If you have a week to spend in the Galápagos Islands, choose between a cruise and a land-based tour. You could sail around the archipelago on a yacht, stopping at various islands to hike and view wildlife, or you could base yourself on one or more of the islands, going on daily excursions to snorkel with penguins, kayak in the sea and look for blue-footed boobies in the wild. Alternatively, get an overview of Ecuador's top highlights by combining a few days in the Galápagos with a trip to Quito and Cotopaxi National Park. Learn more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.

Itinerary #1: Galápagos Island-Hopping

Discover the natural beauty of the Galápagos on this land-based 7-day tour around the archipelago that takes you to various islands to view wildlife, snorkel, kayak, hike, and relax on the beach. 

Sierra Negra Volcano on Isabela Island
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive on 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 & Las Tintoreras Islet Isabela
Day 4 Snorkel Around Rock Formations at Los Tuneles Isabela
Day 5 Go Kayaking in Tortuga Bay Puerto Ayora
Day 6 View Wildlife on Another Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 7 Transfer to Airport & Depart  

Welcome to the Galápagos Islands! Arrive on Santa Cruz Island to begin the adventure. You'll get an overview of conservation efforts in the archipelago by visiting the Charles Darwin Station, then you'll see giant tortoises in the grassy fields nearby. On day two, you'll travel to an uninhabited island for wildlife viewing — keep your eyes open for blue-footed boobies and nesting frigate birds.

Catch a speedboat to Isabela Island the next day, where you'll go on a snorkeling excursion at Las Tintoreras Islet. It's a good warm-up for the following day's snorkel trip around the otherworldly rock formations at Los Tuneles: you're likely to see tropical fish, rays, turtles, seahorses, and white-tipped reef sharks, not to mention penguins. Stay above the water on day five while kayaking around beautiful Tortuga Bay. Relax on the beach, then enjoy one last trip to another uninhabited island for hiking and wildlife spotting on the last day of the trip. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Outdoor Adventure in the Galápagos

Viewing wildlife — whether hiking, boating, and snorkeling — is the emphasis of this active adventure through the great outdoors of the Galápagos.

A curious sea lion greets a snorkeler in the Galápagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive on San Cristobal Island & Visit Interpretation Center  San Cristobal Island
Day 2 Snorkel at Kicker Rock San Cristobal Island
Day 3 Ride a Speedboat to Santa Cruz Island Puerto Ayora
Day 4 Explore the Outdoors on an Afternoon Boat Tour Puerto Ayora
Day 5 Day Trip to an Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 6 Free Day to Hike and Swim Puerto Ayora
Day 7 Transfer to Airport & Depart   


Start the adventure on San Cristobal Island, which has its own airport. On the first day, you'll visit the Interpretation Center, see frigate birds nesting at Tijeretas Hill, and view the sea lion colony at La Lobería. Snorkel at famous Kicker Rock the next day, where you'll likely see sea lions, colorful fish, rays, turtles, and hammerhead sharks beneath the water's surface. Ride a speedboat to Santa Cruz Island the next day; you'll have the chance to see giant tortoises near the Charles Darwin Center.

For the rest of the trip, you'll base yourself in the port town of Puerto Ayora. Enjoy an afternoon boat tour on day four to get an overview of the area, then day-trip to an uninhabited island nearby on the following day. You'll have a free day at the end of the trip for any outdoor activities you might like to try: biking, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, boating, and more. One great option is to hike to Tortuga Bay and go kayaking — a wonderful way to end the adventure. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Cruise the Galápagos

Explore the awe-inspiring Galápagos Islands by day — and sleep on a boat at night — on this 7-day cruise around the world-famous archipelago.

Kayaking beside a yacht in the Galápagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive on Baltra Island & Explore Mosquera Islet Cruise Ship
Day 2 Visit the Breeding Center for Giant Tortoises Cruise Ship
Day 3 Cruise to Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island Cruise Ship
Day 4 Tour Charles Darwin Station & Discover the Highlands Puerto Ayora
Day 5 Sail Around Española Island & Gardner Bay Cruise Ship
Day 6 See Blue-Footed Boobies in the Wild on Eden Islet  Cruise Ship
Day 7 Depart Baltra   


All aboard! You'll start the cruise on Baltra Island after flying into Baltra's airport. Your first destination will be Mosquera Islet, home to a huge population of sea lions and birds. Enjoy the sunset from the boat's deck and get some rest before the next day's adventures. Dock at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the archipelago’s capital, and transfer to Cerro Colorado to visit the breeding center for giant tortoises. Then go hiking at Punta Pitt; the trail offers spectacular views of the coastline. Continue on to Santa Fe Island and South Plaza Island for more wildlife viewing and hiking.

On day four, stop at the town of Puerto Ayora and tour Charles Darwin Station to learn about conservation efforts on the islands. You'll sail around Española Island, spotting sea bird colonies at Punta Suarez, then continuing to the gorgeous coral beach of Gardner Bay and the nearby Osborn Islet, where you'll have the option to go snorkeling. Look for blue-footed boobies on Eden Islet on the last day of the trip, then enjoy one last sunset on the boat before flying out the next day.  Learn more

Itinerary #4: Best of Ecuador: Quito & the Galápagos Islands - 7 Days

On this ambitious 7-day itinerary, you'll divide your time between Ecuador's capital city of Quito and the wilderness of the Galápagos Islands, enjoying boat tours, wildlife viewing, and cultural sightseeing along the way.

A school of tropical fish in the Galápagos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito & Get Oriented Quito
Day 2 Take a City Tour & Visit Mitad del Mundo  Quito
Day 3 Fly to Santa Cruz Island & Tour Charles Darwin Station Puerto Ayora
Day 4 Day Trip to an Uninhabited Island Puerto Ayora
Day 5 Boat Tour Around the Islands Puerto Ayora
Day 6 Discover More Wildlife While Island-Hopping  Puerto Ayora
Day 7 Depart Baltra Island  


Welcome to Ecuador's capital city of Quito! You'll take a guided city tour to see the major sights and monuments, then head over to Mitad del Mundo, where you can stand on the line of the equator. Then return to Quito for an evening out on the town, shopping for Ecuadorian handicrafts and sampling local cuisine in one of the city's many excellent restaurants. After a few days in Ecuador, you'll switch gears for the second part of the trip, catching a domestic flight to the Galápagos Islands.

Start on Santa Cruz Island by touring Charles Darwin Station to learn about giant tortoises and conservation efforts on the islands. Go island-hopping for the next few days, boating to uninhabited islands to look for blue-footed boobies, penguins, and a wide variety of birds. Take the chance to go snorkeling or just relax on the islands' white sandy beaches. You'll overnight in Puerto Ayora, enjoying the small town's bars and restaurants at night, before the trip comes to a close. 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. 

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


Map of 1 Week in the Galápagos Islands - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 1 Week in the Galápagos Islands - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas