7 Great things to do in San Cristobal – The Galapagos Island
I had the pleasure of exploring San Cristobal Island in Galapagos for 12 days on a budget & traveling solo. With this I created the ultimate list of 7 Great things to do in San Cristobal. The island has a great amount of attractions to offer many of them for free. The attractions includes incredible animal life, nature, sunset, amazing atmosphere and the local disco. The best part: San Cristobal is less touristic then Santa Cruz, but more people than the Isabella island. San Cristobal is the island with perfect harmony and balance of life, nothing big and very unhurried.
Sea lions sleeping on the bench on the street and the stairs. Marina Iguana just chilling on the beach and Blue Footed boobies having a break on the Malecon. A normal day in animal paradise and a best day experience for an animal lover that is fascinated by this paradise that Galapagos Islands is.
7 Great things to do in San Cristobal
1. Watch Sea Lions everywhere for Free
My favorite thing to do anytime of the day, was watching sea lions! They are hilarious and adorable. They are free to watch from every time of the day and night and whenever your like. If they can’t make you smile?! There is no hope.
2.Tijeretas for Snorkeling with Sea Lions & Turtles
One of the best things to do in San Cristobal is Snorkeling at Tijeretas Bay. This is the place where we are playing and hanging out. I almost crashed with a Sea Lion when entering the water for first time. Do not dive into the water 😉 It worked out perfectly, I went swimming and playing with the Sea Lion for 10 minutes. They are unfairly elegant underwater!
On Cerro Tjerates Hill before the bay you have spectacular view and can easily spot the Frigate Bird.
3. Punta Carola & hang out with Marin Iguanas
Everybody will show you the way for this little beach that is perfect for Sunbathing with the Marina Iguanas and great for sunset. On the way back you can have a stop at the beach: Playa Mann the locals favorite. Watch the Sea Lions play in the water. Remember to stop by the local bakery before returning to your accommodation. Buy a Pineapple Sweet!
Las Tijeretas, Punta Carola and Playa Mann can all be done in the morning to midday, if you have short time for exploring. In the middle of these three lovely beaches you find the Interpretation Center, where you can learn everything about Galapagos. Renting snorkeling gear was around 2 US dollars.
4. La Loberia the & Island Wilderness
In around 40 minute walk from town is the beach of Las Loberias. I recommend half a day there or the day if you have. It is a beauty! La Loberia a picturesque bay where you get close with the animal life: the marine iguanas & Sea Lions both on rocks and underwater. The Sea lions love swimming next with you and play.
Do not touch the baby sea lion. They get rejected by their moms and they die. It breaks my heart to see baby sea lions that have to die because a human person had to be cruel and touch. Respect the animal life and do not touch and let’s keep this as a paradise.
Walk around and enjoy this unspoiled wilderness with no houses, no garbage and no plastic. Just Spectacular coast line filled with animal life & volcano landscape.
5. One day Trip to Punta Pitt
In this case you require to be on an organized trip. In order to reach this far eastern end of the island, you will need to go on a boat trip for two hours or something. The reward is a crazy volcanic landscape that, I have actually never seen before. It is a scenic walk for the 2 kilometers hike for reaching the view spot for red-footed booby. Which we did watch and the same went for the blue booby. They where all there on our day. Then we where on the golden beach for an hour before we went for the snorkeling around the small island outside, which was not so great. Rough sea and nothing much to sea. Just a really hard workout.
Full day Tour with Lunch, Snorkeling Gear & Guide included: 100/125 US dollars.
6. Eat whatever on the Barbecue & Local Disco
There is not much of a five-star dinner places in San Cristobal. It is down to earth and very local style when it comes to food choice. Either you eat rice & chicken or you eat what’s on the barbecue; that is pretty much delicious seafood cooked in the humble way with not more more than some oil and herbs. Easy & tasty. Afterwards go for the local disco and see how badly your hips are moving compared to a Galapagos Person! Loved it! All the people in San Cristobal are friendly and help you.
Drink Maracuja juego! Which is Passion Fruit Juice. Out of this world! And Coffee from San Cristobal.
7. Dive at Kicker Rock; Highlight of the Trip
The best for the last. Which is Kicker Rock or in Spanish Lion Dormida, the sleeping lion. This is not a dive for pretty fish and cute corals. This is the dive for big animals and rough conditions; With strong currents, cold waters, deep dives and loads of sharks; hammerhead sharks, black tips reef sharks and Galapagos sharks. Of course some cute turtles and sea lions, to not completely scare you off.
My last dive there was maybe my best dive so far in life. The visibility was good, and I was good as well, totally relaxed and ready to enjoy the experience. In my dive I ended up seeing hammerhead sharks, Galápagos shark, Black tips reef sharks, sea turtles and sea lions, an experience for a lifetime.
WATCH the VIDEO
If you don’t dive GO snorkeling!
Two tank dives: 160-180 US dollars with Gear. I recommend: Galapagos Underwater – Safe and Serious!
Last Words About 7 Great things to do in San Cristobal
After traveling as a Maniac from Argentina to Chile and Peru. I decided that my 12 days in Ecuador and Galapagos would be in only the San Cristobal Island. I needed time to relax and enjoy the island atmosphere. Which was maybe one of my best decisions during 152 days traveling around in South America.
Before I visited the Galapagos, I wondered if I would feel that had I enough money for the budget to do it the way I wanted. I did. I went on the tours I wanted to do and the dives that I wished to do. For me it was perfect to just stay on San Cristobal Island. Of course I want to visit the other Island as well. At that time of my travel it was perfect to just be there. To watch all the animal is free! I did. I spent 15 US dollars a night for my room and around 3 US dollars for Lunch and 10-15 US dollars for dinner.
The most expansive coast was diving! Which is around 160-180 for two tank dives, that is pricey. Than again it is the Galapagos.
I hope this 7 great things would be apart of the things your are planning for when visiting San Cristobal Island in Galapagos.