Discover the famous flora and fauna of the Galápagos with this seven-day family trip that kicks off in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito. Explore the city's kid-friendly parks and cafés, then fly to San Cristóbal, the easternmost island in the UNESCO-listed archipelago. Here you'll experience the perfect mix of chilled beach time and aquatic adventures for all ages as you sunbathe, swim, and snorkel while getting up close and personal with the friendly local wildlife.


  • Hop between hemispheres at the Mitad del Mundo in Quito
  • Explore the beaches and underwater worlds of Isla San Cristóbal
  • Snorkel among sea lions, rays, and giant tortoises at Kicker Rock
  • Take a boat trip to spot blue-footed and Nazca boobies on Isla Lobos

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito, Explore Quito
Day 2 Quito City Tour, Visit Mitad del Mundo, Games Evening Quito
Day 3 Fly to Isla San Cristóbal & the Galapagos Isla San Cristóbal
Day 4 Explore Isla San Cristóbal's Beaches Isla San Cristóbal
Day 5 Wildlife Discovery at Isla Lobos Isla San Cristóbal
Day 6 Snorkeling Excursion to Kicker Rock Isla San Cristóbal
Day 7 Fly to Quito & Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito, Explore

View over the Plaza Grande in Quito, Ecuador
Welcome to Quito, Ecuador's historic and high-altitude capital

Welcome to Ecuador, the gateway to the Galápagos Islands! Your flight lands in the capital city of Quito, located in the foothills of the Andes and home to a rich cultural history, impressive culinary scene, and an array of picturesque plazas and market stalls. Upon arrival, your driver will collect you from the airport. Settle in at your hotel, and head out to explore after a refresh and a regroup.

If the kids are buzzing with excitement after the flight, then head straight to Parque La Carolina. With 165 acres (66 ha) of green space, and plenty of lakes, fountains, and children's play areas to explore, it's an excellent way for kids to burn off some energy. Take advantage of the park's food stalls to grab a bite to eat and stop in at the on-site botanical gardens. A network of paths takes you through the gardens and to the greenhouses, where you'll find a wide variety of beautiful orchids on display.

If energy levels are still high, take the TelefériQo cable car to the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, where you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the city, and kids will be thrilled with a go on one of the world's highest swings. Afterward, head to Quito's La Floresta neighborhood and grab a cool drink at one of the artsy cafés as you people-watch. It's a great family-friendly spot for dinner, with plenty of restaurants, street food, and eye-catching street art to admire. 

Day 2: Quito City Tour, Visit Mitad del Mundo, Games Evening

Colonial Quito City Tour & Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) Monument
Straddle hemispheres at the famous Mitad del Mundo monument

After breakfast, meet your guide at the hotel and set off to explore Quito's UNESCO-listed historic center with a private family tour. Make your way to La Compañía de Jesús, a 17th-century church made of volcanic rock and cedar with a gold-covered interior, and the neo-Gothic La Basílica del Voto, widely considered to be Ecuador's most important church. 

Next, stroll down La Ronda, a pre-Columbian walking trail brimming with cafés, art galleries, and boutiques that adorn the quaint walkways and open courtyards. If you and the kids have built up an appetite, this is a great area to grab a bite. Your guide will be happy to help with recommendations. Afterward, head with your guide by car to the north of the city, where you'll find the famous Mitad del Mundo—a monument commemorating the point where the Northern and Southern Hemispheres divide and the perfect spot for a family selfie. 

This evening, you have a couple of couple of options to help entertain the youngsters before dinner. Head to La Bodeguita de los Juegos, a board game café in downtown Quito with a relaxed and cozy atmosphere and a wide variety of games to choose from. Older ages might prefer the gaming lounge at the JW Marriott Hotel, where they can explore the large selection of video games and more traditional pursuits. If you and the kids enjoyed a hearty lunch, both places offer drinks and snacks so you can settle in and relax after your day of exploring. 

Day 3:  Fly to Isla San Cristóbal & the Galápagos

The male frigatebird
See the remarkable male frigatebirds at Las Tijeratas Hill

It's off to Isla San Cristóbal in the Galápagos today! At the appointed time, your driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport, where you'll catch a 3.5-hour flight to the famed volcanic archipelago located roughly 621 miles (1,000 km) off Ecuador's Pacific coast. Upon arrival, a private transfer will take you to your hotel. Settle in with the kids and then head out to explore. 

Start your exploration of the Galápagos' natural wonders with a visit to the island's Interpretation Center. The museum is a great starting point for families to discover the island's volcanic origins, climate, and of course, the different species of animals that call San Cristóbal home. You'll see several of these as you hike to Las Tijeretas Hill, including the local frigatebirds, after which the hill is named. The male birds are known for their balloon-shaped large red chests, making them an easy spot for the kids. 

End your day at La Lobería, a beach home to sea lions and marine iguanas. It's the perfect spot for a family snorkel, where you'll likely encounter the famous Galápagos sea turtle and a variety of colorful fish. As dusk falls, dine out on sparkling fresh seafood and toast the start of your island adventure.

Day 4: Explore Isla San Cristóbal's Beaches

Spend time with the kids on Isla San Cristobal's gorgeous beaches
Play with the kids on one of Isla San Cristóbal's gorgeous beaches

Enjoy relaxed island life today and explore Isla San Cristóbal's natural beauty and stunning beaches at your own pace. Head first to Playa Carola, a perfect spot for families with gorgeous views and plenty of activities. Relax while the kids snorkel in the clear, calm waters and discover the sea stars and local marine life. If you fancy a stretch of the legs and some shade, there's a small forest nearby where the kids can run and play. 

For a change of scene, head to Playa Mann. Surrounded by cliffs, the area is renowned as a great place to bird-watch. Here you can watch the seabirds nesting on the cliffs or diving for a meal in the waters. The beach's white sands and shallow waters are perfect for little ones desperate to continue their snorkeling adventures, and as always, there are plenty of marine creatures and wildlife to spot. 

An hour's hike from Playa Mann is Punta Pitt, where you'll find a lookout with breathtaking views of the bay and an excellent place for a memorable family photo. Task the kids to watch for the lava lizards lounging on the rocks and the brightly-colored finches flitting around the trees. Stroll back to the beach, where locals flock to watch the sunset, before returning to your hotel and heading out for dinner. 

Plan your trip to Galapagos Islands
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Wildlife Discovery at Isla Lobos

Wildlife Encountering at Lobos Island
Make friends with the adorable sea lions on Isla Lobos
Today starts with a memorable boat trip to Isla Lobos, or "Sea Lion Island." Located 6 miles (10 km) north of Isla San Cristóbal, this island is famous for its noisy, jolly sea lions, and the adorable creatures are sure to enchant the kids with their playful antics. Spend a few hours snorkeling around the island where, as well as rays and turtles, you may get to see the brightly-colored Sally Lightfoot crab. Back on shore, look out for the local birdlife, including the blue-footed and Nazca boobies. In the afternoon, you'll transfer back to your hotel, where the rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish.

Day 6: Snorkeling Excursion to Kicker Rock

Snorkeling at Kicker Rock
Spend the day snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters around Kicker Rock

After breakfast, it's time to put some of the week's snorkeling experience to good use with an excursion to Kicker Rock, a large rock formation just off Isla San Cristóbal's coast. On today's guided snorkel tour, you'll drop anchor and experience the majestic marine life as you and the kids swim among the turtles, rays, and tropical fish. 

When you're ready, hop back on the boat and head to Cerro Brujo (Witch's Hill), where you'll have time to relax on the beautiful Bahía Sardina Beach. Kids will love visiting nearby Punta Pitt, where your guide will show you how the locals fish before letting the kids try reeling one in for themselves. Back on the boat, enjoy a delicious lunch before heading to the white sands of Rosa Blanca Beach for a final swim before returning to the pier.

Day 7: Fly to Quito & Depart 

It's time to say goodbye to your new pals
Sadly it's time to say goodbye to the Galápagos 
The time has come to say farewell to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. At the appointed hour, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport for the flight back to Quito and your onward journey. Safe travels! 

More Great Galápagos Islands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Galápagos? Check out these other Galápagos itineraries, explore different ways to spend a week in the Galápagos with your family, or discover the best time to visit the Galápagos.


Map of Family Fun & Wildlife in the  Galápagos: Quito & Isla San Cristóbal - 7 Days
Map of Family Fun & Wildlife in the Galápagos: Quito & Isla San Cristóbal - 7 Days