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Things to do in San Cristobal (Galapagos)

Map of San Cristobal – San Cristobal is also called as Chatham, named to honor the patron of sailors. It houses a naval base and the easternmost island in Galapagos.


We stay for couple days in San Cristobal (Galapagos, Ecuador), it is a laid-back place.  It is so laid back that the pace of the food services at the restaurant is relatively slow. We recommend one restaurant in the center of the island with tolerable pace and delicious meals: Cri’s Burger. Don’t let the name fools you, its menu also includes local food. I suggest trying their Bandejitas or Lomo. Dutchie said their burger is also good. He’s been craving for burgers after a week on the boat cruise meals (note: we don’t get any compensation for mentioning Cri’s Burger on this blog).

There are numerous places of interests and of course; the sea lions, iguanas and birds are everywhere on the island. They live side by side with humans. If you are strolling at Darwin’s Boulevard/ Malecon San Cristobal, you will see them easily. Followings are places where we have been visiting during our three days staying in San Cristobal. Just like its food services, we take it easy when enjoying our stay on the island…


By foot from the town

– Centro de Interpretacion
It’s an information center about San Cristobal and Galapagos. A great place to get information on their history, challenges,  the residents’ opinions and the policies to meet the needs of the island through the conservation of their unique archipelago.

– Cerro de las Tijeretas (Frigatebird Hill) 
A panoramic view of the bay and the endemic birds. Snorkeling is possible here, bring your swimming shoes as well as the area is rocky. The pathway to the Cerro de las Tijeretas can be accessed from Centro De Interpretacion. It is a well-designed pathway and can be accessed with stroller or wheelchair. However, the panoramic area can only be accessed by the stairs.

– Playa Punta Carola
A solitary beach with white sands that can also be reached from Centro de Interpretacion. Here you can see marine iguanas and the sea lions. A good place for surfing as well.

– Playa Mann
The beach is near to Centro de Interpretacion. A popular beach among the locals, it could be crowded during public holidays and weekend.

– Playa Oro for the sea lions watching
A small rocky beach in front of Naval Museum and Muyu restaurant. The beach occupied by the sea lions and they dislike human interfering their naps. It’s a good place to see the sea lion.


By car or bike or boat from the town

– La Loberia
It is a long stretch of coast with colonies of sea lions and marine iguanas. Some parts of the coast are rocky and the sea is rough. Three dollars by taxi from the town. It is a place for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, surfing and sea lions watching.  Lots of sea lions with their pups. IMHO, the beach should be designated as sea lions sanctuary, not as human’s beach. Too many pups around the beach and there is a possibility we were accidentally touch them during our water activities. It is known the pups get too friendly with humans. Sea lions pups that have been touched by humans will be rejected by their mothers; their source of food.

– El Junco Lagoon
The only permanent bodies of fresh water in Galapagos Islands. It is located in the highlands and often covered by mist in the afternoon or after the rains. It is foggy when we visit the lagoon so we have to cancel our trip. The mist in Galapagos is very thick and it’s not easy to walk around as people could get lost.

– Puerto Chino
A solitude beach on the east side of the island.  There are a small number of sea lions. A nice place for sunbathing, little bit of surfing and swimming.

– La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado (Conservation Center for the Giant Tortoise)
About 14 miles east of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, best to include in one road trip to visit Puerto Chino, Otoy Restaurant and Farm and El Junco Lagoon. Protected area for the giant tortoise and a center the tortoise breeding. La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado was set up in 2002 to keep the number of the tortoises on the island. Currently, there are around 6,000 giant tortoises on the island as the result of the conservation in San Cristobal, which is a remarkable result.

– Lunch at Otoy Organic Restaurant and Tortoise Farm
We stop here for lunch after visiting Puerto Chino and La Galapaguera. The restaurant has a farm and tortoise area. The farm is responsible for planting the plants like otoy leaves, the food for the tortoises.


 – Snorkeling or scuba diving around the Island
There are numerous dive centers in the town that offers snorkeling and scuba diving trip around the island. We did a scuba diving in San Cristobal to check our dive gear before sailing to other Galapagos islands. There is a chance you will see the Galapagos sea lions swimming underwater 🙂

Galapagos Sea Lions


Things we didn’t do but could be your option

Cerro Brujo – white coral beach, great for bird watching, can snorkel or take zodiac ride.

Puerto Grande – well-protected cove on the northwestern coast

Isla Lobos – 45 minutes to a one-hour boat excursion



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