Galápagos: San Cristóbal Island

August 21, 2023 • 10:15 am

The view from my cabin on Friday morning. I love those turquoise waters, and they were quite warm for this time of year (75°F or 24°C). They say it’s going to be an El Niño year.

Friday night there were drinks on the observation deck, and I sipped a Moscow Mule while watching Kicker Rock, a famous feature near San Cristóbal Island, where we anchored for the evening. We were told that this is a great place for snorkeling, but there was no time for people to snorkel. (There were lots of snorkeling opportunities, but lacking a prescription mask, I’m blind underwater and did land hiking instead.)

Two views of Kicker Rock, so called because it resembles a shoe from the north (it’s also called “Leon Dormido” because some think it looks like a sleeping lion). It’s the hard remnant of a vertical “tuff cone” formed by lava deposits.

From the north. It does look vaguely shoelike:

From the South:

As we sipped our libations and watched the rock, Magnificent Frigatebirds wheeled overhead, the males showing their red throat pouches. I guess they were hoping for a handout:

Note the red throat. This is a male:

On the last day at sea, Saturday, we landed at San Cristóbal Island, a small island ( 558 km2 or 215 mi²) which contains the administrative capital of the Galápagos province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.  It’s a small but picturesque town that huddles around a pinniped-infested harbor (see below). Here’s where the island sits:

It also has an airport, the one from which we departed on Saturday afternoon to Guayaquil.

We were greeted in the capital by dozens of seals, which have their own reserved stretch of beach, and some Ecuadorian dancing. (I have several animal videos of tortoises, frigatebirds, and the like, that I’ll post in the next few days).

Sea lions are everywhere, even blocking the entry steps (we used another landing spot):

And, beloved by the residents, they have their own fenced-off stretch of beach:

A panorama:

We were greeted by a troupe of Ecuadorian dancers. I’m not sure why they were there (they weren’t asking for money, so perhaps it was a greeting), but it was a good show.


A mural of the “whispering Darwin” (a made-up pose and photoshopped picture that you see often on the Internet), along with some finches:

And the route and timeline of our trip as produced by the expedition leader. We went to a lot of places! There’s also another trip (“itinerary 2,” as Lindblad calls it), which overlaps with this trip but also visits the other islands:

And so now I’m home, looking at cars instead of iguanas.  I leave for Israel on September 2 and will be gone about 3 weeks. I’ll do my best to keep you up to date on what I’ve seen. Hummus, come to papa!

13 thoughts on “Galápagos: San Cristóbal Island

  1. Nice music and dance videos; looking forward to the animal videos as well. Welcome home…cars instead of iguanas indeed!

  2. Thank you for the interesting travelogue, videos and photos, Jerry. Look forward to learning about Israel. Safe travels.

  3. Welcome back. It would be interesting if you did more vlogging and shared more videos of your trips and places you are visiting in coming years

  4. toot have lucked out on weather and sea conditions. Can’t wait to see Israel! Thank you for being a virtual tour guide for those of us who don’t get out much.

  5. Thanks for sharing your travels.
    It’s interesting to see how the profile of Kicker Rock changes from north to south.

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