San Cristóbal: an Unforgettable Galapagos Experience

Unique wildlife and pristine nature
FromUSD$630
Unique wildlife and pristine nature
FromUSD$630
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Build a Custom Tour



Looking for something a little different? At Impactful Travel, we specialize in crafting custom itineraries tailored to your unique travel desires and ethical values.

Build Your Trip

  • Duration5 Days, 4 Nights
  • Group size1 - 16 pax (contact us for larger groups)
  • Starting point San Cristóbal airport (SCY). Start upon your arrival
  • All year round
  • Bookings At least 1 month in advance

The Galapagos Islands – a short introduction

Don’t miss your chance to experience the Galapagos Islands, a living laboratory that continues to amaze and inspire. The islands are known for their famously fearless wildlife roaming freely around and as a source of inspiration for Darwin’s groundbreaking theory of evolution. And that’s just part of this captivating story. The Galápagos Archipelago is also one the most volcanically active areas in the world. And did you know that the Galapagos Islands are named for their giant tortoises?

Galapagos, the Impactful way

We wouldn’t be Impactful Travel without offering our own tour to this remarkable archipelago. Get ready for the enchanting San Cristóbal Island. A hub of life, teeming with both human and wildlife populations. Named after Saint Christopher, the patron saint of seafarers, it’s a beacon for explorers just like you. Embracing San Cristobal as our sole destination, we minimize environmental impact and maximize local engagement.

Discover the San Cristóbal island of Galapagos

Your base will be Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the island’s main city and also the capital of Galapagos. Nestled on the island’s southwestern tip, this charming city welcomes you with its quaint pier set along a cozy boulevard.

But what truly sets San Cristóbal apart is its rich biodiversity. Every corner of the island is a living testament to the beauty of nature – from the distinctive blue-footed boobies and playful sea lions to the graceful sea turtles. Watch the skies for soaring frigatebirds and keep an eye out for marine iguanas basking in the sun. And remember, the Chatham mockingbird, a species unique to this island, might just serenade you during your stay.

San Cristóbal island – the Impactful Way

The following are just a few of the incredible experiences awaiting you on this impactful journey:
Gain valuable insights into the island’s rich history, culture, and ecology, by visiting the Centro de Interpretación Gianni Arismendy.
Take in the breathtaking landscape from the Mirador Cerro Tijeretas and dive into the crystal-clear waters at Muelle Tijeretas to swim and snorkel alongside playful sea lions and vibrant fish.
Immerse yourself in the highlands, where you’ll visit the only organic farm on the island, and where you can witness giant tortoises in their natural habitat.
Of course, we won’t forget to make a stop at Playa La Lobería, home to a remarkable sea lion colony.

Check out our Day by Day description down below to discover what else we have to offer you!

 

Design Your Dream Journey to Galapagos – San Cristóbal

Not quite found what you’re seeking in our current online tour? No worries! Remember, at heart, we specialize in crafting custom holidays. Simply complete this form detailing your dream Galapagos adventure or share with our travel designers what didn’t resonate with you about the existing tour. We’ll then expertly tailor an itinerary that’s uniquely yours. Let us turn your vision into a reality.

Read our dedicated Travel Guide to San Cristóbal

In this post you will discover our Impactful way to see the Galapagos.

Day by Day

Day 1Arrive to Galapagos

Welcome to your adventure! Upon your arrival at the airport, you’ll be escorted to your hotel situated just a 5-minute stroll away in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Here, a friendly member of our team will guide you through your upcoming itinerary.

Dive straight into the rich culinary culture of the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador with a hands-on Ceviche Galapagueño/Ecuatoriano cooking class. Set at a local restaurant by the beach, you’ll learn under a local chef how to prepare this traditional dish. From learning to choose the freshest ingredients to mastering the art of marinating, you’ll gain insights into the region’s culinary heritage. The class encourages interaction, so feel free to ask questions and deepen your understanding of this cornerstone of local cuisine. The highlight? Savoring the ceviche you’ve created.

The rest of the day is all yours, to unwind and immerse yourself in the Galapagos ambiance.

Day 2Discovering the San Cristóbal island

Exploring Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Begin your day with a guided story-telling stroll through the charming town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Together with a local Galapagueño guide, you’ll delve into the heart of this community. Soak in the engaging stories about the town and its people, as well as the deeply ingrained culture of nature preservation passed down from generation to generation.

As you walk, you’ll realize that here, conservation isn’t just a concept, it’s a way of life – a lesson instilled in children from a young age, fostering a deep respect for the unique environment they call home.

A Cultural and Culinary Delight

Come lunchtime, enjoy a meal at a cozy local eatery near Playa Mann. Savor the flavors of traditional Galapagos cuisine before continuing your exploration to the Interpretation Center and then to Cerro Tijeretas.

Unfolding Island History at the Interpretation Center

At the informative Interpretation Center, immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the islands – from their geological formation to human settlement, and the pivotal role of conservation efforts. An interactive map vividly illustrates the diverse wildlife inhabiting each island, sparking your curiosity for what’s to come.

Ascend Cerro Tijeretas and then Dive to Underwater Marvels

Your journey continues to Cerro Tijeretas, a prime spot for observing the two species of frigatebirds native to the Galapagos. As you ascend during the two-hour trek, panoramic views will take your breath away. The trail leads to a secluded cove, a perfect spot to snorkel and witness the vibrant underwater world.

Day 3A Journey into the Highlands of San Cristóbal

Embark on an intimate full-day tour through the breathtaking Highlands of San Cristóbal Island. This private adventure includes visits to the Galapaguera and Puerto Chino, offering personalized insights into the island’s unique wildlife and landscapes.

Feel the thrill as you journey into the Highlands, where the island’s fauna and landscape undergo dramatic transformations. Experience the shift from coastal areas to moor-like terrain with stunning vistas and distinct vegetation.

Sustainable Farming and Wholesome Food

Visit an organic farm (Finca Mandinga) nestled within a lush, humid forest, teeming with unique fauna. Explore the vegetable fields, coffee plantations, and bamboo forest during a 40-minute walk. Enjoy a refreshing snack prepared with seasonal ingredients, while learning about sustainable farming practices.

Unveiling the Giants of Galapagos at the Galapaguera

The Galapaguera, is a vital conservation site working towards the survival of San Cristóbal tortoises. Engage with these gentle giants in their natural habitat and delve into their history, evolution, and significance to the Galapagos ecosystem.

Next, unwind at Puerto Chino, a serene coral sand beach offering breathtaking coastal views.

La Lobería – A Coastal Gem

End your day at La Loberia beach, renowned for snorkeling and its charming sea lions and marine iguanas.

Day 4Embrace the Island's Charm on Your Own

Today, the magic of San Cristóbal is yours to explore at your leisure. You have a free day to immerse yourself in the island’s enchantment, or simply relax.

Please read our FAQ below to discover valuable tips on how to enjoy free activities and make the most of your time.

Day 5Farewell to the Island, Hello Mainland

Your final morning in San Cristóbal is open for you to discover any hidden gems you’ve yet to uncover. Soak up the last moments of this unique environment before your flight back to the mainland.

Please note that the itinerary is subject to changes due to weather conditions and operational decisions.

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What makes this experience Impactful?

We’ve chosen to focus our efforts on the enchanting San Cristobal Island in Galapagos.
Here’s why:

Minimizing Traveler Impact: By focusing on a single island, we ensure the footprint left by our travelers is kept to a minimum. Sustainable travel is about balance – experiencing the wonder of new places while preserving their beauty for future generations.

Strong Local Connections: We’ve established robust relationships with the local community in San Cristobal. This allows us to offer authentic experiences that truly reflect the island’s unique culture and environment.

Less Motorized Transport: San Cristobal offers a wealth of experiences that don’t require motorized transport. From snorkeling with sea lions to hiking through its diverse landscapes, the island can be explored and appreciated at a slower, more mindful pace.

Economic Support through Sustainable Tourism: Our tours contribute to the local economy, supporting the island’s inhabitants and reinforcing the importance of sustainable tourism.

Support to Finca Mandiga efforts: The necessity of organic agriculture is crucial in the Galapagos Islands, a National Park of indescribable value to our planet and humanity. On the island of San Cristobal, there are dozens of fincas, but only one is entirely organic. This Finca of over 30 Ha in the island’s hills carries on with this essential ecological and regenerative agricultural project.

Details

Price Includes

  • 4-night accommodation in San Cristobal
  • Cooking class
  • English speaking guideYour guide will accompany you only throughout the excursions.
  • Day 1 Meals - None only a small ceviche as part of your cooking class: you can buy more food at that same restaurant if you’d like to eat something more
  • Day 2 MealsBreakfast, coffee and lunch
  • Day 3 MealsBreakfast and snack
  • Day 4 and 5 MealsBreakfast
  • Snorkeling equipment (days 2 and 3)

Price Excludes

  • Flight to Galapagos
  • Ingala migration card currently USD 20.- per person
  • Galapagos tax currently USD 100.- per person
  • Taxi boats at piers not needed for the included excursions but be reminded that you might need them for optional boat excursions
  • Additional food or drinks not mentioned as included
  • Additional activities
  • Any transfer besides the ones related to the described activitiesNeither from the airport to the hotel and back, because of close proximity
  • Read more about what's generally not included in our Terms and Conditions (click here).

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About San Cristóbal: an Unforgettable Galapagos Experience

Why visit only San Cristóbal island?

By focusing on a single island, you ensure the footprint you leave is kept to a minimum. Sustainable travel is about balance – experiencing the wonder of new places while preserving their beauty for future generations. Also, San Cristóbal offers a wealth of experiences that don’t require motorized transport. From snorkeling with sea lions to hiking through its diverse landscapes, the island can be explored and appreciated at a slower, more mindful pace.

Can I touch plants and animals?

While the flora and fauna of San Cristóbal are incredibly fascinating, we encourage visitors to observe and appreciate them from a safe distance. Touching or disturbing wildlife and plants can harm them and disrupt their natural behaviors. Remember, we’re guests in their home

Why spend time in a cooking class while in Galapagos?

Besides exploring Galapagos natural wonders, visitors can deepen their experience by connecting with the local customs and traditions. Participating in a delicious meal preparation and eating together with your loved ones offers not only a joyful experience, but also an immersive cultural one.

What personal products are not harmful for the environment?

When it comes to toiletries and personal care products, it’s essential to make mindful choices that are kind to both your body and the planet. Opt for products that are labeled as biodegradable, which means they’ll naturally break down and won’t harm the environment.
For general hygiene, consider solid bars for shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Not only are they travel-friendly, but they also come in minimal or even zero packaging, reducing the amount of waste you generate.
When it comes to cosmetics, look for products free from harmful chemicals. Many conventional makeup products contain ingredients that can be damaging to wildlife and ecosystems when washed off. Instead, seek out cosmetics that use natural ingredients and are cruelty-free.
Sun protection is vital, especially in a sunny locale like San Cristóbal. However, conventional sunscreens often contain chemicals that can harm marine life. Instead, look for reef-safe sunblocks that protect your skin without damaging underwater ecosystems. The same goes for tanning lotions and other sun care products.

Can I buy additional / separate activities for my free day(s)?

Yes this is our selection of day tours available from San Cristóbal:
Isla Lobos
Kicker Rock (León Dormido)
Tour 360
Española Island
Highlands

What can I do for free during my free days/hours?

Playa Carola is known for its surfing and sunsets.
Laguna el Junco.
For bird-watchers, Punta Pitt is a paradise.

Why walk from the airport to the hotel and back considering the luggage?

We hear you – the thought of walking from the airport to your hotel, luggage in tow, might seem a bit unusual. But here’s a thought: Imagine stepping out of the airport and being greeted by the warm Galapagos sun. Just 500 meters away, a mere 6-minute walk, your hotel awaits.
This isn’t just any walk, though. It’s your first taste of the Galapagos air, your first sight of the unique landscape, your first touch with this extraordinary piece of the world. Unless it’s raining cats and dogs, we encourage you to seize this opportunity, stretch your legs after your flight and take those first deep breaths of fresh island air.

What luggage should I carry with me considering the small airplanes?

Travel light! Small planes have limited luggage space. A duffle bag or soft-sided suitcase is recommended, along with a backpack for day trips. Pack only essentials, and remember that reusable water bottles, sun protection, and binoculars can be invaluable on the island.

Here are our Essential Packing Tips for Your Ecuador and Galapagos Adventure

Can I still cancel this tour if, after booking, I change my mind?

Unfortunately, the Galapagos islands’ providers are very strict and costs are high. If within 30 days of your tour you need to cancel, you will not receive any refund; we are very sorry!

Which flights should I buy to San Cristóbal? Any recommendations?

All flights (operated by Latam and Avianca) arrive on the island in the morning. Just make sure to purchase tickets with destination SCY (San Cristóbal) and not Baltra; because that’s the airport of Santa Cruz island.

Is this a private excursion?

All the excursions and activities are private; which doesn’t mean that you will have every place completely to yourself, but you will always be with your own guide.

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Reviews
Your Host
Chatham Mockingbird by ©John Schwarz

Chatham Mockingbird

Hey there, fellow wanderers! This is Chatty, your friendly Chatham Mockingbird from the beautiful San Cristóbal Island in the Galapagos. I’m flapping my wings with excitement to invite you on a transformative journey to our unique corner of the world.

You see, here in San Cristóbal, we’ve got it all – breathtaking landscapes, underwater wonders, and an abundance of wildlife (like yours truly!). And the best part? You can explore all these without needing a noisy, polluting vehicle. Just strap on those hiking boots or snorkeling gear and let the island’s magic unfold around you.

Now, we islanders love having visitors, but we also appreciate it when they tread lightly on our home. So, come visit us, but remember to be mindful of your actions. Stick to the trails, respect our flora and fauna, and leave no trace behind except footprints and wonderful memories.

So, what do you say? Ready for an adventure that not only broadens your horizons but also contributes positively to our island? Let’s make travel impactful together. See you soon in San Cristóbal!

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