San Cristobal island, also known by it english name Chatham is one of the oldest islands in Galapagos. The island is the owner of the only freshwater lagoon in the Galapagos. It used to be a penal colony and now a place for amazing visits and memories.
San Cristobal Island is one of the oldest of the archipelago and the closest to main land. Its main town is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which is also the capital of the Galapagos Province. It is also the first island that Charles Darwin set foot for the first time in 1835. The island has an area of 558 square kilometers and a maximum altitude of 730 meters. Its name honors the patron saint of seafarers, St. Christopher. People sometimes refers to it as Chatham, its older english name which was given after William Pitt, 1st. Earl of Chatham.
Its major economic activities are government offices, fishing and tourism which have developed sustainably with the environment. The highlands of the San Cristobal island have cattle ranches and many farms. A small lake called El Junco is the source of sweet water for the island and the only freshwater lagoon of the archipelago. In 1880 a penal colony was built in San Cristobal were prisoners from mainland were sent.
Visitor to the island will notice the that the main income of this island is not exactly tourism so you can get a better feeling of the people itself. Tourist can arrive to the island by air to the San Cristobal airport from Baltra and mainland or by a 2 hour boat ride from Santa Cruz.
Various day-trip tours are available to many onlad sites or offshore. The most recommended day trip by boat is the 360 tour. In this tour you go around the bordering the island and stopping in the most interesting places along the way. If you don’t want to spend much time on a boat the tour can also take you only to kicker rock which is an amazing snorkeling spot. A fairly new boat tour is the day trip to isla Espanola where your can appreciate a totally different environment and wildlife. You can also take a land tour to the highlands, which will take you to the El Junco lagoon, the tortoise breeding center and finish the journey at the beach. An evening walk on the docks will be a relaxing and enjoyable activity, make sure you don’t miss the sunset at Playa Mann.