Visit these remote areas around Santa Cristóbal Island in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador to explore the only place where you can see all three species of booby, land where Charles Darwin first set foot in the Galapagos, and see an iconic offshore formation. Here are highlights from boat trips to Punta Pitt, Cerro Brujo, and Kicker Rock.
These destinations on San Cristóbal Island are only reached by boat. They can be visited on long day trips from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, however, we visited these places as part of our itinerary during our trip on the Origin with Ecoventura.
Visiting Punta Pitt in the Galapagos
Punta Pitt (Pitt Point in English, named for British Prime Minister William Pitt) is the only place in the Galapagos Islands where you can see all three species of booby: red-footed, blue-footed, and Nazca. There’s a well-made trail on the island that lets travelers explore the landscape which features saltbush, Opuntia cactus, and Palo Santo trees. Sea birds, including frigatebirds, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, all those bobbies, and more, make the most of this place as a resting and nesting spot.
We visited in: May
Activities: wet landing, hiking, snorkeling
Animal highlights: We saw nesting and mating blue-footed boobies (some with eggs), nesting red-footed boobies (one with a chick), and many sea lions.
Here are photos from Punta Pitt.
Visiting Cerro Brujo in the Galapagos
Cerro Brujo (Witch Hill in English) is where Charles Darwin is believed to have first set foot on land in the Galapagos. Modern travelers will be met with much the same sights that he saw: a beautiful white sand beach (some call it the most beautiful beach in the Galapagos) and an inland lagoon. This place is favored by sea lions and land and sea birds including blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, herons, frigatebirds, and more.
We visited in: May
Activities: wet landing, beach walking
Animal highlights: We saw Galapagos sea lions, American oystercatchers (including chicks), fishing boobies, and marine iguanas. Unfortunately, we did not spot the San Cristóbal lava lizard or a brujo bird which are both endemic to this area.
Here are photos from Cerro Brujo.
Visiting Kicker Rock in the Galapagos
Kicker Rock (aka Sleeping Lion) is an iconic Galapagos site formed by a mostly-submerged tuff formation with just the tip jutting up out of the sea. You can book a day boat trip to Kicker Rock from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (about 1.5 hours by boat each way) where you can snorkel or SCUBA dive around the formation. We cruised around the rock on the Origin, then got tempted off course a bit to do some whale watching nearby.
We visited in: May
Activities: boat tour, snorkeling, SCUBA diving
Animal highlights: We saw four humpback whales at sunset near Kicker Rock.
Here are photos from around Kicker Rock.
More Galapagos travel tips
- Part 1 in our Galapagos Islands Travel Guide series gives you the facts you need to plan your trip to the Galapagos Islands.
- Part 2 is our Santa Cruz Island Travel Guide including what to do and where to sleep on this tourist hub island.
- Part 3 tells you what to expect during boat trips to landings around Santa Cruz Island.
- Part 4 covers highlights from North Seymour, South Plaza, and Daphne Islands.
- Part 5 is our San Cristóbal Island Travel Guide.
- Part 7 reveals highlights of visiting Santa Fe Island.
- Part 8 tells you what to expect on Genovesa Island.
- Part 9 gives you travel highlights from Fernandina Island.
- Part 10 helps you explore Isabela Island.
- Part 11 takes you around Santiago Island.
- Part 12 tells you what to expect on Floreana Island.
Here’s more about travel in Ecuador
Here’s more about Island Travel
Here’s more about Galapagos Travel