With ten days to spend in the Galapagos Islands, you could opt for a land-based tour that takes you to the archipelago's natural highlights. Or choose a cruise tour that takes you around the islands, stopping along the way to hike to volcanic craters, snorkel with penguins and sea lions, and walk around the habitats of blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises. Alternatively, work your trip to the Galapagos into a broader tour that covers Ecuador's highlights, or combine several days in the Galapagos with an adventure across the Peruvian border, ending at Machu Picchu. Find out more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.

Itinerary #1: Galapagos Islands Highlights 

On this exciting 10-day tour, you'll see the best of the Galapagos, visiting the islands of San Cristobal, Isabela, and Santa Cruz — plus another uninhabited island — for wildlife viewing, hiking, and snorkeling. 

Hiking in the Galapagos Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive on San Cristobal Island San Cristobal Island
Day 2 Tour San Cristobal Island San Cristobal Island
Day 3 Snorkel at Kicker Rock San Cristobal Island
Day 4 Transfer to Isabela Island Isabela
Day 5 Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano Isabela
Day 6 Excursion to Los Tuneles Isabela
Day 7 Take a Speedboat to Santa Cruz Island Puerto Ayora
Day 8 Day Trip to an Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 9 Visit Another Island in the Area Puerto Ayora
Day 10 Transfer to Airport & Depart  


Welcome to the Galapagos Islands! Start the journey on San Cristobal Island with a visit to the Interpretation Center to learn about the history of the Galapagos. Spot frigate birds nesting at Tijeretas Hill, also offering a spectacular panoramic view over the island, and visit the sea lion colony at La Lobería. You'll snorkel with colorful rays, turtles, and fish at Kicker Rock on day three before moving on to Isabela Island.

Hike to the top of the Sierra Negra Volcano to see a massive volcanic crater. The following day, go on an excursion to the otherworldly rock formations at Los Tuneles. You'll have a chance to swim or snorkel here, keeping your eyes open for penguins on the nearby rocks. Take a speedboat to Santa Cruz Island next and visit Charles Darwin Station, where environmental scientists from all over the world work together. Finally, day-trip to an uninhabited island on the last full day of the trip, where you'll see blue-footed boobies, land iguanas, and various other kinds of wildlife. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Cruise the Galapagos Archipelago

Island-hop around the Galapagos on this 10-day cruise through the archipelago that takes you to a series of islands for wildlife viewing, snorkeling, hiking, and so much more. 

Cruising around the Galapagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive at San Cristobal Island  San Cristobal Island
Day 2 Explore Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island Cruise Ship
Day 3 Visit Charles Darwin Station & Santa Cruz Island Cruise Ship
Day 4 Hike Sierra Negra Volcano & Wetlands  Cruise Ship
Day 5 Discover Moreno Point & Elizabeth Bay  Cruise Ship
Day 6 Spot Rare Birds at Espinoza Point  Cruise Ship
Day 7 See the Tidal Pools of Puerto Egas  Cruise Ship
Day 8 Boat to North Seymour Island & Baltra  Puerto Ayora
Day 9 Day Trip to an Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 10 Depart Islands  Quito


You'll spend the first night of the trip on dry land in Puerto Baquerizo. Board the yacht on day two to begin the cruise. Leaving San Cristobal Island, you'll head to Santa Fe Island and South Plaza Island, both home to sea lion colonies and rare birds. You'll get an overview of conservation efforts on the island at Charles Darwin Station, then get the chance to see giant Galapagos tortoises in the wild on Santa Cruz Island. Get off the boat to hike to the volcanic crater of Sierra Negra Volcano on day four. 

The journey continues to Elizabeth Bay and Moreno Point. Go bird-watching at Espinoza Point and peer into the lava-carved tidal pools of Puerto Egas as the cruise advances in the direction of North Seymour Island, an uninhabited island known for its marine and aviary populations. Dock in Puerto Ayora, a town where you'll base yourself for the last day days of the trip. Day-trip to an uninhabited island for more hiking and wildlife viewing, then enjoy a seafood dinner on dry land in one of the port's family-run restaurants. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Galapagos & Machu Picchu Adventure

Visit two once-in-a-lifetime destinations on this wide-ranging itinerary that takes you around the Galapagos Islands before whisking you away to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, Peru.

Sunset in the Galapagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive at Santa Cruz Island & Visit Charles Darwin Station Puerto Ayora
Day 2 Day Trip to an Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 3 Ride a Speedboat to Isabela Island & Los Tuneles Isabela
Day 4 Hike Sierra Negra Volcano  Puerto Ayora
Day 5 Spend the Afternoon & Evening in Quito Quito
Day 6 Transfer to Lima & Try Peruvian Cuisine Lima
Day 7 City Tour of Cusco  Cusco
Day 8 Discover the Sacred Valley Aguas Calientes
Day 9 Spend the Day at Machu Picchu Cusco
Day 10 Depart Peru  


Hit the ground running as you arrive on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. On the first day, you'll visit Charles Darwin Station and see giant tortoises up close, then sleep in the town of Puerto Ayora. Day-trip to an uninhabited island to see blue-footed boobies on day two, then travel by speedboat to Isabela Island and go snorkeling around the otherworldly rock structures at Los Tuneles, spotting penguins, seahorses, and sea turtles in the water. Top off your Galapagos adventure with a hike to the massive crater at Sierra Negra Volcano before transferring to Quito.

Spend the night in Ecuador's capital, then cross the border to Peru and spend some time in Lima. Go for a sunset stroll in Miraflores and sample Peruvian food in a restaurant, then travel onward to Cusco. You'll go on a guided tour of the high-altitude city, visiting Inca ruins and learning about the region's history. Then spend a day exploring the green expanses of the Sacred Valley. Take the wonderfully scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes, where you'll spend the night before ascending to the heights of Machu Picchu on the last full day of the trip. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Highlights of Ecuador

See the best of Ecuador on this countrywide tour that includes stops in the capital city of Quito, Cotopaxi National Park, the wilderness of the Amazon, and a few days in the Galapagos.

View of Quito and the Cotopaxi Volcano
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito & Sightsee Quito
Day 2 Explore Cotopaxi National Park & City Tour Quito
Day 3 Head into the Rainforest at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Day 4 Adventure in the Amazon Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Day 5 Visit an Indigenous Community & Laguna Grande Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Day 6 Spend the Afternoon in Quito Quito
Day 7 Fly to Santa Cruz Island & Tour Charles Darwin Station Puerto Ayora
Day 8 Day Trip to an Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 9 Enjoy the Island at Your Own Pace Puerto Ayora
Day 10 Transfer to Airport & Depart  


Kick off the trip in Quito, getting to know Ecuador's capital city before delving into the wilderness. You'll hike to Cotopaxi Volcano in Cotopaxi National Park on day two, returning to the city for a guided tour. Then you'll head into the Amazonian rainforest at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, spending several days based at a lodge deep in the jungle. Early morning wildlife walks and guided canoe journeys are all on the agenda during your stay — look out for river dolphins! — as is a visit to an indigenous community to learn about traditional ways of life.

Back-track to Quito for a night before catching a flight to the Galapagos Islands. You'll arrive at Santa Cruz Island and tour Charles Darwin Station to learn about conservation efforts on the islands, then spot blue-footed boobies, penguins, and a wide variety of rare birds while day-tripping from Puerto Ayora to an uninhabited island offshore. With a full day at the end of the itinerary to choose your own activities, you're free to relax on the beach, bike to sea lion colonies, or take a motorboat to a snorkeling site where you'll be in the water with colorful fish, rays, and sea turtles. Learn more

More Great Galapagos Islands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Galapagos? Check out these other Galapagos Islands itineraries, with island-hopping cruises, land-based trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.


Map of 10 Days in the Galapagos Islands - 4 Unique Itineraries
Map of 10 Days in the Galapagos Islands - 4 Unique Itineraries