Top 10 Things to do in San Cristobal, Ecuador

October 28, 2017 Marissa Gamble

Ages ago, a few volcanoes got together and decided to form an island. Gorgeous San Cristobal is a jewel of the Galapagos, where plump sea lions sun themselves on coral beaches and hermit crabs scuttle along peaceful lagoons. Snorkel or dive at Kicker Rock to explore the intricate remains of a lava cone, spot beautiful wildlife along the walking trails to aptly-named Frigatebird Hill, or frolic—slowly—with the legendarily large tortoises at the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado nature preserve.
Restaurants in San Cristobal

1. Kicker Rock

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
Excellent
77%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 890 reviews

Kicker Rock

Reviewed By Pollenman - Palm Bay, Florida

Black-tips and Galapagos sharks are the most abundant with occasional hammerheads and white-tips. Rays and turtles are often there. I have visited 10+ times. Visibility can be variable and is generally better when sea-conditions are calm in February than in May-June. The wall there offers great snorkeling and keep an eye open for pelagics swimming past.
Entry is from the boat and most boats provide a dinghy in case anyone wants to get out before the rest of the group is ready. Max group size is 16.

2. Cerro Tijeretas

Port Baquerizo Moreno, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 259 reviews

Cerro Tijeretas

Reviewed By tracyrocks - Brooklyn, New York

Came here in October 2017 with Guiding Galapagos. There are signs clearly marked from the Interpretation Center to go to Tijertas and climb up the somewhat steep steps. I would suggest wearing keens/chacos/etc if youre going to climb this and snorkel. I did this in flip flops and it was not the easiest especially since some of the path is just dirt and rock. So you get to the top and you can see Kicker Rock in the distance and there are frigate birds flying pretty close by to you at the lookout points. It is really cool. Then go back down and you just leave your belongings outside the water. There were a good amount of people snorkeling here and our guide told us that you can only snorkel here at high tide. We saw convict surgeonfish, stingray, a handful of green sea turtles, parrotfish, giant damselfish. Unfortunately the 4 of us got stung by jellyfish. I got stung in the beginning of the snorkeling and about half hour later towards the end of our snorkeling my friends got stung. I was fine and able to continue to swim around. They thought it was worse. Maybe it didnt feel as bad to me since I was in the cold water for the first half hour? lol The water is super clear so seeing the fish and turtles is easy!

3. Puerto Chino Beach

Ecuador
Excellent
71%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 269 reviews

Puerto Chino Beach

Reviewed By traveller1959 - Dusseldorf, Germany

This beach is part of a 5-hour-taxi tour across San Cristobal. Usually, the taxi drivers give you one hour for the beach. Insist in two hours, and rather skip the restaurant stops. You may take some picnic food with you, since the beach is pristine and has neither facilities nor bars.
Instead, the beach is beautiful. Very wide sand, framed by black lava rocks. Frigate birds flying in the air. An occasional sea lion looking for a spot to lounge. And turquoise waters. Take your snorkeling mask, you may see fantastic submarine creatures in the water.
The only downside: When you leave the water and you have salty water on your skin, horse flies will attack you. The stings are basically harmless, but nasty. So dry yourself quickly (take towels with you) and eventually use insect spray. (The horse flies mainly feed on sea lions and they are attracted by the smell of salty water. As long as your skin is salty, they take your for a sea lion.)
More important: Take proper sun protection.
The beach is accessible over a wooden boardwalk from the parking place/bus stop. Your walk through desert scenery with bizarre cacti and Darwin finches feeding on the cactus blossoms. After all, a very rewarding stop on a very rewarding excursion.

4. La Loberia

Ecuador
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 419 reviews

La Loberia

Reviewed By indie_dive - Minneapolis, Minnesota

There are lots of sea lions and their pups on the playa area. I feel like we, humans, have invaded their space. It will be better to make La Loberia as a special zone for the sea lions than for tourists.
Some parts of the beach are covered by rocks and the sea is bit rough there. The sandy area is not big though and half part of it is where the sea lions are relaxing with their pups. Use swimming shoes when you plan to visit the place to cover your feet from being cut when walking the rocky beach.

5. Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado

Galapagos National Park, 120506, Ecuador +593 5-252-0497
Excellent
62%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 211 reviews

Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado

Reviewed By Bruce H - Brisbane, Australia

The tortoises at La Galapaguera live in semi-natural conditions and visitors are allowed to follow interpretive trails through the reserve and see the young tortoises in the breeding pens. While not completely free, it is the next best thing and keeps the tortoises safe.

6. Cerro Brujo

Isola San Cristobal, Ecuador
Excellent
74%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 95 reviews

Cerro Brujo

Reviewed By Bruce H - Brisbane, Australia

Cerro Brujo and its expansive white coral beach is ideal for an afternoon of birdwatching and walking along the shores, that Charles Darwin walked upon back in September 1835. In addition, Cerro Brujo’s landscape allows a perfect viewpoint of Kicker Rock, the southern part of Upper San Cristobal and the adjacent coastline. A must visit.

7. Playa Mann

Islas Galapagos, Ecuador
Excellent
45%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 176 reviews

Playa Mann

Reviewed By Rafaella P - Sao Paulo, SP

It is a quite beach, easy to reach through a 10 minutes walking from the pier. There are plenty of playful sea lions both in the sand and in the water. The water is incredibly blue and also a good spot for sknorkelling. It is just in front of the path to the entrance of Charles Darwin Research Centre. You could easily visit both places (and even Las Tijeretas) in a half day, if you are running out of time.

8. Lagoon El Junco

Ecuador
Excellent
35%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 164 reviews

Lagoon El Junco

Reviewed By Alice S

Nice little lagoon to watch the birds. It is not spectacular or very beautiful. You can walk around it and look at some birds. The weather here is almost always misty so the views aren't going to be special either. Often included in a day tour.

9. San Cristobal Interpretation Center

2 km Southwest of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
Excellent
34%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
4%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 271 reviews

San Cristobal Interpretation Center

Reviewed By Stephen A - Ashbourne, United Kingdom

We visited this centre, and learned of the earliest discovery of the Islands, the 1832 territorial declaration by Ecuador, Darwin's visit of 1835, and colonisation since. You'll learn if the origin of the National Park and plans for the future. We felt that the centre "brought the story together", though there is quite a lot of Reading to do!

10. Isla Lobos

San Cristobal Island, Galapagos, 120506, Ecuador
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 72 reviews

Isla Lobos

Reviewed By sunnysal - Franklin, Massachusetts

We decided on a land-based tour instead of a cruise because I was traveling with two younger kids. Was looking forward to a snorkeling trip to Kicker Rock but was advised by the tour agent in San Cristobal that the snorkeling trip to Isla Lobo would be better for young kids. Boy were they right!
The price was less, boat time shorter, water not as deep and more juvenile sea lions to swim with.
My kids unenthusiastically listened to the guide as we got a tour of the island. We saw so many frigate birds and even got to watch the dance of the blue footed boobie. But finally it was time for snorkeling.
The guide snorkeled with a group of us of maybe 12 passengers along the rocky coast pointing out many smaller fish. Nothing bigger than a foot was seen. Then we went into a cove where so many sea lions were playing. I had packed a Styrofoam fun noodle with us for my daughter and I think the sea lions were curious as to what it was because they were all around her. An encounter that can't be replicated on any type of Sea World type overpriced opportunity.
We were not rushed by our guide but after 45 minutes or so we were a little cold and ready to take a break.
Lunch on board and then a stop at a very pretty beach.
I am sure any of the tour operators would be fine to take this tour with but we didn't see anyone else while snorkeling all day.

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