Isla San Cristobal – Puerto Baquerzo Moreno

Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal

Puerto Baquerzo Moreno is the provincial capital of the Galapagos. It is like a country town with a few bars, cafes, tourist shops (and the promise of wifi) by the ferry terminal was the most civilisation that I had seen in a week! Puerto Baquerzo Moreno is also a surfing mecca.

Surfing hub – Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Visitor facilities – Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Cafe, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Local transport, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
School wall, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Marine iguanas, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Sally lightfoot crab, Isla San Cristobal

Sea lions at Puerto Baquerzo Moreno

Puerto Baquerzo Moreno has many sea lions which congregate around the beach just by the ferry terminal. Despite fences which were designed to keep them out, they wander freely on the boardwalk.

Sea lions on the beach, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Sea lion lazing, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Curious sea lions, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Sea lion looking at beach, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Playful sea lions, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Playful sea lions, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Sea lions on the beach, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Sunbaking sea lion, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal
Mother and juvenile sea lion, Puerto Baquerzo Moreno, Isla San Cristobal

At Puerto Baquerzo Moreno (called Interpretation Center of San Cristobal) on Tijeretas Hill and Punta Carola Point, we learnt about the human history of the Galapagos. Ecuador claimed the islands in 1832, the hypothesised existence of resources including guano (a highly prized fertiliser) and its strategic position for international trade saw the superpowers of the era France, England and the US interested in claiming for themselves around 1860.

There were successive waves of immigrants were trying to exploit its resources came from Ecuador, Norway, Germany and Japan largely failed due to the lack of freshwater and the difficulties faced in setting up a colony so far from the nearest other civilisation.

During World War 2, after the Pearl Harbour attack, airbases were built from which the US could defend the Panama Canal and this explains why there are 3 airports for an Ecuadorian population of 25,000 and visitors of 250,000.

Cactus flower, Isla San Cristobal
Cactus flower, Isla San Cristobal
Cactus flower, Isla San Cristobal

Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (Centro de Crianza de Tortuga Terrestres) is a key breeding centre where giant tortoises wander around freely. We learnt that in a natural setting, the female giant tortoise will use her back legs to create a hole which will hold between 2 and 16 eggs. After a period of 4 – 8 months, the baby giant tortoises will hatch and dig themselves out to ground level over the course of a month. The hatchlings weigh around 80 grams and are around 6 cm in length, over their lifetime they will grow up to 225 kg, a thousand increase on their birth weight! Warmer incubation temperatures result in a greater proportion of females.

Giant tortoise, Isla San Cristobal
Giant tortoise, Isla San Cristobal
Giant tortoise, Isla San Cristobal

The Grand Queen Beatriz received an unexpected visitor, a sea lion who decided that the back of the boat would make a comfortable resting spot.

Sea lion on the Grand Queen Beatriz
Sea lion on the Grand Queen Beatriz
Sea lion on the Grand Queen Beatriz
Sea lion on the Grand Queen Beatriz

#buckletlist; #Galapagos; #travel; #nature; #landscape; #adventure; #intrepidtravel

Travel date: 30 December 2018

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