San Cristobal - Kicker Rock and Cerro Brujo

On the morning of the tenth day, we visited San Cristobal – Kicker Rock and Cerro Brujo. Then to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for an afternoon visit to Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado in San Cristóbal highlands.

Kicker Rock and Cerro Brujo

San Cristóbal is the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago and the oldest. Its volcanoes are extinct; the last eruption occurred several centuries ago. Moreover, Kicker Rock is an offshore eroded vertical tuff cone, a Galápagos icon, north of San Cristóbal (Chatham).

We had cruised overnight from Santa Fé to anchor near Playa Cerro Brujo (Witch Hill) on San Cristóbal. Then, around sunrise, we set off for Kicker Rock.

Kicker Rock at San Cristobal view from the east in the early morning light, Galapagos Islands

Kicker Rock at San Cristobal

About five kilometres north of San Cristóbal is the Galápagos icon – Kicker Rock also called Leon Dormido (Sleeping Lion). It has sheer cliffs rising to around 150 metres above the sea.

Kicker Rock off North Coast of San Cristobal

Kicker Rock at San Cristobal

While some fellow travellers snorkelled, the skipper circled the rock for half an hour. I was, therefore, able to photograph several aspects of this spectacular rock in changing light.

Wildlife at Playa Cerro Brujo

Wildlife at Playa Cerro Brujo

After cruising around Kicker Rock, we had breakfast while returning to Playa Cerro Brujo. Then we went ashore, making a wet landing on the beach. We walked the beach for an hour or so as there was no trail. Apart from a painted ghost crab and a one-legged female medium ground finch, nothing new or exciting. Even the sea lions were asleep on the beach.

Puerto Chino - Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the main town; its airport connects Ecuador and the provincial capital. A road leads into the highlands and on the Puerto Chino.

Around lunchtime, we cruised down the coast to anchor at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Then in the afternoon, we visited Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado in the San Cristóbal highlands.

Wildlife at Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado

Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado

A Tortoise Reserve operated by the Galápagos National Park Service. The third tortoise breeding centre we visited on this trip. Whilst I understand their importance to research and conservation, I do not find these places interesting. I would rather spend time photographing free-ranging wildlife. Hence a photo of an immature endangered San Cristóbal mockingbird looking for food from an adult. Also, an endangered San Cristóbal giant tortoise was unrestrained and wandering around the grounds.

Bibliography - Online Resources

1. Geology – San Cristobal 2021. [Online] Available from Galapagos Geology on the Web [Accessed 22-Sep-21].