San Cristobal Island, Galapagos
The last island on our itinerary was San Cristobal. Population wise it is the second largest island. However, the main town felt bigger than Santa Cruz with the number of piers around water. This island is very well known for sea lions, so don’t be surprised to find them hanging on the stairs and pavement of pier on the main street. We took an inter island flight from Isabella to San Cristobal which was the most laid back flight we have taken. We arrived half an hr or so before departure and we were good to go. Weight restriction was 11.5kgs per person including carryons or day bags, so pack light if planning to take the flight. With a total of 8 people flying on a full flight, it was quite an experience. Overall, it was smooth and beautiful. Since the water is so clear, we saw some giant sting rays in the water as the flight took off and a few turtles while landing. The alternative option to flying would have been taking a speed boat from Isabella to Santa Cruz and then again from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal! After my sea sickness with a long speed boat commute, I was rather glad to not have another long commute on it.
Things to do and not miss:
1. Snorkel or surf: We got to San Cristobal later in the evening not leaving much time to snorkel. We just went in for about half an hr or so but the tide was high and water extremely choppy to see anything. However we enjoyed the sunset and hung out with a few sea lions on the beach.
2. Snorkel at kicker rock: If there is only one thing you can do in San Cristobal, that would be snorkeling at Kicker rock. Check out a detailed review here.
3. Enjoy sea lions everywhere: As I said above, this is a sea lion island. There is a particularly small area on the Main Street, next to restaurant Calypso where you can find hundreds of sea lions sleeping and talking at night!
4. Visit interpretation center: Gives a history of how the Galápagos Islands was formed followed by settlement as well as struggles and achievements of people on the island today. Most of the information, we had already gotten from our guide, but it was a good refresher to read the detailed version of it.
- Parrrilladas “San Jose” : If it is one meal then have it at Parrilladas “San Jose” for fresh grilled food. Detailed review here
- Absolutely try Bolon De Verde: You might get something better on the mainland of Ecuador but we tried it in San Cristobal island. The real definition is fried plaintain balls like dumplings stuffed with meat or cheese. The one we had was plantain balls with cheese, gravy, fried egg and beef. Its mainly consumed for breakfast. Definitely worth trying once especially for people who enjoy plantains.
- Dinner at Calypso to take a break from Ecuadorean food. They have salads, burgers and pizza. Better if you are splitting a pizza with a group of people otherwise can be pretty expensive.