San Cristobal Island – Interpretation Center and Frigatebird Hill

June 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Frigatebird Hill Trail

Frigatebird Hill Trail

San Cristobal was the first island visited by Charles Darwin during his historic visit to the Galapagos Islands.  Home to one of the two airports servicing the islands it is the first island visited by many tourists visiting Galapagos today.

Puerto Baquerizo is the main town, the provincial capital of Galapagos it is clean and orderly with several beaches in town or a short walk away.

The most popular visits in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno are to the Interpretation Center and to Frigatebird Hill.

About a 10-minute walk from the main dock, the Interpretation Center was built in 1998 by the national park in conjunction with the Spain Agency for International Cooperation.  The facility has an exhibition hall as well as meeting facilities.

Interpretation Center

San Cristobal Interpretation Center

The exhibition hall tells the story of the formation of the Galapagos Islands, the wildlife that lives here, the arrival and impact of man and the importance of conservation.  The displays are lively and engaging making it the best visitor center in the Galapagos Islands.

Leaving the Interpretation Center there is a trail leading to Frigatebird Hill named for the Frigatebirds that nest here.  This is one of the few self-guided trails in the Galapagos.  Following the trail you’ll pass by Opuntia Cactus and other Galapagos plants characteristic of the dry arid zone.  Hiking up the steps to the top of the hill can be hot and taking bottled water is a must.

The trip will take you to see the breeding area of both the Magnificent Frigatebird and Great Frigatebird.  It is the best spot to learn the difference between the two species.  Along the way there are the remains of a World War II cannon a reminder of the important role the Galapagos Islands played in protecting the Panama Canal.  There are sweeping views of the sea and Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) to the distance and a statue of Charles Darwin.

A short tail leads down to a bay where you can cool off snorkeling with sea lions, color fish, rays and turtles.

Read Highlands of San Cristobal

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