Best of San Cristobal Island

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around San Cristobal Island
One of four inhabited islands in the Galápagos, San Cristóbal is a great base for planning land- and sea-based activities around the archipelago. The small town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno has a sleepy waterfront and pretty beaches where sea lions often outnumber humans, and there are a handful of places just outside of town ideal for DIY adventures — like La Lobería, a beach full of marine iguanas and sea lions that’s a 30-minute walk from town. 

A short boat ride from the island lies Kicker Rock, a photogenic rock formation that’s famed for its snorkeling. Under the waves, you can often spy sea lions, rays, sea turtles and perhaps hammerhead sharks. Rocky Isla Lobos is home to colonies of blue-footed boobies, which you can see on a walk along the island. On a full-day trip from San Cristóbal, you can walk the sea cliffs spying a wide range of bird life, including waved albatross, which nest here from March to December.  
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Blue-footed boobies
Map of Galapagos Island Hopping: San Cristobal & Santa Cruz - 5 Days
Galapagos Island Hopping: San Cristobal & Santa Cruz - 5 Days

If you're short on time but don't want to cut back on experiences, this 5-day island hopping trip to the Galapagos is for you. Fly out of Quito, heading for San Cristobal—home of the famous sea lion colony and Kicker Rock. Then, take a speedboat to Santa Cruz, where you'll see giant tortoises and visit an uninhabited island. 

A blue-footed boobie in the Galapagos
Map of Highlights of the Galapagos Islands: San Cristobal Island, Isabela, & Santa Cruz - 10 Days
Highlights of the Galapagos Islands: San Cristobal Island, Isabela, & Santa Cruz - 10 Days

Visit three of the most famous islands in the Galapagos archipelago — San Cristobal, Isabela, and Santa Cruz — on this 10-day adventure. You'll hike volcanoes, snorkel around rock formations, and explore each island in-depth, keeping your eyes open for giant Galapagos tortoises and marine iguanas. The itinerary involves travel by plane and speedboat, making it possible for travelers to see far-flung areas of the famous archipelago.

Marine iguanas in Tortuga Bay
Galapagos Islands Adventure: San Cristobal Island & Puerto Ayora - 7 Days

Discover the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands on this weeklong journey around the archipelago. Instead of getting on a yacht, you'll base yourself on dry land, enjoying various excursions from island towns. Snorkel with sea turtles, hike to see blue-footed boobies in their natural habitat, view giant tortoises up close, island-hop on a speedboat, and relax on pristine beaches.

Sea lions on Santiago Island
Map of Highlights of the Galapagos Islands: San Cristobal Island, Isabela, & Puerto Ayora - 14 Days
Highlights of the Galapagos Islands: San Cristobal Island, Isabela, & Puerto Ayora - 14 Days

Spend two magical weeks island-hopping around the Galapagos on this highlights tour of the archipelago. Start at San Cristobal Island, where you'll observe sea lions, go snorkeling, and hike to see rare birds in their natural habitats. Then you'll head to Isabela Island to swim next to iguanas and sea turtles, hike a volcano, and relax on the beach. The trip ends on Santa Cruz Island, where you'll get up close with giant tortoise residents and learn about conservation efforts in the region.

Nazca boobies in the Galapagos
Cruise the Galapagos Archipelago - 10 Days

Explore the Galapagos Islands on a yacht! This 10-day tour takes you around the archipelago to see Humboldt penguins in their natural habitat, snorkel with sea turtles, explore tidal pools, visit Charles Darwin Station, hike to a volcanic crater, and spot blue-footed boobies in the wild. After spending the first night on dry land, you'll island-hop to various islands, including San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, South Plaza, and North Seymour, stopping at various natural attractions along the way.

Green Sea Turtle
Map of Galapagos Island Hopping: Water, Wildlife, & Wilderness - 14 Days
Galapagos Island Hopping: Water, Wildlife, & Wilderness - 14 Days

The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's biggest ecological hotspots, with some of the highest percentages of endemic species and dozens of uninhabited islands. You'll spend two weeks exploring the biggest islands to see major landmarks—like the Charles Darwin Research Station and Sierra Negra Volcano—while also spending time on some less-known destinations, experiencing the truly remote nature of the rocky archipelago. 

Isabela Island, Galapagos
Map of Galapagos Islands Land-Based Adventure Tour: 10 Days
Galapagos Islands Land-Based Adventure Tour: 10 Days

This 10-day trip will take you to the best the Galapagos has to offer. Immerse yourself in the wildlife, culture and unique ecosystem of the archipelago as you see the sights by bike, by foot and in the water. This extraordinary week includes snorkeling with sea lions, tropical fish, and beautiful manta rays. On land, there will be numerous chances to observe giant tortoises and other amazing creatures in this one-of-a-kind destination.

Baby Tortoise in the Galapagos
Map of Explore Ecuador: Quito & Galapagos Islands Cruise - 10 Days
Explore Ecuador: Quito & Galapagos Islands Cruise - 10 Days

Spend time in Ecuador's capital city and explore the biodiverse Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a cruise ship on this 10-day itinerary. After touring colonial churches and hiking in Cotopaxi National Park, catch a flight across the water to Santa Cruz Island, your launching point for the cruise. You'll wake up at a new island every day, maximizing your opportunities for sightseeing and exploring.