San Cristóbal is perhaps most memorable for its population of sea lions. As soon as you set foot on the island, you will notice the sea lions lounging around on the steps, benches and all along the promenade.
The populated area of the island is built up around the port, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which stretches along a coast of huge rocks and beautiful beaches. And all along this coastline, and sometimes in the streets of town, you will find sea lions everywhere. It’s an incredible sight, particularly at night when hundreds of sea lion families flock to the rocks and beach along the seafront. The noise they create is deafening, but hilarious: snorting, coughing, puffing and then snarling, growling and crying out when threatening and fighting each other. We went in February, when there were lots of gorgeous pups about and we would often see them scuffling over all the sea lions trying to sleep. This would then disturb the others, causing trouble amongst families and would inevitably lead to a fight between rival males. They are such comical characters and we found ourselves just watching them for about an hour each evening.
Apart from the sea lions, there is a lot to do and see for free on San Cristóbal. There is a huge reserve with walking trails, beautiful secluded beaches, such as Playa Baquerizo, and spectacular views from Cerro Tijeretas, which can all be accessed independently without a guide. The Interpretation Centre is also very interesting and worthwhile to learn more about the Galápagos Islands and their history. We did pay for one tour on San Cristóbal, a boat trip to Kicker Rock, or León Dormido, which was a fantastic opportunity to snorkel with hundreds of sharks! Definitely not to be missed!
Click on the links below to find out more about what we did on San Cristóbal Island:
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