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Things to do in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

Our most recommended things to do in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

6-Day Galápagos Adventure Tour on 4 Islands

1. 6-Day Galápagos Adventure Tour on 4 Islands

Experience the incredible plant and animal diversity of the Galápagos islands with a thrilling six-day excursion to San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Española, and an uninhabited island. Each day you’ll be able to choose your own adventure with several options: visit the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal to learn about the formation, colonization and situation of the islands or hike to the Frigate bird hill viewpoint, and snorkel or kayak in the Tijeretas Bay. Daily itineraries include certified guides and meal options. On land you’ll be able to spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and frigate birds, and in the water marine iguanas, tropical fish, stingrays and turtles. On San Cristobal, greet the giant tortoises in their native environments before stopping at the giant crater at Cerro Mesa Reserve, a remnant of the time when Santa Cruz was still a volcanic active island. 

5-Day Galapagos Land Tour on Isabela: Small Group Tour

2. 5-Day Galapagos Land Tour on Isabela: Small Group Tour

Day 1: Transfer from Baltra Airport to Isabela Island Start your tour with airport pickup from your certified guide. Make your way to the Itabaca Canal and board a ferry. In Puerto Ayora, take another boat in the direction of Isabela Island. Stay overnight at a hotel. Day 2: Cabo Rosa Tuneles Start your day with breakfast at the hotel. Take a boat to Cabo Rosa, where lava once flowed into the ocean and formed lava tunnels. See penguins, blue-footed boobies, and sea turtles. Go diving and see sharks, turtles, sea lions, rays, seahorses, and tropical fish. The tour to Cabo Rosa lasts approximately 5 hours. The rest of the day is free. You can enjoy the beautiful Isabela Beach or snorkel in the Laguna de la Concha de Perla. Stay overnight in Isabela.  Day 3: Sierra Negra Volcano Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before you're picked up by your guide. Then, take a walk through the lava landscapes overlooking the volcanoes of northern Isabela and Fernandina. The hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano and the Chico Volcano is 10 miles (16 km) long. See the second-largest volcanic crater in the world and explore different areas of vegetation. Enjoy lunch and the rest of the day free. Explore the beautiful beach in Isabela or dive in the Laguna Concha de Perla. Stay overnight in Isabela. Day 4: Tintoreras Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before visiting Las Tintoreras, a chain of small islets full of coves and hidden beaches. See sea lions, marine turtles, iguanas, manta rays, and more at one of its bays. This bay is connected by a superficial crack with crystalline water which is closed off during low tide. In the crack, it is possible to see the sharks swimming with the rest of the tropical fish and sea lions if you snorkel. You have the rest of the afternoon free. Take the time to walk to the nearby flamingo lagoon or visit the tortoise breeding center. Stay overnight in Isabela. Day 5: Transfer out At 6 AM, a guide will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the pier to take the 6:30 AM boat to Santa Cruz. At Puerto Ayora, you will have breakfast and depart for Baltra to catch your flight back to the mainland. Your flight to Quito or Guayaquil will need to depart at 11:30 AM or later.

San Cristóbal: 7-Day Galapagos Island Hopping Tour

3. San Cristóbal: 7-Day Galapagos Island Hopping Tour

Itinerary Day 1: Quito/Guayaquil – San Cristobal On the first day of your 7-day Galapagos Classic tour, your will start at San Cristobal Airport (SCY) where the guide will pick you up at the airport and will drop you off at your hotel. If you arrive before 02:00 PM you will get lunch. If you arrive later, lunch is not included. This day will be self-guided. Optional activities: you can visit The San Cristobal Interpretation Center, where you will learn about the islands, the evolution of their species, fauna, migration, and how humans came to live here. Then you can go to Playa Mann for your first contact with the stunning waters of these islands. Day 2: Kicker Rock After breakfast, you go by boat to snorkel at the famous Kicker Rock. Two volcanic rocks 140 meters tall are located off the coast of San Cristobal Island. When viewed from the south the rocks look like a sleeping lion, which is why the Spanish name is León Dormido (sleeping lion). From another side it looks more like a boot, hence the English name: Kicker Rock. In the sea, you see the great underwater life wherefore the site is that famous. The channel between the rocks is the ideal habitat to view a variety of sharks and rays. In the afternoon you go back to the hotel. Day 3: Puerto Ayora – Charles Darwins Station – Santa Cruz Island Highlands In the morning you will take the speedboat from San Cristobal to Puerto Ayora, where your guide will be waiting for you. Around 10:30 AM you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can see the memorial site for the last living Galapagos tortoise of its species. In the afternoon you will go to the Highlands of Santa Cruz to make closer contact with the Giant Galapagos Tortoises. You will have lunch here. Day 4: Santa Fe Island After breakfast, you will travel to Santa Fe Island which is a small island that lies in the center of the Galapagos archipelago. Among animals, Santa Fe is home to endemic species such as the Barrington Land Iguana (Conolophus pallidum). After a 45-minute boat ride, you will arrive at the bay of Santa Fe. There you will have a very nice snorkeling activity, if you are lucky, you can spot some birds on the rocks. After snorkeling, you will go to Playa Escondida or Garrapatero in Santa Cruz island and have a wet landing there, where you will discover the beach. *Wet landing means that the boat gets close to the beach, and from there you will disembark in the sea. It is recommended that you bring extra clothing, as you might get wet. Day 5: Free Morning – Isabela Island – Flamingo Lagoon This morning you have to explore by yourself. Around 1.30 PM, you will take a public speedboat to Isabela Island, which takes approximately 2,5 hours. Upon arrival in Isabela, you will visit the Flamingo Lagoon. This place is the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the majority of flamingos. Day 6: Los Tuneles Snorkeling Today, you will explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the Volcanic Island along the seashore. Over here, you will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguin playing around. After the trip, you can enjoy some optional activities such as kayaking in Tintoreras, taking surfing lessons, biking, or just relaxing on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island. We recommend you take some time to visit the giant tortoise breeding center. Day 7: Transfer Out to Baltra Airport This is the last day of your 7 Day Galapagos Classic tour. After breakfast you take a short transfer to Isabela Airport (5 min) from where you take a small airplane (capacity of 9 people) to Baltra Airport. The flight time is about 40 minutes. The tour will end upon arrival to Baltra Airport.

From San Cristobal: 7-Day Galapagos Islands Tour w/ Lodging

4. From San Cristobal: 7-Day Galapagos Islands Tour w/ Lodging

DAY 1: SAN CRISTÓBAL ISLAND ARRIVAL (Lunch) You will arrive at the airport of San Cristóbal, one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos. You will be picked up at the airport, and transferred with an English-speaking driver to your hotel in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. At lunchtime, you will be transferred to the Highlands to enjoy a “Farm to table lunch” and have your first impressions of this beautiful island. In the late afternoon, you will enjoy a delicious cocktail on the hotel rooftop. DAY 2: KICKER ROCK SNORKELING TOUR (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) You will have breakfast at the hotel before going to Kicker Rock. This is one of the most spectacular landmarks of the Galapagos Islands. Two volcanic rocks 140 meters tall are located off the coast of San Cristobal Island. This magnificent tiny island is the favorite place for an array of marine birds. But in the sea, you see the great underwater life wherefore the site is that famous. The natural erosion of this ancient cone has created a channel between the rocks that provides the ideal habitat to view a variety of sharks and rays including eagle rays, white-tip reef sharks, and sometimes even the Galapagos sharks and hammerheads! At night you will enjoy a delicious dinner in a sushi Ecuadorian-style restaurant. DAY 3: SAN CRISTOBAL - ISABELA ISLAND - SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO (Breakfast, Lunch) On this day you will enjoy an inter-island flight from San Cristóbal to Isabela Island, it will take around 45 minutes. Once you arrive, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. Immediately you will depart to Sierra Negra Volcano. Also, you will visit Campo Duro ranch to enjoy a delicious local BBQ. (vegetarian option is always available). At night you can go for some cocktails at the beach to watch the sunset. DAY 4: LOS TUNELES SNORKELING TOUR (Breakfast, Lunch) After breakfast, you will go to Los Tuneles. This is one of the most spectacular places to go snorkeling on Isabela Island because the water is calm, very clear, and shallow. After visiting Los Tuneles you will have time to visit some highlights by yourself; for example Isabela Breeding Center, Wetlands, or the Wall of Tears. A premium box lunch is included during the tour. At night you have a local beach dinner where you can enjoy the sound of the sea while eating. DAY 5: SPEEDBOAT TRANSFER TO PUERTO AYORA - SANTA CRUZ ISLAND - FISH MARKET TOUR (Breakfast, Lunch) Early in the morning, you will take a speed boat to Santa Cruz Island (2 hours). Once you arrive, you will visit the Fish Market, where you can see how the local fishermen treat the product as soon as it arrives from the sea. You will visit a farm where you will have a cooking class and can eat what was caught during the day. DAY 6: VISIT AN UNINHABITED ISLAND (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) Today you will go to one of the Galapagos’ uninhabited islands. The island you will visit depends on what day of the week you will depart. Examples of islands you might visit are Santa Fe, Plazas, Bartholome, or North Seymour island. You will spend the day snorkeling, discovering the island, its flora, and fauna. In the afternoon you will return to your hotel. At night you will have a gastronomic walking tour around Puerto Ayora ending in a local restaurant for a farewell special dinner. DAY 7 TRANSFER TO BALTRA (Breakfast) After breakfast, you will travel to Baltra Airport, from where you will depart to Guayaquil or Quito.

6 Day Galapagos Island Hopping Classic

5. 6 Day Galapagos Island Hopping Classic

Itinerary Day 1: Transfer In - San Cristobal The guide will pick you up at San Cristobal Airport and take you to the hotel. After a nice Ecuadorian lunch, you will have the time to visit Playa Mann, Las Tijeretas, or Punta Carola by yourself. You will be welcomed by the hundreds of Galapagos sea lions that live in the village. Day 2: San Cristobal Highlands – El Junco – Puerto Chino Today, you will visit the highlands of San Cristobal. Your driver will take you to the first stop in about 30 minutes which is El Junco Crater Lake, the only freshwater lake on the Galapagos Islands. Then, you will continue to Puerto Chino, a beautiful white-sanded beach. You will follow a path that leads you along Opuntia cacti until you reach the white sandy beach of Puerto Chino. Here, you can take a short walk along the lazy sea lions that lie on the beach, towards the blue-footed boobies on the rocks. You will walk back to the car, and you will be taken to the last stop, La Galapaguera, a breeding ground with very nice wooden walkways and clear indications. Day 3: Flight Isabela – Biking Self Guided – Kayak Puerto Villamil Early in the morning, you will go to Isabela Island with a flight of about 40 minutes. After dropping off your luggage and enjoying the village a bit, you will go on a mountain bike to the breeding center and other accessible places, or you can simply walk to the Muro de Las Lagrimas. Along the way, you have a great chance to see the giant tortoises just next to the road. In the afternoon, your guide will accompany you for a relaxing and beautiful kayak excursion in the bay of Puerto Villamil. Here, you will be able to spot various endemic animals such as marine iguanas, sea lions, and penguins. Day 4: Sierra Negra Volcano Early in the morning, you will be picked up and driven to the highlands. For the first activity, you will have a hike in the Sierra Negra Volcano, which has the second-largest active crater in the world with a diameter of 10 km. The second part of the hike will take you to Chico, a cone of Sierra Negra with moonlike landscapes. This will give you an idea of how the islands looked at their creation. You will be back at around 02:00 PM. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the beach on your own. Day 5: Charles Darwin Research Center – Santa Cruz Highlands At 06:00 AM, you will take a public speed boat to Santa Cruz Island, where you will have breakfast. Then, you will visit the renowned Charles Darwin Research Station. In the afternoon, you will visit the highlands of Santa Cruz and see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The ride to the highlands takes about 40 minutes from the village of Puerto Ayora. Once there, you will take a short walk of about 30 minutes on a private ranch to see these famous animals. Day 6: Transfer Out After breakfast, you will travel to Baltra Airport. The tour will end on arrival at the airport, where you will leave for Quito or Guayaquil.

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