Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Galapagos / Galapagos: Chosen Island San Cristobal - a decision we did not regret

Galapagos: Chosen Island San Cristobal - a decision we did not regret

By S/Y Bonobo — last modified Mar 27, 2015 02:08 PM

Published: 2015-03-23 00:00:00
Countries: Galapagos

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Wreck Bay) - San Cristobal - Galapagos

Today is our 5th. day on San Cristobal - 00°53,S / 089°36W

Originally bound for Isabela, we finally stopped at San Cristobal for facility reasons (out of diesel due to a nasty 6 days of wind “in the face”). 
We do not regret it. 
We will travel to Isabela by plane for a 3 day excursion and to one or two other islands by water-taxi/lancha.

San Cristobal Anchorage

The anchorage here at Cristobal is nice, practical and of excellent holding on a sandy bottom; A bit rolly for monohulls but this is unavoidable in the Galapagos.
There are a few (10) big yellow “professional - industrial type” mooring-boys available.  “First come first served” - The agent takes care of this. 
We preferred to drop anchor in 10 meter of water as we do not like the mooring-buoy to hit the boat at night at slack tide.

Fees

How did we ever, EVER, even think of not stopping in this ecological, last free animal kingdom on the planet where we, humans, are the “zoo attractions”!!!??? Swimming and playing with the sea-lions for hours under your own boat is worth every cent of the administration costs we had to spend!

We ended up paying US$1010 in total for the 20 days permit, fumigation, national park passes, agent and everything included.  
This works out at US$55 a day for two people, or US$27.50 each. This equates to the price for some moorings per night in the Virgin Islands, Caribbean. It's the same as the price for a mooring at the Pitons in St Lucia! 
Cheaper than any marina!

Formalities

We are happy we did the “real” fumigation here and did not buy a 150$  “fake “ certificate from the agent in Shelter Bay, Panama. 
Why ?
1- As a Naval officer, I could not insult the authorities here by presenting a well known “fake”; even if these are (not always) accepted. 
2- The “real” fumigation here cost only US$100 and takes a few minutes. 
3- We are sure there are no insects left alive on our boat, Bonobo! The products are safe and “human” friendly and DO NOT stain or cause any health problems.
4- The “inspection” was fast, 3/4 h with 5 very nice young “officials” plus the diver.

Our agent, Mr Pesantes Bolivar (we recommend him warmly as I recommend “JC” On Isabela) is professional, knows everyone and knows his way with the “officials”.  He does not speak one word of English but, with the few phrases of Spanish we mastered, the whole affair went smoothly. As we can witness, he handles the majority of the sailing vessels arriving here and non of these speak much Spanish.

None of the “officials” looked (too) closely at anything in particular, just a random check (see points of interest below). Same as the random “Custom check” in Martinique or some Caribbean Islands we are used to.

As Europeans, we were much more aggressively harassed for no reason by the US officials during our stay in US waters than here. Compared to the rude and aggressive behaviour of the US or French Customs, US Coastguards, California Health department and other national US  “Gestapo”, (understand,” the Homeland security”) the “inspection” here at San Cristobal is a walk in the park, a piece of cake, A “ Formality”.
I had to insist they looked under the floors and in the bilges ( I did not clean all this for nothing!).

Their points of interest:
NO fruit, plants, whatsoever (Veggies are Ok if clean of dirt and roots and in the fridge).
NO animals.
NO BARNACLES ! Algae is OK but NO barnacles!
They need to see the first aid kit, the fire extinguishers, the special “OIL absorbent” cloth.

The navy is interested in all specifications of your vessel such but not limited to: Diesel capacity, emergency material, rescue, raft, etc …

So, ALL the negative and pessimistic comments written on forums and blogs is Rubbish!  The officials in the Galapagos are nice, friendly, correct and everything is “by the book”.

Of course, there are rules and they need to be followed.  These “rules” can be easily looked up on the diverse “official” websites and the links on Noonsite will direct to most of them. 
People who have “problems” are the ones who try to avoid the rules or who are negligent as to hygiene, no up to date paperwork, basic maintenance, etc … OR … Are rude or aggressive with the “officials”.

These “rules” of inspections are not all created by the Government of Ecuador, but by the different world wildlife protection and nature protection organisations. One should know this before throwing the stone!

We do not feel  “ripped off”, we have papers, receipts and permits for every cent we paid.  
How much would you pay for two people to swim and play for 20 days with sea-lions at sea-world or Disneyland?

Yes, it is not “cheap”, but it is in my opinion a acceptable price to visit the last wildlife and nature paradise. Only people who are really interested will make the effort.  A “Natural selection” in its own way ….

Expenses are cheap in the Galapagos

The daily expenses here are cheap.

A Taxi cost 10 $ per HOUR  (70 $ for the whole day island tour for TWO persons, taxi drivers are also accredited guides !!) and only 1$ to go shopping  “in town” or at the Market.

No need to use your own tender, there are water-taxis for 1 $ pp.
You can use your own tender but I strongly advise NOT to as there is no place to put them or to land and the sea-lions will use it as play room and flip it; or worse, sink it …
At this time diesel is 3.15 $ per gallon for the “visiting yachts” at the gas-station and 4.15 $ / Gal. (still 1/2 the price of Martinique) if delivered on your boat by watertaxi (the gas-station is miles from the harbour).
A full, excellent quality, grilled, evening meal with fish, steak, other meats and seafood that one cannot finish - so much food they serve, will cost 35 to 50 $ for two people all included with drinks.
Lobster dinner is 18 $ (full lobster) - against 100 $ on Anegada, BVI’s.
Local traditional lunch is 5 $ at Rosita’s.
ORGANIC LOCAL GROWN fruits and vegetables at the local market are 1-2 $ per pound, meat and fish are from 3 to 5 $ per pound, bread is 0,25 cents (French style EXCELLENT bread and “Viennoiseries” )
Lobster is 5 $ per kg at the fish market.
One can stock up fresh fruit and veggies (and frozen meat) for the passage to Polynesia for 1/2 the price of Panama! (makes me sick when I think I paid 200 $ for a few tomatoes, potatoes and salad at Contadore!).

The formalities in Polynesia might be “free” but the food is the most expensive on earth. I would prefer to pay 1.000 $ formality in Polynesia and have the food and services 10 times cheaper. Personal opinion.

Clearance Costs for a 40 ft Catamaran with two people on board :
140 $ - Port authority (Access to the harbour - Navy)
100 $ - Quarantine inspection (Creepy crawlies)
40 $ - Immigration (Passport’s stamps)
200 $ - National park permits (needed if one wants to visit other islands, parks or go diving and snorkelling)
40 $ - National council (Local TAX)
30 $ - Transport of the authorities to your vessel and the 30 something photocopies they need … !
20 $ - Garbage (your agent is responsible for your garbage, he will collect it upon request !)
25 $ - Diver who inspect your hull for barnacles.
100 $ - National park inspection (Fruit, veggies, plants, pets) …
15 $ - Zarpe international (clearance)
200 $ - Agent fee (Mr Bolivar really works a lot for his money, he will be there for any question and to organise any “excursion”, will get you garbage and a mooring-buoy if you request one)
100 $ - Fumigation and certificate (a real fumigation to clean your boat of all “pests” - I recommend this).

1.010 $ Total

Conclusion

Enjoy the moment, forget the money-issue, if you are sailing around the world with your own boat you can effort it. Think of the privilege you have to be able to be here!

Marc Verstraete van de Weyer
Captain S/Y Bonobo

Share |
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business