San Cristóbal: Punta Pitt and Cerro Brujo

Dec 02, 2017 - National Geographic Islander


San Cristóbal is one of the oldest islands of the Galápagos and the first island that Charles Darwin visited during his trip with the Beagle. Today we visited Punta Pitt located at the north-eastern part the Island, the closest point to the mainland and Cerro Brujo located halfway between Punta Pitt and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galápagos. Spectacular views from cliffs and from the shore are the best way to spend the last day of the cruise.

In the morning we landed at Punta Pitt and were welcomed by the San Cristóbal mockingbird and San Cristóbal lava lizard, endemic only to this island. We also spotted for the first time the red-footed boobies nesting on Nolana bushes, a succulent endemic plant. Blue-footed boobies at different stages of their breeding cycle were observed. Some of them with feeding juveniles, two chicks, one chick, or incubating the eggs.

In the afternoon we landed at Cerro Brujo, a tuff cone adjacent to a beautiful sandy beach. From there we could view Kicker Rock, a spectacular tuff formation. Oystercatchers, marine iguanas, lava gulls, and playful sea lions were some of the creatures we observed this afternoon.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza

Naturalist

Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

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