Start your Galapagos trip on Isla Santa Cruz at the Charles Darwin Research Centre, learning more about the conservation of wildlife on the archipelago, before snorkelling with sea lions at Tortuga Bay. Next, travel to Isla Fernandina to see thousands of marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions and flightless cormorants. From here, sail to Isla Isabela, the archipelago’s largest island. Hike up Volcan Wolf to reach the Galapagos’ highest point, or visit Volcan Alcedo for giant tortoises and young hawks. Your next stop should be Isla Bartolome, where a path leads up to a 114m summit offering a 360-degree panorama of the island. This is also a great place to snorkel, allowing you to swim with marine turtles and Galapagos penguins. Nearby lies the tiny dark-red beach of Isla Rabida and its lagoon of pink flamingos. After sailing back to Santa Cruz, journey to the southerly Isla Espanola to see the archipelago’s best birdlife. Here, you can see waved albatross, oystercatchers, the Hood mockingbird and many more. End your Galapagos adventure with the hundreds of sea lions on Isla San Cristobal.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Isla Santa Cruz, Isla Isabela, Isla Rabida, Isla San Cristóbal, Isla Española, Isla Bartolomé, Isla Fernandina
Activity Activity Cruise & Sailing, Luxury, Nature & Wildlife
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Arrival in the Galapagos

Arrival in the Galapagos

Day 1 in Isla Santa Cruz

Fly to Baltra Island, Santa Cruz.

See the unique marine iguana on Isla Fernandina

See the unique marine iguana on Isla Fernandina

Day 2 in Isla Fernandina

The third largest — and youngest — of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina has a unique environment which makes it a haven for thousands of slowly-moving marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and sea lions. This is also the island where you’re most likely to see a volcanic eruption, with the last happening in 2009.

Don't miss

Explore Punta Espinosa colourful sea life

Explore Punta Espinosa colourful sea life

Punta Espinosa on Isla Fernandina is home to some of the most interesting sea creatures in the archipelago. Enjoy watching lazy marine iguanas mingling with sea lions and colourful Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Go volcano climbing on Isla Isabela

Go volcano climbing on Isla Isabela

Day 3 in Isla Isabela

Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and is made up of five (sometimes) active volcanoes. Check out Volcan Wolf — the highest point in the entire Galapagos and Volcan Alcedo, home to hundreds of giant tortoises and juvenile hawks.

Don't miss

Snorkelling at Los Túneles

Snorkelling at Los Túneles

A maze of submerged lava tubes formed by Isabela Island’s numerous volcanoes, Los Túneles is refuge to sea turtles, reef sharks, mantas, seahorses, and numerous other species. Snorkelling here is akin to swimming in a giant aquarium.

Swim with sea lions

Swim with sea lions

Sea lions are abundant across the islands and are generally fearless around humans. Go for a swim on any of San Cristobal’s beaches and you’re bound to encounter a colony sunning on the beach or playing in the water.

Visit a pirate hideaway at Tagus Cove

Visit a pirate hideaway at Tagus Cove

Tucked away Tagus Cove was historically used by pirates and whalers as a hiding point. Today, visitors can still see their graffiti carved into Isla Isabela’s cliffs on their hike to the nearby salt-water Darwin Lake.

Explore the underwater caves of Punta Vicente Roca

Explore the underwater caves of Punta Vicente Roca

Take a panga ride to Punta Vicente Roca to snorkel two shallow underwater caves where you can see bullhead sharks, seahorses, batfishes and schools of barracuda.

Take in the views on Isla Bartolomé

Take in the views on Isla Bartolomé

Day 4 in Isla Bartolomé

Tiny Bartolomé is most famous for its landscapes and scenery. A set of steep steps leads to a 360-degree viewpoint over the island, looking back on black volcanic formations, marine life and striking reds and greens.

Don't miss

Penguins and Pinnacle Rock

Penguins and Pinnacle Rock

Pinnacle Rock on Bartolomé Island is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the Galapagos. Climb its 114m summit for views before heading down to the beach to see -- and swim -- with the diminutive Galapagos penguin.

Visit the red soil of Isla Rabida

Visit the red soil of Isla Rabida

Day 5 in Isla Rabida

Famous for the unique red colour of its beach and cliffs, Isla Rabida is known for the sizeable number of flamingos that feed on shrimp in its lagoon, snorkelling with sea lions and the large number of bird species that live here.

Follow in Darwin’s footsteps on Isla Santa Cruz

Follow in Darwin’s footsteps on Isla Santa Cruz

Day 6 in Isla Santa Cruz

Almost all visitors to the Galapagos Islands will touch down in Isla Santa Cruz at some point. From beach walks at Tortuga Bay to giant tortoises at El Chato Reserve, there is plenty to see — but make sure to visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre to learn more about the wildlife you’ll encounter on your trip.

Don't miss

Walk in the hills with giant tortoises

Walk in the hills with giant tortoises

The endangered giant tortoise is making a comeback on the Galapagos thanks to a concerted conservation effort. Head to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see these gentle giants shuffling around the hills.

Get away from it all on Isla Española

Get away from it all on Isla Española

Day 7 in Isla Española

Española is one of the more remote Galapagos Islands, at some 90km southeast of Isla Santa Cruz. Visitors come from March to December to see its colony of waved albatross, giant tortoises and the Hood mockingbird – which is found nowhere else on earth.

Don't miss

Sea kayaking on Española

Sea kayaking on Española

Kayaking is a great way to explore the marine environment without getting too close to the wildlife. There are various designated spots but Española Island, with its mangrove forests and coral beaches, is especially good.

Hang out with sea lions on Isla de San Cristóbale

Hang out with sea lions on Isla de San Cristóbale

Day 8 in Isla San Cristóbal

Sea lions are everywhere in San Cristobal, so head down to any accessible waterfront to see noisy sea lions and furry babies frolicking on the sand and occasionally taking to the water.

Where to stay

Classic

Habitat Hotel

An iconic Galapagos hotel situated in Puerto Ayora on the waterfront of Academy Bay, Isla Santa Cruz. Hotel facilities include private deck and restaurant area with incredible panoramic views of the Galapagos Islands.

Classic

Coral 1 & 2

The perfect cruise vessels for charter groups where comfort is guaranteed. Equipped with two terraces, a dining area, lounge, library, jacuzzi and restaurant serving Ecuadorian and international cuisine.

Capacity: 36 passengers.

Superior

Sea Star Journey

Boutique yacht offering a wide range of itineraries for those wanting visit the Galapagos Islands in comfort. Featuring 8 air-conditioned suites and spacious social areas with all the luxuries and facilities of a superior first class motor yacht.

Capacity: 16 passengers.

Deluxe

M/V Evolution

This ship features stylish staterooms and suites, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a library cabin, an observation deck, a sundeck with a small hot-tub, a canopied roof-deck bar, and a medically staffed infirmary.

Capacity: 32 passengers.

Deluxe

Pikaia Lodge

A secluded, sustainability-focused hotel nestled on top of an extinct volcano crater, offering luxurious accommodation with an on-site restaurant, infinity pool, spa and lounge bar.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from $3,910pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

Learn more

Contact us now and we'll connect you with a specialist tour operator with more information on how to tailor and book this itinerary.

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