Out on the eastern side of the archipelago, with a shape resembling a “shrivelled appendix” according to 1940s travel writer Victor von Hagen, SAN CRISTÓBAL is the administrative seat of the Galápagos and at 558 square kilometres is its fifth largest island. Wreck Bay, at its western tip, is the site of the provincial capital, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a peaceful town slowly awakening to the rustle of tourist dollars since the island’s airport opened in 1986. In its favour is the excellent Centro de Interpretación, which concentrates on the human and natural history of the islands, plus the nearby islets León Dormido (Kicker Rock) and Isla Lobos, which often feature in local excursions. On the rest of the island, points of interest include the highland town of El Progreso, site of Manuel Cobos’s tyrannical colony, Laguna El Junco, the largest freshwater lake in the Galápagos, and Punta Pitt, the archipelago’s easternmost point.

Cerro San Joaquín (summit measurements range from 730m to 896m), whose windward slopes are fertile enough to be farmed, dominates the southwestern half of the island. The northeastern area has the characteristic volcanic landscape of the archipelago, a collection of lava flows, spatter cones and other volcanic features.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Ecuador features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

15 things everyone learns backpacking South America

South America has become a favoured destination for the intrepid backpacker, and while it’s impressive in the astounding diversity of its nations, there are a…

02 Mar 2016 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
19 places for a digital detox

19 places for a digital detox

Find peace at Buddhist monastery, Nepal Trim out the religious and/or mystical connotations and Buddhism boils down to something quite simple – brain trainin…

14 Nov 2014 • Neil McQuillian camera_alt Gallery
Things to do in Ecuador beyond the Galápagos

Things to do in Ecuador beyond the Galápagos

There's so much more to Ecuador than just the Galápagos. Chitra Ramaswamy went on her own voyage of discovery to find the best things to do in Ecuador, beyond …

07 Nov 2014 • Chitra Ramaswamy insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month