Backpacking San Cristobal Island: A Comprehensive Guide

Discover the wonders of San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos with this handy guide! Whether you’re into spotting sea lions or exploring marine iguanas, this destination offers a unique backpacking experience.

Explore the Galapagos Islands on a Budget

If you’re visiting the Galapagos, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore other islands. Check out these first-hand articles on budget backpacking in the Galapagos:

Accommodations in San Cristobal, Galapagos

Looking for a place to stay? In San Cristobal, private rooms in hostels start at $15 USD per night. We recommend La Casita De La Isla, a quaint hotel offering a Double room for $35 USD. Nestled in the forest, it provides a peaceful retreat with a communal outdoor kitchen, picnic tables, and hammocks.

Budget-Friendly Restaurants in San Cristobal

To eat well on a budget, indulge in local foods. San Cristobal offers fantastic local meals, known as “meriendas,” usually priced at $5 USD. Our top restaurant picks include:

  • Mocking Bird: Enjoy a $5 meal with an upstairs covered patio overlooking the city and ocean.
  • My Chicken Friend: Affordable $5 meals.
  • Burger Joint: A bit more expensive but known for great burgers.
  • Mann Beach: Try the fantastic fried fish soup with garlic shrimps and fresh lemonade for $5.

Things to Do in San Cristobal, Galapagos

Explore the beauty of San Cristobal with these must-visit attractions:

  • Interpretation Center: Learn about the history and ecology of the Galapagos.
  • Punta Carola: Snorkel with turtles, sea lions, and sometimes white tip sharks.
  • Las Tijeretas: Hike to an excellent lookout point and discover snorkeling spots with turtles and sea lions.
  • Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center: Similar to the Charles Darwin Center in Santa Cruz.
  • Playa Mann: A popular beach with playful sea lions.
  • La Loberia: Walk 30 minutes from town to witness one of the largest sea lion colonies.
  • El Junco: Explore a freshwater lake inside an active volcano.
  • Puerto Chino: Relax on a white sand beach surrounded by unique rock formations.
  • Ecotourist Dock in Town: Observe sealions and marine iguanas in a tidal pool.

Scuba Diving in San Cristobal (worth the experience)

If you’re a scuba enthusiast, consider diving at Kicker Rock. While not cheap, it’s a unique experience with massive schools of fish and the chance to see baby white tip sharks. Dive shops like Planet Ocean, Galapagos Fishing Adventures, Alpha Scuba, and Los Mantas Dive Center offer 2-tank dives.

Other Information about Backpacking San Cristobal

  • Ferry Tickets: Plan your travel with ferry tickets, typically priced at $30 one way. Look for operators offering deals at $25.
  • Transportation: A taxi from San Cristobal Airport to town should cost around $2 in a pickup truck taxi.

Have questions about backpacking San Cristobal Island, Galapagos? Comment below, and I’ll be happy to help!

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