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The second most important island for tourism in the Galápagos, San Cristóbal is a large island at the eastern end of the archipelago. The main settlement here, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is the provincial capital of the Galápagos. Still, it is a small city and much less developed and less active than Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island.

Aside from the capital city, there's only one other settlement of note on San Cristóbal, El Progreso. Located several kilometers inland from the port, El Progreso was actually the first spot settled on the island. In 1879, Ecuadorean businessman Manuel Cobo set up a notorious prison camp here, using the free prison laborers to farm sugar cane, harvest sea-turtle meat, and slaughter and skin the island's feral cattle. Conditions on Cobo's prison farm were said to be cruel, and Cobo himself was a bit of a dictator; he even issued his own currency. An inmate uprising in January 1904 ended Cobo's life, although one of the town's main streets is still named after him.