The El Junco lagoon has an area of 60,000 m2 and its volume is 360,000 m3, equivalent to 9 million gallons of water. Its diameter is 270 m. and its maximum depth is 6 m. It is fed only with rainwater, in the dry season it decreases up to 1 m. and when there are heavy rains it increases its level until it overflows forming a stream. The El Junco lagoon is located 19 kilometers from the port inside a large volcano, now extinct, its name comes from a type of plant that is common in its surroundings, called "junco". The lagoon is also surrounded by Miconia, a species of flora endemic to the Galapagos. It is also one of the favorite places for frigatebirds that fly and graze its waters with fresh water.
The beach is 10 minutes from San Cristóbal airport. La Lobería is a coral sand beach that has been named for the large number of sea lions that rest on its rocks and sand. It is one of the places where you can practice surfing. In the tour you will find mangle button, white mangrove, chala, palo santo, cotton, Tiquilia, glorious morning and other species of the littoral zone, such as the chub of goat, whose seeds are the main food of several species of finches. In addition to the sea lions, you can see birds such as the canary maria, frigates and several species of finches. On the rocks, you will find large marine iguanas from Galapagos, unique in the world. You can distinguish male sea lions from females by size. The male is usually larger and stronger, weighing up to 250 kg when they are adults; They are also distinguished by having a protuberance on the head. Socially organized in colonies or harems. Each colony is composed of a dominant male and around 30 females with their respective puppies. Sea lions are animals with a marked territorial sense. Adult males defend their limits from other males. They spend much of the day watching their space and emitting a series of sounds and movements reaffirming their territorial power. Sometimes they can be aggressive with humans. Keep a safe distance.
The name Tijeretas is a common name for frigate birds so it was adopted for the hill, as these birds are a common sight in the area. It is located not far from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. La Predial, a fishing community which was active on the Island between 1952 and 1960, is nearby. The place can be accessed by a road which leads to Mann Beach, its length is 3.5 km/2 miles and it will take you about 2 hours to complete the trek. There are many corners where visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery, and snorkeling can be practiced in a small inlet. Also, Cerro Tijeretas is one of the few places where two species of frigate-birds nesting in one colony can be observed together. One of the lookout points boasts a canon made in the United Sates which dates back to the WWII and was pulled out by the Ecuadorian Marines in the early 1970s for military practice purposes. Another lookout point provides a panoramic view of the northern coast of the Island including Kicker Rock (León Dormido), Cerro Brujo beach, and Tijeretas Hill. The third observation site is home to the statue of Charles Darwin in honor of his visit to San Cristobal. The highest view point is located at Tijeretas Hill.
This place is situated in the South East zone of San Cristobal, 22.4 km from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. One can access the place by driving from the Port and the bus takes around 40 minutes. It is close to mount Cerro Colorado and that is the origin of its name. This is one of a few places where the plant Calandrina Galapagos can be found, an endemic species of the Island that is on the verge of extinction. This Raising center was built to increase the population of giant tortoises, Geochelone Chatamensis, under conditions that are similar to the natural habitat of this species and thus to support the development of tourism on the Island. The infrastructure was integrated into a large enclosure of 1415 m2 and it includes a visiting center (that consists of an Interpretation Center, a conference room, a souvenir shop, a snack bar, toilets, and the administration office), a raising center (nurseries and a herpetology lab), walking trails, and two living quarters. There were two populations of giant tortoises on San Cristobal, one in the northeast of the island that at the moment is home to some 1400 individuals and from where the first tortoises raised at Cerro Colorado were taken. The other one was in the south of the Island, next to the Cerro Colorado raising center. This population became extinct because of the overhunting by the whalers in the XIX century. The population of land tortoises in the northern part of the island is seriously threatened because of the presence of introduced animals (mainly wild goats, rats, and cats), that have been impossible to eradicate despite all the efforts to do so. In the Interpretation Center an explanation of the origin and evolution of the population of giant tortoises on the Island (Geochelone chatamensis) is provided, as well as of the relationship between the tortoises of the area of San Cristobal and other tortoises of the archipelago. There is also information on the current status of the population of giant tortoise and why this area is essential to guarantee the survival of this species. Different species of native and endemic plants of the Galápagos can be found along the trial, such as cats claw (Zanthoxylun fagara), manzanillo or poison apple (Hippomane mancinella), matazarno (Piscidia carthagenensis), romerillo (Macraea laricifolia), lechoso (Scalesia penduculata), chalá (Croton scouleri), acacia (Acacia sp.) and guabillo (Psidium galapageium). Also, associated with these plants there are different types of birds such as mocking birds (Nesomimus melanotis), wabrels (dendroica petechial), small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa), tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), and flycatcher (Myiarchus magnirostris).
To the northeast of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is an ancient and eroded volcanic lava tuff cone, named León Dormido or Kicker Rock. It is formed by two rocks approximately 148 meters/485 feet, named for its resemblance of a sleeping lion. The rocks form an exceptional canal for swimming, taking pictures, scuba diving, snorkeling, and observation of species like blue–footed boobie birds, Nazca boobie birds, frigates, pelicans and sea lions. Under water, you can observe Galapagos sharks, white- and black-tipped reef sharks, hammerheads, sea turtles, eagle rays and many tropical fish.
Manglecito consists of two visiting areas: the mangrove area and the beach area. The mangrove area provides a perfect location for interpretation and observation of marine birds, whereas the beach area is used as a solely recreational area. The vegetation characteristic of this zone is the Sesubium edmonstonei and the button mangrove. There is a lagoon here where it is common to see Galapagos ducks, among other endemic and native species. The presence of a rocky reef on one side of the island produces waves that are ideal for surfing.
Punta Carola is a beach situated to the northeast part of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The beach is around 300 m/984 feet long with a dry forest along it. A huge colony of sea lions (Zalophus californianas wolebaeki) can be found on this beach and marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) can be seen in the bushes and on the rocks. The population of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno uses this area for recreation. People who visit Tijeretas Hill may also access Punta Carola via a trail.
Cerro Brujo, or Witch’s Hill, is located on the northern coast of the San Cristobal Island, the trail to visit this place will take you about 3 hours, accessible only by tour boat. The main attraction is the coral sand beach as well as a variety of flora and fauna species. It is an eroded tuff cone, which in some of its parts, is composed of lava. The citizens of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno used to extract salt to preserve cod fish, meat from their farms, and tortoise meat. This is a place to observe marine birds. Cerro Brujo offers an excellent landscape from which you may see León Dormido, the south of the highest part of San Cristobal, and the adjacent coast. Two halophyte species (Salicornia fructirosa y Scaevola plumieri) grow here in soils rich in salt.
The climate is divided into two periods: the hot season, with temperatures around 30 ° C (86 ° F) from January to May / June and the cool, dry season, with temperatures around 22 ° C (72 ° F) ) from June / July to December.
Seafood is not lacking in the gastronomy of the Galapagos Islands. There are different ways to consume them and each restaurant stands out for offering them with a particular touch
Swimming, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, deep diving, (scuba), horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching.
El Junco is the only freshwater lake in the entire archipelago. During the rainy season the level increases and the frigates use their waters to clean their feathers of sea salt.
You can hire services: navigable cruising tour, navigable diving tour, daily diving tour, terrestrial tour, bay tour, experiential fishing.
You can help the conservation of this World Heritage called Galapagos, make good ecotourism practices. Save water, avoid using plastics, save energy, consume local products.