Cerro Tijeretas + Playa Baquerizo

-great day out walking, snorkelling and beaching in beautiful landscapes

-FREE! (but $5 snorkel hire if required).

Interpretation Centre > Playa Punta Carola > Cerro Tijeretas > Playa Baquerizo

Punta Carola, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands
Punta Carola, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands

This is a fantastic half-day or day out. In fact, we did it twice as an afternoon wasn’t enough! This is a great walk, not too challenging but certainly not easy, especially in the heat. It’s a very dry and hot walk, with little shade, so go prepared with plenty of water and sun protection. You’ll need good footwear too to cope with the rocky ground – speaking from experience, flip flops are not suitable! There are some super spots for snorkelling too, so make sure you hire your snorkel at one of the tour operators in town before you set off.

Playa Punta Carola, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands
Playa Punta Carola, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands

Start at the Interpretation Centre (for details, click here), and then follow the path at the exit. There are many pathways to follow around this dry and cacti covered landscape. Take the route to the far left and it’ll lead you to a beach, Playa Punta Carola. It’s a great quiet beach, not very busy, with a few sea lions playing in the water. Some people come to surf, but most to snorkel. There are lots of rocks along the coast line, which are great for exploring. There was even a beautiful sea turtle who was happily swimming the whole time we were there, so we came across him a few times and swam alongside him.

You can either go back up the same path you came down or take another one further down the beach. They both return back to the same circuit of pathways as before. Once back on track at the top, continue along the trail and you’ll reach some steps leading down to a secluded bay at Cerro Tijeretas.

Cerro Tijeretas Bay, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands
Cerro Tijeretas Bay, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands

At Cerro Tijeretas Bay, it’s a fantastic place for snorkelling. Well, actually, the first time we went was late in the afternoon and the tide was really high and it was quite choppy. There is a wooden platform and small step ladder to get into the water, but when we went, it was all underwater. We did attempt it for a bit, but I came out as I felt the tide was a little strong. However, the second time we went, it was much calmer and a great sheltered cove to snorkel amongst the rocks. We didn’t see anything spectacular here, but there was a great variety of fish and some sea lions. Perhaps we were just unlucky, but I would imagine that at other times, it would be a great place to see larger sea creatures.

Cerro Tijeretas, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands
Cerro Tijeretas, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands

Above the bay, there are steps leading up to a view point, or mirador, with spectacular views over the coast. This place is called Cerro Tijeretas, which means Frigate Hill, as it is supposed to be a good spot to see these fascinating birds who nest in the coastal rocks. We saw a few, but it definitely wasn’t the best place that we had seen them. The view, however, is worth the climb.

To get to the next beach, Playa Baquerizo, go beyond the viewpoint and carry on the track through a very harsh, dry and thorny landscape. The path will continue down the hill, over very rocky ground. You’ll need decent footwear for this. It will take you all along the coast, passing small sandy areas and gaps in the rocks where you’ll get sneak peaks of the sea. It’s a very fun walk, at times having to climb and jump over rocks. From Cerro Tijeretas, it’s about another 30-40 minute walk to the next beach, Playa Baquerizo.

Playa Baquerizo, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands
Playa Baquerizo, San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands

Playa Baquerizo, although a bit of a hike, is definitely worth making the effort to get to. We loved it so much we went twice. The first time, we were one of two couples on the beach. The second time, we had the beach to ourselves. It’s a beautiful, secluded beach, with a couple of trees to sit under for shade. The coastline is protected by rocks, which has formed a small pool where you can bathe and relax, almost like your own little Jacuzzi! We appreciated the silence and the chance to get away from the other tourists and enjoy our own private beach. The perfect end to our stay in the Galápagos…

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