Explore the extraordinary ecosystems of three different islands on this 10-day, family-oriented Galápagos adventure. Start in mainland Quito to kick off your trip with a visit to the equator and a fun family cooking class. Then, it's off to Isla San Cristóbal for standup paddleboarding to the island's best beaches. Explore Isla Isabela by bike and kayak alongside its friendly seals, then hop over to Isla Santa Cruz to meet giant tortoises and snorkel with seahorses and schools of colorful fish.


  • Experience delicious Ecuadorian cuisine with a family cooking class
  • Cruise the shorelines of Isla San Cristóbal via standup paddleboard
  • Visit giant tortoises and iguanas at the Charles Darwin Research Center
  • Take a family bike ride around the quiet roads of Isla Isabela
  • Snorkel and swim with schools of colorful fish around Isla Santa Cruz

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Quito, Explore Quito
Day 2 Visit Mitad del Mundo & Family Cooking Class Quito
Day 3 Fly to Isla San Cristóbal & the Galapagos, Standup Paddleboarding Tour Isla San Cristóbal
Day 4 Snorkel Day at Kicker Rock, Family Painting Class  Isla San Cristóbal
Day 5 Fly to Isla Isabela, Kayak & Snorkel at Las Tintoreras Isla Isabela
Day 6 Snorkel Tour of Los Túneles Isla Isabela
Day 7 Explore Isla Isabela by Bike Isla Isabela
Day 8 Speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz, Charles Darwin Station & Highlands Hike  Isla Santa Cruz
Day 9 Isla Santa Cruz Snorkeling Adventure Isla Santa Cruz
Day 10 Depart the Galápagos Islands  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Quito, Explore

Settle into the high-altitude capital of Quito and its colorful historic center

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. Your driver will collect you from the airport, and after you and the kids have a chance to rest and regroup, you're free to explore on your own.  

If the youngsters are looking to stretch their legs after the long plane ride, head over to Parque La Carolina, one of Quito's largest parks. Here, you'll find 165 acres (66 ha) of green space, with lakes, fountains, children's play areas, and food vendors if you'd like to grab a bite. The park also has a children's library and a defunct Ecuadorian Air Force plane-turned-museum! While you're here, be sure to stop in at the on-site botanical gardens, where a network of paths takes you through the gardens, and greenhouses with a huge variety of beautiful orchids are on display.

Afterward, head over to the Vivarium de Quito, a research and education center that is home to more than 40 different species of reptiles and amphibians. See the exhibits that offer information on the various snakes, lizards, turtles, and other creatures here, with live demonstrations and closer views of Ecuador's local wildlife. Relax at your hotel tonight before continuing tomorrow. 

Day 2: Visit Mitad del Mundo & Family Cooking Class

Learn about local dishes and Ecuadorian flavors at a family cooking class

Have you dreamed of standing on both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres at the same time? Today's your opportunity as you visit Mitad del Mundo or the "Middle of the World." In 1736, a French expedition determined that this spot was the location of the equator. The true equator line was about 650 feet (200 m) north, but by the time the mistake was discovered, the monument had already been built! Despite the slightly "off" location, this remains a popular attraction, with several exhibition halls and lots of fun photo ops for you and the kids.

Right next door to Mitad del Mundo, you'll find the Intiñan Museum, which actually sits closer to the real equator line. Learn about ancient Ecuadorian culture while the kids enjoy participating in fun activities such as walking the equatorial line with their eyes closed or balancing an egg on a nail. And later, you can stop by the Temple of the Sun Museum, located directly on the equator and founded by painter and sculptor Ortega Maila. The museum merges the reverence of spirituality alongside local culture with exhibits and a gallery of Maila's work. 

This afternoon, take a deep dive into the local traditions and the amazing gastronomy of the region with a family cooking class. Step into the kitchen of a local chef and learn to prepare some typical Ecuadorian dishes, including empanadas and guaguas de pan (sweet rolls filled with chocolate or jam). During the class, your instructors will also share stories about the history behind each recipe. There is a special menu for younger family members, and at the end of the class, you'll sit down and enjoy the meal you created. 

Day 3: Fly to Isla San Cristóbal & the Galapagos, Standup Paddleboarding Tour

See the coast of  Isla San Cristóbal via standup paddleboard

It's off to the Galápagos island of San Cristóbal today! At the appointed time, your driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport, where you'll catch your flight. Upon arrival, your private transfer will collect you, and after you check in at your hotel, it's time to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of this region with a standup paddleboard tour.

You'll meet with a guide, and after a briefing on safety and equipment, head out to some of the island's beaches, cruising through crystal-clear waters while enjoying the fascinating coastline of Isla San Cristóbal. This is a great way for older kids to burn some energy, and the younger ones can keep an eye out for wildlife such as sea lions or turtles! Do keep in mind that this tour is best suited for older kids or teens if they want to paddle on their own, although if your child is four years old or older, they can join you on your board and ride along.

Day 4: Snorkel Day at Kicker Rock, Family Painting Class 

Snorkel with colorful fish at Kicker Rock

Experience the underwater wonders of the Galápagos with a snorkel tour. You'll meet with your guide at the pier, and after getting outfitted with the proper equipment, you'll board a boat and head to Leon Dormido or Kicker Rock, a large rock formation just off the coast that earns its nickname from its shoe-like shape. Drop anchor and take some time to snorkel and swim, potentially accompanied by sea turtles, rays, or even harmless whitetip sharks!

From here, continue to Cerro Brujo, where you'll take a break at the beautiful beach of Bahía Sardina. Let the kids run and play along the shore for a bit, then visit Punta Pitt, where your guide will show you how the locals fish and let you and the kids try reeling one in on your own. Enjoy lunch on board, then close the tour on the white sands of Rosa Blanca, where you can relax and swim before heading back to the pier. 

Budding artists in the family will also enjoy a painting class later this afternoon. Meet up with a local artist and paint different Galápagos creatures, learning about the animals' habits and history as you go. Paint pictures of blue-footed boobies, sea lions, and giant tortoises—there are really no limits on creativity here! And at the end of the night, you'll have your own hand-painted souvenir to take with you. 

Day 5: Fly to Isla Isabela, Kayak & Snorkel at Las Tintoreras

Say hello to curious sea lions while kayaking Las Tintoreras

Your next destination is Isla Isabela. After breakfast, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport for the quick, 45-minute flight. Your private transfer will collect you from the airport and to your hotel in the island's main village of Puerto Villamil. Once you've had a chance to get checked in and relax a bit, you can see more of the islands via kayak. 

You'll meet with your guide at the appointed time and head out for a guided tour of Las Tintoreras. These small volcanic islets are thriving with wildlife, and you'll also have a chance to snorkel with colorful fish, turtles, and maybe even some curious sea lions! Cruise along the crystal blue waters of the Pacific, eventually landing at Las Tintoreras for a walking tour of the area. The kids are likely to see penguins and blue-footed boobies on the rocks, as well as sunbathing iguanas. 

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Afterward, you can snorkel around the islet, enjoying the clear, calm waters while viewing the endless amounts of fish and other wildlife. Kayak back to Puerto Villamil in the afternoon, where you'll be free to explore some of the sights around town. If the kids want more beach time, visit Playa de Amor, a small sandy beach with clear shallow waters that are perfect for smaller children. And any birders in the family might enjoy a walk through the nearby wetlands, where you'll see flamingoes and pintail ducks, as well as the endangered mangrove finch. 

Day 6: Snorkel Tour of Los Túneles

Snorkel through incredible lava formations in the turquoise waters of Los Túneles

Visit Los Túneles today, a popular dive and snorkel spot that is known for its stunning lava arches, geological formations, and a huge variety of sea life. After breakfast, head to the harbor with your family and meet up with your guide. Once you've been outfitted with the proper gear and received a safety briefing, you'll be free to snorkel and explore! Keep your eyes open for seahorses, colorful fish, rays, turtles, and whitetip reef sharks. You might also spot some penguins or blue-footed boobies sitting on the rocks.

The shallow waters are perfect for the kids to swim safely, but keep in mind that the tour is recommended for children over the age of 10—although kids as young as seven are welcome with parental supervision. After the excursion, you'll return by boat to Puerto Villamil, where you can relax at your hotel or spend more time at one of the local beaches. 

Day 7: Explore Isla Isabela by Bike

Cruise around Isla Isabela's quiet roads on a bike tour

Experience Isla Isabela via bike tour, meeting up with your guide in the morning, and taking a ride around one side of the island. The tour takes you by the beaches of Playa del Amor, where you're likely to see marine iguanas lounging in the sun, and you'll visit the famed "Muro de las Lagrimas" (Wall of Tears), a historic landmark built by prisoners of the penal colony that was once part of the island. Unfortunately, many of the prisoners lost their lives during the wall's construction, which is how it earned the name Wall of Tears.

The tour ends at Flamingo Lagoon, a coastal lagoon that is home to a huge flamingo nesting ground. You'll have a chance to explore this incredible area, and the kids can watch the flamingoes foraging for the tiny shrimp that makes up much of their diet—which also contributes to their lovely pink color! While this tour is geared toward kids who are old enough to ride a bike on their own, families with very small children can request a child seat that attaches to their bike. 

Day 8: Speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz, Charles Darwin Station & Highlands Hike

See giant tortoises in their natural habitat on today's hike into the highlands

After you check out of your hotel this morning, take the public water taxi to Isla Santa Cruz, a ride of about 2.5 hours. Arrive in the archipelago's largest town of Puerto Ayora, and after you get checked in at your hotel, head to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you can visit giant tortoises and various species of iguanas, learn more about the foundation's efforts to protect threatened wildlife populations and see exhibits that showcase the natural flora and fauna of the region. Their exhibition hall also includes the impressive skeleton of a Bryde's whale—sure to be a hit with the kids.

Later, take a guided tour into the highlands of Santa Cruz. Here, you'll find giant tortoises in their natural habitat, and your family can explore the impressive lava tunnels that dot the area. Enjoy a traditional lunch, then head back to town for the evening.

Day 9: Isla Santa Cruz Snorkeling Adventure

Snorkel and swim around Isla Santa Cruz

Visit some of the popular snorkel sites around Isla Santa Cruz today. In the morning, meet your guides at the pier, and depending on weather and park permit availability, you'll head out for a snorkeling and boating adventure. Destinations include Isla Pinzón, a small island that sits just west of Santa Cruz and is a fantastic place for snorkeling and swimming, and Isla Santa Fé, also known as Barrington Island, where the kids can see schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and even a lobster or two! Enjoy lunch on board the boat, then finish with downtime on the remote beaches of Playa Escondida.

Day 10: Depart the Galápagos Islands

Bid farewell to the Galápagos Islands

It's time for you and the family to say farewell to the Galápagos Islands! At the appointed hour, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the Itabaca Channel, which you'll cross by ferry to reach the airport on Isla Baltra. Safe travels! 

More Great Galápagos Islands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Galápagos? Check out these other Galápagos itineraries, discover different ways to spend 10 days in the Galápagos with your family, or explore the best time to visit the Galápagos


Map of Galápagos Multi-Island Family Adventure - 10 Days
Map of Galápagos Multi-Island Family Adventure - 10 Days