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San Cristobal Island Cerro Brujo And Kicker Rock Tour







Looking back towards Galapagos Islands Cerro Brujo and Kicker Rock across the vast Pacific Ocean.

Intro: Our island excursion to Cerro Brujo within the Galapagos Islands turned out to be a whirlwind of emotions – from feeling sheer terror within a narrow opening in the “witch mountain” to soaking up the sun on a pristine stretch of isolated beach.

A colorful Galapagos penguin on the rocky shores of San Cristobal Island Cerro Brujo.

When Henry and I were traveling around the Galapagos Islands, I was always excited each time we got off the cruise ship and loaded onto our dinghies (Go Team Albatross!). This time we were on our way to Cerro Brujo, which has an intimidating name since it literally translates to “witch mountain.”

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but was trying to keep an open mind. Soon enough, an impressive rock formation came into view in the middle of the ocean which, on first sight, reminded me of those in Cabo San Lucas. I later learned that this was Kicker Rock.

We did a “ride by” (not to be confused with “drive by”!) of Kicker Rock, one of the Galapagos Island’s most beautiful and iconic sites. Unlike our big Galapagos Legend cruise ship, being in the dinghy allowed us to get up close and take some great photos. But our main destination for the excursion was Cerro Brujo so onward we rode.

An iconic Galapagos image of Kicker Rock framed in the outcrop of San Cristobal Island Cerro Brujo.

It took another minute or two cruising in the dinghy before we got to this gigantic rock formation, and while there was no intention for us to actually dock at this site, we did have fun riding through a spectacular opening of Cerro Brujo. When our guide Jorge told us to turn and look behind us, we were rewarded with the postcard perfect image of Kicker Rock framed in the opening. That was pretty awesome!

I got so comfortable during this island excursion that I forgot completely about the sorcery associated with this rock formation, but our crew was just about to test our nerves. Within Cerro Brujo there was a tiny sliver of a split that didn’t cut across the entire way, but was extremely tall and narrow. Lots of waves could be seen crashing within its cove because of the nature of its shape.

“We’re not going in there are we?”: the narrow and precarious opening in Cerro Brujo.

I thought to myself, there is no way we’re going in there! This is when I was really wrong! Jorge had a smirk on his face that made us all question his motives and within the blink of an eye, our dinghy was pointed straight towards that cove. HOLY MOLY (and some other expletives) were what came to my mind.

It seemed so easy to get into this cove as our driver Roberto charged the dinghy straight in. Once we were inside, we all shared a “S*** just got real!” moment and became a bit bugged-eyed! Looking up, it seemed like Cerro Brujo stretched for miles. I just prayed that there wouldn’t be an earthquake! Our dinghy was moving up and down with the roll of the waves as we got further into the cove.

The soaring cliff faces of Cerro Brujo, one of our Galapagos Island excursion destinations.

Jorge kept us sitting there, having great fun watching as our apprehension built, and eventually Roberto used his mad skills to get us out of there safely. I was so grateful for him, especially when it seemed like the waves were crashing higher and higher along the nearby rocks. Suffice to say, riding through that narrow and rough passage was a heart stopper!

Once we were out, everyone on the dinghy gave a sigh of relief, followed by hysterical laughter, since we were still in shock of what had just happened! We forgave Jorge once we were within a safe distance away from that intimidating formation and stumbled upon the magnificent Cerro Brujo beach on San Cristobal Island a few minutes later.

The size of our dinghy gives some perspective to just how immense Cerro Brujo is.

The sky was a glorious blue with white fluffy clouds, and the sand looked untouched and soft as silk. Within minutes, we went from feeling terrified on the dinghy to peaceful in paradise. Talk about a whirlwind of emotions. Suffice to say, we ended this excursion on a perfect note!


  • 1: Embrace the unexpected when you enter the narrow, turbulent water canyons of Cerro Brujo.
  • 2: Get an iconic photo of Kicker Rock through one of the arches of San Cristobal Island.
  • 3: Be humbled on the sheer size of the rock formations surrounding you and look out for curious birds and seals.
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