Isla San Cristobal Galápagos

San Cristobal Island

San Cristobal (Chatham) Island is the easternmost island of the Galapagos archipelago and one of the oldest from a geological point of view. The nameSan Cristobal (Chatham) Island is the easternmost island of the Galapagos archipelago and one of the oldest from a geological point of view. The name San Cristobal is of Spanish origin and comes from the patron saint of sailors, its Old English name of Chatham is that of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. San Cristóbal has an area of 558 km2, its highest point reaches 730 meters.

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the archipelago, and is located on the southwestern tip of the island.

How to get to San Cristobal Island?

Two airlines fly directly to San Cristobal airport from Guayaquil, while flights from Quito stop in Guayaquil for refueling.

There are two ways to get to San Cristobal Island:

  • Flight: There are direct flights from Quito and Guayaquil to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island's capital. Flights from Quito take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, and flights from Guayaquil take approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Boat: Ferries depart from Santa Cruz and Baltra to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The ferry trip from Santa Cruz takes approximately 1 hour, and the ferry trip from Baltra takes approximately 30 minutes.

To get to San Cristóbal Island, visitors must obtain a Galapagos National Park entry permit. The permit can be obtained online or at the airport in Quito.


Flights to San Cristobal Island usually depart from Quito or Guayaquil. Airlines that operate flights to this island are LATAM and Avianca.

Flight prices vary by airline and season. The most economical flights usually cost around $200 per person, while the most luxurious flights can cost more than $500 per person.

San Cristobal Island Info

San Cristobal Island is one of the few permanent settlements (about 8,000 inhabitants), which makes this town have a resemblance to a fishing village, as there are not as many tourists as in the main tourist center of Puerto Ayora.

If you try to be near the city's pier, sea lions will welcome you and you will be able to observe: zayapas, marine iguanas, frigate birds and endemic birds (fauna), which are not far from the city.

The town also offers a modern information center where you can learn more about the evolution, history and the most interesting unique flora and fauna of the archipelago. Parts of San Cristóbal are used for cattle ranching, fruit cultivation and the famous Galapagos coffee.

Interpretation Center

This center was built in collaboration with the Spanish Science Center. Located on the outskirts of Puerto Baquerizo, here you are given an excellent introduction to the Galapagos Islands, its wildlife, fauna and marine and land flora

Tijeretas Hill

The trip to the hill is approximately 1.5 km outside of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, it takes between 20 and 40 minutes to reach this area.

Once there, you will have a spectacular view of the white sandy beaches.

The hill is frequently visited by frigate birds, hence its name. it is possible to observe magnificent frigate birds in the same colony here.

This is the perfect spot to learn how to tell them apart. This site offers safe snorkeling without strong currents.

Keep your eye our for the incredible tang fish, butterfly fish and even manta rays!

El Junco

At the top of the southwestern part of San Cristobal Island, in the crater, is the lagoon El Junco, approximately 700 m high, and from there you have a wonderful view of the deep blue sea. El Junco is considered the only freshwater lagoon in Galapagos.

In this unique lagoon, surrounded by ferns and endemic myconia, white-cheeked swallows, common scorpions and frigate birds congregate, representing one of the few permanent freshwater sites on the islands.


La Galapaguera on San Cristobal Island is a semi-natural tortoise reserve.

This beautiful structure was built by the Galapagos National Park to give visitors to San Cristobal the opportunity to see another breed of giant tortoise.

To reach the reserve it is necessary to take a bus and cross the island from west to east. The tour lasts 1 hour and offers an easily accessible dirt road, where you can find 25 adult turtles in the company of the first hatchlings born in captivity in this structure.

If you look at the animals without rushing, you will have the impression that time passes more slowly here.

Ochoa Beach

Playa Ochoa is 10 km from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The beach is small and easily accessible; here you will find Chatam's nightingale and several species of Darwin's finches.

Towards the back of the beach there is a small hypersaline pond where white ducks and white-cheeked terns can often be seen. Ochoa beach also offers the opportunity to take up snorkeling.

Lobos Island

This little Islet called Lobos Island, named after the numerous sea lions that live here, is only an hour's boat ride from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and is separated from the main island by a narrow strip of calm waters.

On its rocky shores nest blue-footed boobies and sea lions rest. The atmosphere is one of tranquility and natural beauty, typical of Galapagos.

Kicker Rock

Leon Dormido, also known as Kicker Rock, is a spectacular formation that rises 500 feet (152 meters) out of the Pacific, 4 miles off the west-central coast of San Cristobal.

It takes the shape of a sleeping lion or the Sphinx if you look at the rock from the south, but from the north you can see the rock split, forming a colossal tablet and, cutting through the sea, a large chisel ready for carving.

Small boats can navigate the narrow channel between the rocks. The cliffs are nesting sites for many seabirds that observe the passage of boats through this narrow passage.

Punta Pitt

Punta Pitt is a site to visit with interesting volcanic formations. It stands out because it is the only place where you can observe the 3 types of boobies (blue-footed, red-footed and masked).

Red-footed boobies only exist here and in Española Island, Although you can find many more red-footed boobies than blue-footed boobies.

This is because red-footed boobies fish far from land and often use nesting sites that can only be visited by a few tourists.

5/5 - (16 votos)

This content was made by


Galapagos travel specialist

Suggested articles

playa negra galapagos turismo actividades en las islas galápago
Travel Guides

Playa Negra, Galapagos: All you need to know

Do you want to discover one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Galapagos? Visit Playa Negra, black sand and turquoise waters, you won't want to miss it.



Use the form below to complete your travel interests. One of our Ecuador Galapagos travel specialists will contact you by email and/or phone with information and travel proposals.