Travelers wanting to keep their costs low will enjoy this short but active five-day tour. Staying on Santa Cruz Island, you'll take tours to some of the highlights, such as the unmissable Charles Darwin Research Station, and a boat tour where you can snorkel with sea turtles if you wish. There's also plenty of downtime scheduled, so choose your own activities that suit your interests: chill out on a beach, visit enormous Galapagos tortoises, and more.

Highlights

  • See giant Galapagos tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island
  • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Snorkel off pristine beaches
  • Encounter endemic species up close

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Santa Cruz Island Santa Cruz Island
Day 2 Santa Cruz Highlands - Puerto Ayora - Charles Darwin Station Puerto Ayora
Day 3 Free Morning - Afternoon Boat Tour Puerto Ayora
Day 4 Free Day Puerto Ayora
Day 5 Transfer to Airport on Baltra Island  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island

After arriving at Baltra Airport, you'll be met and transferred to Santa Cruz Island via a ferry. Check into your hotel and spend your first afternoon on the island at leisure.

Day 2: Santa Cruz Highlands - Puerto Ayora - Charles Darwin Station

Giant Galapagos tortoises

Today, your guide will pick you up and take you to the highlands of Santa Cruz, where you can observe giant Galapagos tortoises in the wild. Enjoy lunch at a local ranch in the highlands, followed by the observation of giant creatures.

Continue to the port of Puerto Ayora and check in to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Station, where scientists from all over the world meet and work together on environmental projects such as water analysis, animal protection, the effects of tourism on nature, and more. Here you can visit the turtle breeding station, where the animals are raised before being released into nature. Land iguanas can be observed here too. 

Day 3: Free Morning - Afternoon Boat Tour

Snorkeling with a sea turtle
Snorkeling with a sea turtle

Your morning is free to spend as you wish, perhaps on the beach, going for a walk, or enjoying the sounds of nature as you find the perfect spot to sit and read. 

In the afternoon, head onto the water on a tour of the bay. Aboard a small boat, you'll visit the coves and beaches of Santa Cruz Island. Swim with playful sea lion cubs, go snorkeling to see the extraordinary diversity of sea life, or sunbathe on the beach. 

Day 4: Free Day

Seals on the beach

Today is yours to spend as you wish, with no planned activities. Feel free to hike to Tortuga Bay, take a stroll in the peaceful town of Puerto Ayora, go on a tour to visit hidden beaches, or rent a bike to explore the highlands on your own. It's up to you.

Day 5: Transfer to Airport on Baltra Island

Beautiful sunset in the Galapagos
Beautiful sunset in the Galapagos

Depending on the time of your flight, you might have some free time this morning to do some last-minute souvenir shopping in Puerto Ayora. 

Your driver will transfer you to the ferry across the Itabaca Channel. For the last part of your trip to the airport, you'll take the public shuttle bus to the terminal and check in for your flight. Farewell Galapagos!