Welcome to my Galapagos Islands Adventure Series.
Enjoy my first post in the series, Galapagos Islands – A Dream Trip Come True.
Have fun with Sensational Sea Lions of San Cristobal.
Experience the Mysteries & Majestic Sunsets on Floreana Island.
Savor the adventures in Paradise Found On Isabela Island.
Explore more with 5 Experiences Not To Be Missed On Santa Cruz Island.
San Cristobal Island. The perfect beginnings of a Galapagos Islands adventure of a life-time. Come along with us and meet a colony of uber-friendly sea lions. Snorkel above sea turtles. Walk alongside marine iguanas. And witness blue-footed boobies!
Let the adventures begin!
An Island Introduction On Bike
At long last! This trip-of-a-lifetime has begun. Time is precious, so let’s hit the ground running. Or in this case, biking! Grab your bike helmet, because it’s time for some two-wheeled island explorations. With so few motorized vehicles, San Cristobal Island is just right for a family island adventure on two wheels.
First on the adventure agenda? The Galapagos National Park Visitor Center. It’s the perfect place to get a sneak peak into the world we are about encounter. Then it’s time to hop back on that bike and head out for our first big wildlife adventure, La Loberia. Let’s get peddling, shall we?
Swimming with Sea Turtles at La Loberia
La Loberia dead ahead! Let’s park that bike and finish up on foot. Follow the sandy trail out to La Loberia beach, which is home to a large sea lion colony and nursery. Watch out for those sleepy sea lions along the way, and a few playful pups too. All just part of this amazing adventure.
And there it is. La Loberia beach and a tranquil Pacific ocean. Go on, now. Take the plunge! Who knows what kinds of marine life are awaiting our discovery. A swim with sea turtles is just what’s needed after that bike ride and hike.
We are in luck today! Sea turtle off to the left, everyone. Gently float above him as he slowly makes his way along the ocean floor beneath us. Now that is an adventure to write home about.
Close encounters of sea lions, sea turtles and sea life are always on the agenda at La Loberia. Oh, and quite possibly, fun snorkeling antics by some sea-faring boys!
A Kicker Rock Snorkeling Excursion
Ready for a more adventurous snorkeling excursion? Great, because we are heading to Kicker Rock today. Kicker Rock, also called Leon Dormido, was aptly named for it’s characteristic shape of a sleeping lion. Long before arriving at this rocky outcrop, one can spot it’s towering lava formations rising dramatically above the ocean’s surface. Can you also spot the sleeping lion?
Do you see that? Keep a keen watchful eye as the boat circles Kicker Rock. Maybe we’ll spot a blue-footed booby roosting on a rock ledge, or a sea lion family making it’s way up a rocky trail. Check the sky too, where nazca boobies and frigate birds might be circling high above, in search of a tasty meal in the waters down below.
We have arrived at Kicker Rock. Time to dive in for an up close view of the underwater wildlife. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see sharks, manta rays and sea turtles. And we did! As well as a host of colorful fish. Sorry, those photos didn’t turn out.
Close Encounters At Isla Lobos
Next on the activities agenda? Isla Lobos, the perfect respite for up-close encounters of several wild and wonderful inhabitants of these islands. Isla Lobos is a snapshot of the vast abundance of wildlife going about their daily business, as if not a care in the world.
So take a walk on the wild side along Isla Lobo’s sandy shoreline, where you are bound to have several wild encounters. Encounters where you can walk right up to, get down at eye level, and experience wildlife like few other places in the world.
Seriously! Where else can one get face to face with a marine iguana? And where that very marine iguana may even stand still long enough to take full stock of it’s color, size and even count the spines running down it’s back. How cool is that!
Or where one is front and center to a parade of Sally Lightfoot Crabs making their way across a rock-strewn ocean pathway. Just watch out for those pincers! And please don’t disrupt the parade. Even the crabs are protected species in the Galapagos Islands.
Isla Lobos is a one-hour boat ride from San Cristobal, and well worth the excursion. Alongside marine iguanas and crabs, wild encounters can include fur seals lounging on the beach, nesting blue-footed boobies, and the occasional frigate bird.
Look! It’s Blue Footed Boobies!
Every where one goes, around every corner one turns, there is wildlife waiting to be discovered. Like the blue-footed booby. Who can forget their first introduction to a bird that really does have blue feet? Or those Frigate birds, with their elegant red pouch puffed up for all to see?
This flock of blue-footed boobies just seemed to be waiting for our cameras, ever so elegantly posing upon rocky outcrops. Watching us, as we watch them.
Encounter amazing wildlife morning, noon and night. Even an evening walk along the pier may end with a wildly wonderful encounter. Look closely along those rocks down below. There might be a sleepy brown pelican settling in for the night. He’s pretty darned cool, isn’t he!
Go Climb A Tree House
Ok, yes, there are tree houses around the world. But this tree house is in the Galapagos! And it’s the perfect end to a fun-filled day of adventure on San Cristobal Island. So go on. Walk up the rope bridge and into the tree house. Go for a ride in an old-fashioned tire swing. And then go climb a tree house!
Do you think you could climb this humongous tree and ring that bell? It was quite a challenge, and only one of us made it. That’s ok, the ice cream reward was well worth the effort. The treehouse is conveniently located at Quita el Ceibo Cafeteria.
Our San Cristobal Island Adventure
We opted for a land-based Galapagos Islands adventure as opposed to the classic cruise-based adventure. While on San Cristobal Island, we were guests at Hotel Casa Blanca, we traveled with Active Adventures South America, and experienced several awesome adventures with a certified Galapagos National Park Tour Guide.
One advantage of staying on the island is finding local gems like the tree house. Oh, and ending the evenings sitting on park benches next to sleepy sea lions, watching a colony of sea lions settle in for the evening along the local beach, or encountering a sleepy pelican roosting on the rocks.
Good Bye San Cristobal Island!
Our three days on San Cristobal Island have sadly come to an end. It’s time to pack our bags and board the boat for our next destination – Floreana Island. Adios San Cristobal Island. We will miss you and all your amazing, unique, friendly, and wonderful wildlife.
Look, it’s as if our friendly local sea lion is waving good-bye to us!
Have you been to San Cristobal Island? What was your favorite adventure? Let us know in the Comments section below.
All images from C.Biederman.