Exploring San Cristobal Island Hopping

galapagos islands

This tour is not only perfect for pre or post cruises but also it is ideal for customized trips. The island hopping tours let’s travelers have a deeply experience of the island.

Day 1 : San Cristobal

Giant tortoise

© Latin Trails

Today the adventure begins! As soon as we arrive in San Cristobal airport, and we passed the National Park checking point, we will be warmly received by our naturalist guide. Later on, we board our transport that is going to take us to the San Cristobal Highland area.

The Junco Lake or el Junco, as it is called by locals, is an inactive volcano that has a fresh water lake where frigate birds and Bahamas ducks rinse their wings from the salt. This will be our first approach to the amazing view of Galapagos and its wildlife. Here, we will have our first delicious lunch at the archipelago.

Moving on in our daily journey, after an approximate hike of 1 hour, we will have the opportunity to watch the famous Galapagos Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. Where? At the Galapaguera Breeding Center. This center, run by the Galapagos National Park Authority, allows us not only to watch these magnificent tortoises but also touch and see some of their eggs. This visit is ideal for understanding the behavior of this massive animal that may weigh up to 200kg (440 pounds) and live up to 150 years.

After this amazing contact with the wildlife of Galapagos, we will move on to Puerto Chino. This is a breathtaking beach where we can lay down or having a sunbath.

Once we were astonished by the Galapagos first overview and the impressive animals, we are going to reach our hotel, where we will rest after a long but rewarding day as well as having a delicious meal.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We strongly recommend to take the first flights to Galapagos because we will be able to land before midday and do all the program for this day.

Overnight: San Cristobal Island

Meals: -/L/D

Day 2 : Española Island

Day 2: Española Island
Española island

© Latin Trails

Española is the jewel of the archipelago, so if we can, we should visit it! This journey is ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling lovers. In this trip, we will visit Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez. The first spot to visit is Gardner Bay, the turquoise water of this bay is ideal for snorkeling with the friendly sea lions that habit this area while we are astonished by the sharks or the 50 species of fishes that inhabit in this

Bay. If we snorkel, we have the possibility to swim among hammer sharks. But, hold on! There is not only clear water and colorful fishes, there are also interesting birds such as the Galapagos Hawk or finches.Today, and depending on the activities and the group, we will have an unforgettable lunch on board. After this unforgettable experience, we will go to Punta Suarez.

This rocky land requires a bit of effort by us, but firstly we have to wear comfy shoes or boots for being able to enjoy the 2 – 2:30 hours trail. Don´t worry! The effort will be more than rewarded. Here we will watch many species of birds like the blue-footed and red-footed boobies, hawks, finches and the Galapagos doves. If we are traveling between May and December, we will be able to see the albatross colony. At the end of it, there is another wonder of Galapagos waiting for us into the cliffs. There is the impressive blowhole of water that height up to 20m or more (50-75 ft). It like looking a geyser in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Overnight: San Cristobal Island

Meals for any excursion: B/L/D

Day 3 : Navigation Day

After a well-deserved rest and a lovely breakfast, we are going to meet our guide again, but this time for a Full Day of navigation. For this day there are many options:

Kicker rock and snorkeling

Kicker rock

Photo: SL_Photography

Our adventure today begins early this morning at the Baquerizo Moreno Dock. Our bilingual guide will assist us in boarding the catamaran Galapagos Hopper. As we navigate along the western side of San Cristobal Island to see the marine iguanas and frigate birds, it will make for a fascinating experience. We will hopefully be able see mantas rays, dolphins, and other marine life.

Kicker Rock, also called the sleeping lion or Kicker Rock will be our first snorkeling location. The rock itself is an eroded tuff cone. It’s surroundings are filled with wildlife, including blue-footed boobies. Sea lions are among the marine species we will find here. We can also see rays. hammerheads sharks. sea turtles. We will return to the Galapagos Hopper for lunch and enjoy a delicious 3-course meal.

We will also be offered soft drinks, infusions, and coffee. We will then disembark on the beach to walk around in search of sea lions and coastal birds, or simply relax. We can also see the mangrove forest if we choose to explore the coast on foot. We can then dip in the water and enjoy the view before returning back to the Galapagos Hopper catamaran to navigate to Baquerizo Moreno Dock.

San Cristobal 360º

San Cristobal airport

Photo: 4FR

This is the most complete tour that we can do in San Cristobal because we will navigate all along the island. The first spot to visit is the marvelous White Rose Bay (Bahia Rosa Blanca). This place is not as visited as others in San Cristobal, so it is an uncrowded area where we can deep into the crystalline water, do snorkeling and watch colorful fishes, manta rays, sharks, seahorses, and many other species. After enjoying this pristine bay, we move on to Punta Pitt, where we are going to fish, if we want. Also, we will be able to watch the red-footed boobies overflying us.

Then, we continue Sardine Bay (Bahia Sardina) where we not only be able to continue swimming and snorkeling but also we will be able to lay down on the beach and enjoy some of the shadowed areas that this bay offers us. The journey continues, and after a relaxing time in Sardine Bay, we arrive at Punta Pucuna, after a 30 minutes hike approximately. This place has been recently opened by the National Park Authority for tourist, so we will see the lava ground as it has been originally formed by centuries. The human being has not affected or modify this land, so it is a unique and untouchable place.

Because of the lava ground, we must wear comfy and resistant shoes for the walking around the island. After being enchanted and astonished by the geological jewel of Punta Pucuna, we are going now to Cerro Brujo, which is another rocky formation, but this one has a tunnel where we can go into and watch many other animal species endemic from Galapagos and we can take beautiful pictures.

Finally, we visit our last spot in this 360º tour which is Kicker Rock. This highlight of Galapagos will offer us the possibility to be mesmerized by the rich marine wildlife and also be among the endemic Galapagos Shark. This tour is ideal for discovering all the jewels that San Cristobal has, all in one single day, with many activities and relaxing time as well.

Punta Pitt

Punta Pitt

Photo:  marktucan

Note: The lunch will be served on board.

Overnight: San Cristobal Island

Meals for any excursion: B/L/D

Day 4 : Transfer Out

Our daily Galapagos adventure has come to an end. We will be assisted by our guide to return to the mainland or move onto our next adventure in Galapagos. Hopefully, this time on board an expedition cruise such as the luxury Petrel Catamaran, and First Class Catamaran Galapagos Seaman Journey.

Meals: B/-/-

4 Days