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San Cristóbal (Chatham) image

San Cristóbal is the easternmost island in the Galapagos and its town, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is the islands' capital. El Junco lagoon, a crater lake 700m above sea level, was the only permanent source of fresh water in the archipelago and San Cristóbal was therefore one of the first islands to be settled. Agriculture was the primary focus for most residents, until a penal colony was built in 1880. Today, San Cristóbal has the second largest population of all the islands with approximately 5,400 residents, the majority of whom make their living in government, tourism or fishing.

Visitor sites on and around the island include: Punta Pitt - a steep and rocky gully leading up a tuff cliff to a breeding site for all three varieties of boobies: red-footed, blue-footed and Nazca; Cerro Brujo (Witch's Hill) - a powdery white-sand beach lined with black volcanic rocks, and one of the first sites to be visited by Darwin; El Junco - where gallinules and an endemic variety of white-cheeked pintail ducks can be seen; Isla Lobos - a tranquil islet that is a seasonal nesting site for blue-footed boobies, with good snorkelling and the possibility to spot sea lions and even fur seals; Frigatebird Hill - where a colony of magnificent frigatebirds and great frigatebirds live in harmony; and some wonderful marine sites such as Kicker Rock, Islote Five Fingers and Whale Rock, where snorkelling affords the opportunity to swim with turtles, rays and sharks.

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