yachts that we work start or end their cruise. This is an action packed day, which includes a fantastic variety of Galapagos wildlife in the company of one of our team of bilingual Galapagos National Park guides, with private transportation and a picnic lunch.
Frigate Bird Hill The top of Frigate Bird Hill is a short walk from the town. At the top you will be treated to a spectacular view of the white beaches on one side and the roofs of Puerto Baquerizo on the other. The hill is often visited by frigate birds, hence the name. Both magnificent and great frigate birds can be seen giving you a chance to try and spot the difference! You will also get the chance to do a spot of snorkelling on this short walk.
Activities: Uphill hike (1 mi / 1.6 km). Snorkelling
Difficulty: Moderate walk
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Highlights: Frigatebird, San Cristobal Mockingbird, Darwin finches, lowland native forest, and spectacular views. Snorkelling: nice tropical fish, Reef Sharks, Parrotfish.
El Junco Lake Driving up to the highlands of San Cristobal, you take a narrow road up the sides of an extinct volcano and at the summit you are treated to a spectacular view of the El Junco Lagoon. Rainwater and condensation have collected in the caldera for hundreds of years, creating this haven for Frigate birds. Travelling up here gives you a glimpse of the islands many zones and their eco-systems within the island (you need good shoes and a jacket for this visit!).
Activities: Uphill hike (1 mi / 1.6 km)
Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights: Interesting hike to see the only permanent lake of the entire Galapagos. Views of the lake, endemic highland vegetation, Darwin Finches.
Galapaguera-Puerto Chino Located in the south east of San Cristobal, this area is home to the giant tortoise confinement corral, where tortoises are kept in near-natural conditions. The site has been developed to help restore the giant tortoise population of the Island (which was badly impacted by whalers in past centuries) and provides a great chance to see these magnificent giants up close in a natural habitat with paths covering an area of 900 metres. You will also get the opportunity to see the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Woodpecker Finch and large and small tree finches here. It is also one of the few places that you can see the delicate Calandrinia galapagosa, a critically endangered plant endemic to San Cristobal.
Later you will visit Puerto Chino, a nearby small but beautiful white-sand beach with some sea lions, blue footed boobies and other Galapagos fauna. This is a great location to walk and take a swim before you head back to the town.
Activities: Short hike (less than 0.5 mi / 0.8km). Easy walk to a beach.
Swimming and snorkel at the beach.
Type of Landing: No landing
Highlights: Dry vegetation of lowlands. Giant Tortoises, San Cristobal Mockingbird, Darwin Finches, Blue footed Boobies, sea birds