This 11-day journey around Guayaquil and the Galapágos Islands is packed with outdoor activities and wildlife experiences. Start in Ecuador's largest city, touring Guayaquil before catching a flight to the Galápagos archipelago. You'll island-hop by boat, snorkel around incredible rock formations, hike to a crater volcano, and see giant tortoises up close. Head back to the mainland for the final night of the trip.


  • Explore the colorful Ecuadorian coastal city of Guayaquil
  • Boat around various islands in the Galápagos archipelago
  • Observe giant Galápagos tortoises in their natural habitat
  • Hike to a massive crater on a volcanic island

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guayaquil, Explore Guayaquil
Day 2 Fly to the Galápagos & Isla Santa Cruz Isla Santa Cruz
Day 3 Explore an Uninhabited Island Isla Santa Cruz
Day 4 Discover a Second Uninhabited Island Isla Santa Cruz
Day 5 Boat to Isla Isabela, Excursion to Las Tintoreras Isla Isabela
Day 6 Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano Isla Isabela
Day 7 Snorkeling Excursion to Los Túneles Isla Isabela
Day 8 Explore Isla Isabela, Fly to Isla San Cristóbal Isla San Cristóbal
Day 9 Snorkel at Kicker Rock, Dinner by the Sea Isla San Cristóbal
Day 10 Fly to Guayaquil, Tour the City Guayaquil
Day 11 Depart Guayaquil  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guayaquil, Explore

Malecon, Guayaquil
Take a stroll along Guayaquil's waterfront Malecón 2000 boardwalk

Welcome to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador! A driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. In the afternoon, stroll along the historic cobblestone streets of Puerto Santa Ana and the busy boardwalk Malecón 2000 along the Guayas River. Have dinner in a local restaurant and get some rest before tomorrow's flight to the Galápagos Islands.

Day 2: Fly to the Galápagos & Isla Santa Cruz

A quiet beach in the Galápagos

Head to the airport this morning to catch your flight to the Galápagos Islands! After arriving at the airport on Isla Baltra, a local guide will pick you up, and you'll hop over the Itacaba Channel to Isla Santa Cruz and its main town of Puerto Ayora. En route, you'll stop at a local farm in the highlands, where dozens of giant tortoises live. Wander around on your own to appreciate these majestic creatures.

Enjoy lunch before continuing to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Witness firsthand the work of international scientists who come to the Galápagos to conduct environmental projects. Head to the nearby Fausto Llerena Breeding Center next, dedicated to protecting giant Galápagos tortoises. This is the best place on the islands to see different tortoise species and learn about each one.

Day 3: Explore an Uninhabited Island

Isla Bartolomé
Isla Bartolomé, an uninhabited island in the Galápagos
Today's boating adventure takes you to one of the Galápagos' uninhabited islands, like Santa Fé, Plaza Sur, Bartolomé, and Seymour Norte. Where you'll go depends on the permit granted by the Galápagos National Park authorities, but any of the aforementioned islands gives you a chance to see the archipelago's untouched natural habitats. After the boat ride, take a hike with your guide to see more wildlife and then relax on the beach. Lunch will be served on deck, and then you'll return to Isla Santa Cruz in the afternoon. 

Day 4: Discover a Second Uninhabited Island

Sally Lightfoot crabs
Sally Lightfoot crabs on an island in the Galápagos
Another day, another boat trip to an uninhabited island—this time, you'll go to a different one than yesterday. Once again, you'll get incredible opportunities to see endemic wildlife in its natural habitat and protected lands. The boat trip is also an event in itself, as you'll enjoy magnificent ocean scenery on the way to and from the island. Afterward, enjoy your evening in laid-back Puerto Ayora, dining al fresco in one of the restaurants in town and doing some souvenir shopping.

Day 5: Boat to Isla Isabela, Excursion to Las Tintoreras

Plan your trip to Galapagos Islands
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Sea lion walking on Las Tintoreras
A sea lion on Tintoreras Islet off Isla Isabela

Start your morning with a two-hour public speed boat trip to Isla Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago and your base for the next three nights. Once onshore, make your way to the Flamingo Lagoon or the Giant Tortoise Breeding Station to learn about the local wildlife. After lunch, join a group tour for a visit to the Tintoreras Islet for a short hike and some snorkeling. See Humboldt penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, and sharks, which rest in the natural channels formed by lava flows. Later, snorkel in the turquoise water and spot different fish, sea turtles, rays, and penguins. 

Day 6: Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano

Lace up your hiking boots for an adventure to the majestic Sierra Negra

Lace up your hiking boots for an adventure to the majestic Sierra Negra today. You'll do a six-hour roundtrip hike to its summit, where you'll be rewarded with sweeping views across the world's second-largest crater volcano. Walk around spectacular lava landscapes, taking in the northern volcanoes on Isabela and Fernandina islands. During your climb, be on the lookout for the unique vegetation that inhabits the area. The finishing point is the edge of the volcano's crater, where you'll enjoy more stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes.

In the afternoon, you'll have some free time to relax and rest back at your hotel. If you still have energy, you could also head to a local beach or snorkel at Concha Perla.

Day 7: Snorkeling Excursion to Los Túneles

Sea turtle
Spot a sea turtle while snorkeling near Isla Isabela
This morning, you'll head to one of Isla Isabela's best snorkeling spots called Los Túneles, a geological formation of distinct rock arches and tunnels that are fun to explore both below and above the surface. When you're geared up, get in the shallow water and look out for tropical fish, rays, sea turtles, seahorses, and whitetip reef sharks. When you emerge above ground, look for penguins and other birdlife. Walk around the islet's interior and then return to Isla Isabela, where you can explore at your own pace. 

Day 8: Explore Isla Isabela, Fly to Isla San Cristóbal

Breeding Center & Wetlands of Isabela Island
Flamingoes in the wetlands of Isla Isabela

Spend your final morning on Isla Isabela visiting the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center. The center is home to hundreds of juvenile and adult tortoises, including populations from all over the archipelago. Giant tortoise eggs are carefully incubated in a special hatchery, and the adults are cared for in large supervised corrals.

Next, continue to the Humedales, the island's wetlands, about 30 minutes away on foot. It's one of the only places where you can see all four native Galápagos mangrove species. Sandy beaches and rocky shores characterize this area, and it features several trails where you can spot migratory birds. Later in the day, you'll take an afternoon flight from Isabela to Isla San Cristobál, the most easterly island in the archipelago. Upon arrival, get settled in your hotel, then head out to catch the sunset at Playa Mann.

Day 9: Snorkel at Kicker Rock, Dinner by the Sea

Snorkeling at Kicker Rock
You'll approach Kicker Rock by boat, then drop anchor and dive in for snorkeling and swimming

Today's day trip takes you to the iconic natural landmark of Kicker Rock, a 500-foot (152 m) pair of volcanic islands connected by an underground channel. The guided tour includes breakfast and lunch, as well as all necessary snorkeling equipment. Once you arrive, you'll get to snorkel in the crystal clear waters and observe sea turtles, sea lions, colorful tropical fish, rays, and other marine life. After a few hours in the water, enjoy a delicious lunch before heading back to shore for some afternoon beach time.

As evening falls, you'll head to a local restaurant for a memorable dinner by the sea on your last night in the "enchanted islands."

Day 10: Fly to Guayaquil, Tour the City

Explore more of Guayaquil on foot today

The time has come to say your goodbyes to the Galápagos. Catch a flight back to Guayaquil, then take the rest of the day to explore the city. At the Parque Histórico, discover native species, such as sloths, monkeys, and parrots, in a park recreating the natural mangrove habitat. The next stop could be the Cementerio General, an early 20th-century cemetery where artistic tombs are reminders of the prospering cocoa trade of that time. Celebrate the last evening of your trip with a final Ecuadorian dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants near your hotel.

Day 11: Depart Guayaquil

Colorful houses tumble down the hillsides of Guayaquil

It is time to say goodbye to Ecuador! When the time comes, you'll be picked up for a transfer to the airport, where you'll catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Great Galápagos Islands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Galápagos? Check out these other Galápagos itineraries, explore other ways to spend 11 days in the Galápagos, and discover the best time to visit the Galápagos.


Map of Outdoor Adventures in Guayaquil & Galápagos Islands - 11 Days
Map of Outdoor Adventures in Guayaquil & Galápagos Islands - 11 Days