San Cristobal is home to several endemic and native species of the archipelago; it was the first island visited by naturalist Charles Darwin in 1835. Today it is home to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the political capital of the Galapagos province. After a long navigation from Española Island, National Geographic Islander dropped anchor in front of Punta Pitt early in the morning. Punta Pitt is located in the easternmost area of the Galapagos.
After breakfast, we boarded the Zodiacs and headed towards the landing beach. The sun was shining, and the ocean was very calm. In the air, blue and red-footed boobies and frigatebirds began their daily routine of flying over the island in search of food. We started our walk along the narrow trail, which led us to the top of Cerro Pitt. As we ascended, the vertical slopes of the hills showed us the remains of ancient waterfalls, formed during past rainy seasons or during past El Niño phenomena.
From the top, the view was spectacular; gigantic mountains covered with green vegetation contrasted with the blue ocean. Very close to us, we observed many blue-footed boobies nesting along the trail. We observed chicks in some nests and eggs in others, all of them well protected by their parents. As we moved inland, red-footed boobies nested in the tops of trees or bushes in nests made of twigs or dry straw. At the end of the trail, we observed the burrows of marine iguanas and some lava lizards feeding on insects. After the hike, our guests had the opportunity to take a dip and cool off in the shallow waters of Punta Pitt.
In the afternoon, National Geographic Islander sailed east to Cerro Brujo Hill, the remains of an old tuff cone. Captain Fitzroy climbed the hill in 1835 while Darwin took his first walk in the Galapagos. The white sandy beach beside the hill is really spectacular. The beach is home to a colony of Galapagos sea lions, and green sea turtles use the area for nesting. We disembarked at 3:00 p.m. Some of our guests had the chance to stroll along the soft coralline sandy beach, while our youngest guests preferred to swim and enjoy the company of some playful sea lions. Just before sunset, we headed towards Leon Dormido. We circumnavigated this impressive tuff formation while our guests enjoyed the view with a special wine tasting. We celebrated the end of an unforgettable week in this natural paradise called Galapagos.