Rally your mini explorers and head to the Galápagos for a leisurely-paced 10-day tour of three of the archipelago's best-loved islands. Start on Isla Santa Cruz, where the kids can get a primer on the archipelago at the Charles Darwin Research Center, come face-to-face with giant tortoises, and set sail to an uninhabited island. Hop over to Isla Isabela to snorkel with marine wildlife, and while away your days at the beach, then head to Isla San Cristóbal for more aquatic fun with a family kayaking adventure.


  • Hop between three main Galápagos islands at a relaxed pace
  • Follow in Darwin's footsteps and set sail to an uninhabited island 
  • Get up close and personal with the giant Galápagos tortoises
  • Discover the archipelago's stunning wildlife and marine creatures
  • Enjoy plenty of family time on picture-perfect white sandy beaches

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in the Galápagos Islands, Transfer to Isla Santa Cruz Isla Santa Cruz
Day 2 Boat Trip to an Uninhabited Island Isla Santa Cruz
Day 3 Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, Meet the Giant Tortoises Isla Santa Cruz
Day 4 Fly to Isla Isabela, Family Snorkel at Concha Perla Isla Isabela
Day 5 Playa de Amor Beach Day Isla Isabela
Day 6 Isla Isabela Free Day Isla Isabela
Day 7 Fly to Isla San Cristóbal, Explore Isla San Cristóbal
Day 8 Discover San Cristóbal's Highlands Isla San Cristóbal
Day 9 Family Kayak Adventure Isla San Cristóbal
Day 10 Depart Isla San Cristóbal  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in the Galápagos Islands, Transfer to Isla Santa Cruz

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands!
Welcome to the Galápagos Islands! Your adventure starts on the beaches of Isla Santa Cruz

Welcome to the Galápagos Islands! A volcanic archipelago off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park is home to 19 main islands, each with its distinctive wildlife and scenery. Your first destination is Isla Santa Cruz, the second-largest island in the archipelago. Upon arrival at Isla Baltra, you'll transfer to the Itabaca Canal, where a small ferry will take you to your island. Meet your guide and driver and continue to your accommodation in Puerto Ayora, the main town on Isla Santa Cruz.

After a refresh at your hotel and a bite to eat, the rest of the day is yours to explore at leisure. If the kids are excited to see the local wildlife and check out the beaches, the easy 45-minute hike to Tortuga Bay is a perfect way to start your island adventure. Follow the trail and spot the iguanas and finches while you stroll to one of the archipelago's most picturesque spots. Famous for its soft coral sand, calm waters, and spectacular scenery, the bay is a great place to spot flamingoes and pelicans as you choose to either kayak with the kids or take it easy on the beach. 

Day 2: Boat Trip to an Uninhabited Island

View from Isla Bartolomé
View from Isla Bartolomé, one of the Galápagos' uninhabited islands

If the kids dream of discovering their own island, then today, you and your family will channel your inner explorer and take a boat trip to one of the archipelago's uninhabited islands. Depending on the permit granted, you'll cruise to either Santa Fé, Plaza Sur, Bartolomé, or Seymour Norte—strict control by the National Park authorities keeps these islands pristine.

Set sail across the turquoise waters before hiking over the untouched natural habitats of the island. Alongside the giant tortoises synonymous with the archipelago, the kids will discover a host of other animals, including iguanas and blue-footed boobies. After a morning of exploration, hop back on the boat for a mouthwatering lunch before enjoying your own slice of paradise for a relaxed few hours. Enjoy a family swim or kick back on the immaculate beaches. Either way, you'll have made plenty of treasured family memories as you sail back to Puerto Ayora in the afternoon. 

Day 3: Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, Meet the Giant Tortoises

Meet the giant tortoises
Oh, hi there, big fella—meet the archipelago's famous giant tortoises

Set off with your guide for a fascinating morning at the world-renowned Charles Darwin Research Station. The center is dedicated to research and conservation in the Galápagos, and there's plenty here to captivate the kids. You and your mini conservationists will learn about the facility's efforts to protect threatened wildlife and the island's unique ecosystems. Next is a visit to the adjacent Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, the best place in the Galápagos, to see the famous giant tortoises before being released into the wild.

The rest of the day is yours to explore or relax. Head to the island's highlands to see more ancient tortoises in the wild or explore the lava fields that dot the landscape—a wonderful natural playground for the kids. Stroll the streets of Puerto Ayora and pick up some souvenirs, then choose one of your favorite restaurants to dine in before putting to bed the sleepy but delighted kids.
Plan your trip to Galapagos Islands
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Fly to Isla Isabela, Family Snorkel at Concha Perla

Snorkeling in the Galapagos
Snorkel in the calm turquoise waters of Isla Isabela

No doubt the little ones will be excited this morning as you and your family prepare for the next leg of your Galápagos adventure. Transfer to the airport and let the kids have the window seat as the flight over to Isla Isabela offers some of the best aerial views of the archipelago. Upon arrival, you'll take a private transfer to your hotel in Puerto Villamil, the island's main town. 

After checking in and a quick refresh, grab your swimsuits as you head to Playa Concha Perla for a family swim and snorkel. One of Isla Isabela's most beautiful beaches, the calm shallow waters make it the perfect place to discover sea turtles, rays, and even penguins playing on the nearby rocks. As the sun begins to dip, head back to Puerto Villamil for a laid-back dinner at your hotel and admire the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. 

Day 5: Playa de Amor Beach Day

Relax with the kids on Playa de Amor
Relax with the kids on Playa de Amor
After breakfast, discover one of Isla Isabela's local gems with a trip to Playa de Amor, a gorgeous stretch of white sand with stunning views of the surrounding coastline and a natural tidal pool. A favorite spot with the locals, the beach has plenty of shade, perfect for the little ones, and wonderful marine life where you'll see tiny colorful fish and the native rays and sea turtles. Keep your eyes peeled for the nearby colony of marine iguanas, the only lizards in the world able to forage in the sea and often found basking on the nearby rocks.

Day 6: Isla Isabela Free Day

Explore Isla Isabela's quiet and family-friendly roads by bike

Spend today exploring the island at your own pace. You have several options depending on the kids' ages and energy levels. Rent a bike, pack a picnic, and discover the island's charms with a leisurely cycle ride. Visit the historic Muro de las Lagrimas (Wall of Tears), a landmark built by prisoners of the penal colony once part of the island. Then, ride to different viewpoints on the island. If the kids are keen to see more wildlife, the Laguna de los Flamingos is a vast nesting ground and the perfect spot to catch sight of these regal pink birds. 

Enjoy a relaxed lunch back in Puerto Villamil before either relaxing on one of the pristine beaches or heading to the island's highlands, a thirty-minute drive from the main town. Here you'll find plenty of local wildlife and trails to follow as you and your family immerse yourselves in the tranquillity of rural island life. Afterward, dine on fresh-caught seafood at one of the town's restaurants as you bag yourselves a table with a sea view and recount the highlights of your holiday so far.

Day 7: Fly to Isla San Cristóbal, Explore

Living Locally in San Cristobal - Leisure Day!
There's plenty of wildlife to be found on Isla San Cristóbal, including the friendly sea lions

This morning you and your family will wave goodbye to Isla Isabela and catch a flight east to Isla San Cristóbal, the last stop on your Galápagos adventure. After you've checked in and grabbed a bite to eat, the rest of the day is yours to explore. No doubt the kids will be eager for the beach, and nearby Playa Carola is a perfect spot for families. With gorgeous views and plenty of activities, relax after the flight while the little ones snorkel the calm, clear waters and discover the sea stars and local marine life. 

Budding ornithologists will love the birdlife at Playa Mann. Surrounded by cliffs, the area is a great place to observe the seabirds nesting on the cliffs or diving for a meal in the ocean. If you fancy a stretch of the legs, head to Punta Pitt, a lookout with breathtaking bay views and an hour's hike from Playa Mann. It's a special spot for a family picnic, and the kids will be entranced by 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 to dinner. 

Day 8: Discover San Cristóbal's Highlands

The easy to spot male frigatebirds
Spot the male frigatebirds with their distinctive red chests
After a relaxed breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of the island's highlands. First up is the El Junco Lagoon, a freshwater volcanic crater lake (the only one in the archipelago). Admire the local frigatebirds; the male birds are a fun spot for the kids with their comical balloon-shaped large red chests. Afterward, head to the giant tortoise reserve at La Galapaguera. If you've been wondering about the difference between turtles and the native Galápagos tortoises, this is your opportunity to find out! End your day with a refreshing dip at the beautiful beach of Playa Puerto Chino.

Day 9: Family Kayak Adventure

Enjoy a family kayak around the bay
Enjoy a family kayak around the bay on the penultimate day of your trip
It's your final full day in the Galápagos archipelago. After breakfast, you'll meet your guide and head to one of the island's best spots for a family kayak around the town's port area. The calm, protected waters around the bay make it perfect for little ones as you paddle around and explore the coastline. Wave at the friendly sea lions as you follow your guide and observe the abundant marine life before returning to the shore. Cap your Galápagos adventure with a final snorkel before dining out in style at one of the local restaurants.

Day 10: Depart Isla San Cristóbal

It's time to say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands
Thanks for the memories! Bid farewell to your newfound friends in the Galápagos 

The time has come to say farewell to the Galápagos. After one last stroll with full hearts and memories to last a lifetime, take a private transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. 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 Relaxed Family Trip to the Galápagos Islands: Santa Cruz, Isabela & San Cristóbal - 10 Days
Map of Relaxed Family Trip to the Galápagos Islands: Santa Cruz, Isabela & San Cristóbal - 10 Days