San Cristobal Island (aka Chatham Island) is the 5th largest of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. It was one of the first to be colonized and has about 2500 inhabitants, most of them living in the capital of Galapagos, Baquerizo Moreno. Close to the town is the new airport.
San Cristobal has a monument to Darwin, a small museum, and a climbing rock (named "Roca Leon Dormido" / aka "Kicker Rock") with exciting views from the top. Natural highlights include freshwater lake El Junco, sea lion beach at Punta Pitt (landing point) with red-footed boobies and an aptly named Frigatebird Hill. At Cerro Brujo (Wizard Hill) cruisers can find crabs, sea-lions and seabirds (diving Blue Footed Booby, Ground Finch, Lava Heron, Oyster Catchers, Plover, Yellow Warbler).
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos Province, located on the southwestern coast of the island.
In mid-June 2019, Ecuador and USA signed an agreement to allow US military aircraft to utilize the San Cristóbal Airport for combating drug trafficking. Galapagos Islands are approx 900 km (560 ml). According to Ecuador's constitution (Article 5), the republic is a peaceful territory and “establishment of foreign military bases or foreign facilities for military purposes shall not be allowed”. By the agreement, the USA would be paying for any alterations made to the airfield. The airport is on island's southwestern end and has two asphalt-covered runways (each with length 1900 m / 6234 ft) and both approached over the ocean. Regularly scheduled flights are operated by the airlines Avianca Ecuador and LATAM Ecuador (both linking to Guayaquil and Quito) and also by TAME EP (connecting to Guayaquil, Quito and Baltra Island).
San Cristobal Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to San Cristobal Island dock (anchor) at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - port town on the southwestern coast.
The following map of Galapagos Islands cruise itineraries shows the two main routes and all island stops (ports / landing sites) in the archipelago.
San Cristobal Island tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Popular San Cristobal Island shore excursion destinations are:
- La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado - giant tortoises breeding center
- Wizard Hill (Cerro El Brujo) - white-sand beach on the northern coast
- Punta Pitt (Pitt Point / landing point)
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