On this weeklong cruise around the Galapagos Islands, you'll travel around the archipelago on a yacht, stopping at various islands for activities led by a naturalist guide. Kayak through pristine waters, snorkel with penguins and sea lions, hike to see blue-footed boobies in the wild, and get up close with giant tortoises.


  • Sail around the archipelago on a yacht
  • See giant Galapagos tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island
  • Discover endemic species on Santa Fé and Plazas Island
  • Snorkel with playful sea lions, penguins, and seahorses

Brief Itinerary

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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive on Baltra Island & Explore Mosquera Islet

Curious sea lion checking out the visitor
Curious sea lion checking out the visitor

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands! Arrive at the airport on Baltra Island, then transfer to the yacht to begin your cruise. Enjoy a fresh-squeezed juice onboard the boat as navigation begins. In the afternoon you will visit Mosquera Islet. Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral has one of the largest populations of sea lions in the area. It's also home to many shorebirds. You'll relax on the boat and enjoy sunset views before dinner.

Day 2: Visit the Breeding Center for Giant Tortoises

A giant Galapagos tortoise
A giant Galapagos tortoise 

Today you'll disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the archipelago’s capital, and take a 40-minute drive over to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, you'll visit the breeding center for highly endangered giant tortoises. The forest is also home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, an endemic species on this island.

You'll return to the boat for lunch. In the afternoon, you'll stop at the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt, which offers access to a trail with spectacular views of the coastline. This is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies (blue-footed, red-footed, and Nazca) can be found together. Enjoy the walk or a dinghy ride along the coast. Snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking activities are also possible in the afternoon.

Day 3: Cruise to Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island

Frigate bird
A vibrantly hued frigate bird on Santa Fe Island

This morning, a dinghy will take you to the idyllic white sand beach of Santa Fe Island, home to scores of sea lions. You might spot an endemic land iguana, exclusive to this island, during a morning walk. Alternatively, you can choose to snorkel or swim from the dinghy.

Following lunch and some time to rest, the adventure continues on South Plaza Island. Disembark from the boat along the channel, where turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath luminescent prickly-pear cacti, waiting patiently for the prickly pears to drop. Along the coastline, you'll have the chance to spot sea lion colonies while frigatebirds and swallow-tailed gulls glide around, playing in the currents.

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Day 4: Tour Charles Darwin Station & Discover the Highlands

Giant Galapagos Tortoises up close in the highlands
Land iguana

After disembarking in Puerto Ayora, you'll visit the Charles Darwin Station, where scientists from all over the world meet and work together. Environmental projects here include water analysis, protection of endemic wildlife, analysis of the effects of tourism on nature, and other pressing issues. Visit the turtle rearing station to see where animals are raised before being released into the wild. Make sure to look for the land iguanas who live around the station. 

Day 5: Sail Around Española Island & Gardner Bay

A Galapagos albatross on Española Island
A Galapagos albatross on Española Island

Continue on to Punta Suarez this morning. An exciting walk awaits with the chance to see various sea bird colonies.  Galapagos albatross, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls are all present here. You will also get to experience the Galapagos’ famous “blowhole” geological phenomenon. Make your way back to the boat for a relaxing lunch. 

In the afternoon, the postcard-worthy coral beach of Gardner Bay and the nearby Osborn Islet provide a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, and finches as you take your time to relax, swim, or snorkel. 

Day 6: See Blue-Footed Boobies in the Wild on Eden Islet 

Land iguana crossing the visitor path
Blue-footed boobies, one of the three species native to the Galapagos

After breakfast, you'll ride a small boat over to Eden Islet, a small island located off the coast of Santa Cruz. Here you will have the chance to observe blue-footed boobies diving into the water and reef sharks swimming around. You will also have the opportunity to snorkel here, if you dare!

Next, it's onward to North Seymour Island. A tiny forest of silver-grey trees stands just above the landing site where you'll disembark. These trees are typically leafless and remain dormant for half of the year, waiting for the rain to come as a cue to burst into bloom. This is a great place to observe wildlife as bird colonies of blue-footed boobies, two species of frigatebirds, and swallow-tailed gulls fly around. Enjoy one last night on the boat before the cruise is over.

Day 7: Depart

Sunset view on Daphne Island
Sunset view on Daphne Island

Enjoy one last breakfast aboard your cruise ship, then head to Baltra Airport to take a plane back to mainland Ecuador and onto your next destination. Safe travels!

More Great Galapagos Islands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Galapagos? Check out these other 7-day 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.

Written by Mathias Onisseit deactivated, updated Sep 30, 2021