With 10 days to spend in the Galápagos Islands, you could opt for a land-based tour of the archipelago's natural highlights. Or choose a cruise tour that takes you around the islands, stopping 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 Galápagos into a broader tour that covers Ecuador's highlights, or combine several days in the Galápagos 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: Galápagos Islands Highlights 

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

Hiking in the Galápagos Islands
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive on Isla San Cristóbal Isla San Cristóbal
Day 2 Tour San Cristobal Island Isla San Cristóbal
Day 3 Snorkel at Kicker Rock Isla San Cristóbal
Day 4 Transfer to Isla Isabela Isabela
Day 5 Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano Isabela
Day 6 Excursion to Los Tuneles Isabela
Day 7 Take a Speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz 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 Galápagos Islands! Start the journey on Isla San Cristóbal with a visit to the Interpretation Center to learn about the history of the Galápagos. 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 Isla Isabela.

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 Túneles. You'll have a chance to swim or snorkel here, keeping your eyes open for penguins on the nearby rocks. Take a speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz 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 Galápagos Archipelago

Island-hop around the Galápagos 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 Galápagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive at Isla San Cristóbal  Isla San Cristóbal
Day 2 Explore Santa Fe & Plaza Sur Cruise Ship
Day 3 Visit Charles Darwin Station & Isla Santa Cruz 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 Seymour Norte & 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 Isla San Cristóbal, you'll head to Isla Santa Fe and Isla Plaza Sur, 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 Galápagos tortoises in the wild on Isla Santa Cruz. 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 Isla Seymour Norte, 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

Plan your trip to Galapagos Islands
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Itinerary #3: Galápagos & Machu Picchu Adventure

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

Sunset in the Galápagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive at Isla Santa Cruz & Visit Charles Darwin Station Puerto Ayora
Day 2 Day Trip to an Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 3 Ride a Speedboat to Isla Isabela & Los Túneles 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 Isla Santa Cruz in the Galápagos. 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 Isla Isabela and go snorkeling around the otherworldly rock structures at Los Túneles, spotting penguins, seahorses, and sea turtles in the water. Top off your Galápagos 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 Galápagos.

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 Isla Santa Cruz & 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 Galápagos Islands. You'll arrive at Isla Santa Cruz 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 Galápagos Islands Itineraries

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


Map of 10 Days in the Galápagos Islands - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 10 Days in the Galápagos Islands - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas