Isla San Cristobal and Isla Lobos

Panorama – Isla San Cristobal © Jin Liew

Isla San Cristóbal (Chatham) is the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago as well as one of the oldest geologically (around 4 million years old).

Isla San Cristobal

At the north-eastern point of Isla San Cristobal is Punta Pitt which rises up a couple of hundred metres above the sea. A short hike up the hill over rocky terrain with Nazca and red-footed boobies and frigate birds flying overhead was like a symphony of birds. The crater that visitors walk up was formed by volcanic ash and large rocks called “volcanic bombs”.

Hike up to Punta Pitt, Isla San Cristobal
Rock layers, Isla San Cristobal
Landscape – Isla San Cristobal
Landscape – Isla San Cristobal

The view from the top of the Punta Pitt was spectacular, overlooking crystal waters, sandy beach and the sweeping drop was another side of the island. In the other direction, there was a dramatic view of the caldera with the sloping cliffs and rocks.

View from Punta Pitt, Isla San Cristobal

There were a number of blue-footed booby nests which were guarded by a protective parent in front of their nest. Red-footed booby nests in trees, often high in the cliffs and away from predators, hiding their spectacular red feet in the shrubs.

Birds resting in cliffs, Isla San Cristobal
Great  Frigatebird, resting in trees, Isla San Cristobal
Great  Frigatebird, Isla San Cristobal
Great  Frigatebird, Isla San Cristobal
Great  Frigatebird, Isla San Cristobal
Magnificent Frigatebird, Isla San Cristobal © Linda Hartskeerl
Red-footed booby, Isla San Cristobal
Red-footed booby, Isla San Cristobal
Blue-footed booby, Isla San Cristobal
Blue-footed booby, Isla San Cristobal
Blue-footed booby, Isla San Cristobal
Blue-footed booby, Isla San Cristobal
Blue-footed booby, Isla San Cristobal © Linda Hartskeerl

While snorkelling off Los Lobos we encountered a large territorial male sea lion guarding his harem, including a group of babies who were playing in the shallows… A memorable moment was witnessing the shock experienced by a fellow group member when the large male sea lion passed between him and the fish he was videoing.

Sea lion, Isla San Cristobal © Linda Hartskeerl
Marine Iguana and crab, Isla San Cristobal © Linda Hartskeerl

While walking or more accurately the balancing on lava stones on Los Lobos, there were large groups of sea lions relaxing on the beach and rocks. Among them were very curious juveniles who came up to us, close enough to have a sniff of someone’s red trainer.

Cactus, Los Lobos
Red volcanic rock, Los Lobos

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

Travel date: 29 December 2018

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