When visiting San Cristobal in the Galapagos, the Highlands are a very different environment than the main town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. You may experience cold and mist at this elevation of up to 2,400’, so bringing a rain jacket or extra layer. There are three typical destinations on a tour of San Cristobal’s highlands: El Junco Lake, Galapaguera Tortoise Breeding Center, and Puerto Chino Beach. You can go on a tour group or rent a private driver for the day – the latter of which is approximately $60.
The last stop on our tour of the highlands in San Cristobal took us back down to sea level, at the end of the road which cuts through the island.
It is a short and lovely walk to Puerto Chino Beach flanked with Galapagos flora.
The beach was blissfully devoid of human life for an entire hour, once again we were so happy to have gotten up early and beat the crowds.
On the secluded shores the sand had a green tint, and many sea lions.
Finches crowded our towel as soon as we laid down, hoping for a hand out – don’t give in!
They have plenty to eat in the wild. The beach is relatively small, and there is one shaded area with a picnic table – if it isn’t occupied.
On the right side of the beach is a cliff swarmed with frigate birds.
Here you can pick up an official little trail if you are curious, it isn’t entirely visible from the sand, but it completely legitimate with signage.
Scrambling up to the top leaves you with an awe inspiring vista.
Up here we also spotted the most photogenic blue footed boobie.
Enjoying the beach and little hike so much, we continued on and discovered purple coral.
You can continue along the jagged coastline if you are feeling adventurous, but no real trail exists.
Be sure to discuss with your driver the time you’d like to return, there is no other public transportation from desolate area.