Spend six days in the Galápagos Islands to enjoy all its natural beauty. Start on Isla Santa Cruz to learn about its star resident, the giant Galápagos tortoise. Island hop to Isla Isabela to go snorkeling at Los Túneles for breathtaking rock formations. Hike the Sierra Negra volcano to witness its stunning lava landscapes. Lounge on lava rocks as you rub shoulders with sea lions at Tintoreras Islet. Explore Puerto Villamil by standup paddleboard before lazing on nearby sandy beaches.


  • Discover the Santa Cruz Highlands and its giant Galápagos tortoises
  • Head to Isla Isabela to snorkel near Los Tuneles, with stunning rock formations
  • Hike the Sierra Negra volcano and then get cozy with marine life at Tintoreras Islet
  • Explore Puerto Villamil by standup paddleboarding to mingle with sea creatures

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Puerto Ayora, Visit Santa Cruz Highlands & Charles Darwin Station Isla Santa Cruz
Day 2 Transfer to Puerto Villamil, Excursion to Los Túneles Isla Isabela
Day 3 Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano Isla Isabela
Day 4 Explore Tintoreras Islet Isla Isabela
Day 5 Puerto Villamil Standup Paddleboarding, Transfer to Puerto Ayora Isla Santa Cruz
Day 6 Transfer to Baltra Island, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Puerto Ayora, Visit Santa Cruz Highlands & Charles Darwin Station

Tourist with a giant Galapagos tortoise
Meet giant Galápagos tortoises on Isla Santa Cruz

Upon arrival at Baltra's airport, a local guide will pick you up and take you to Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz. Along the way, You'll stop at a local farm in the highlands, where dozens of giant tortoises exist. Wander around to appreciate these majestic creatures, followed by lunch. You'll then continue to Puerto Ayora, where you'll check into your hotel.

In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Witness firsthand the work of international scientists who come to the Galápagos to carry out environmental projects. Head to the nearby Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, where giant Galápagos tortoises breed and are cared for. This is the best place on the islands to see different tortoise species and learn about each one.

Day 2: Transfer to Puerto Villamil, Excursion to Los Túneles

Sea turtle
Boat to Los Túneles today for a snorkeling excursion

Meet your guide in the morning for a ride to the dock in Puerto Ayora. From there, catch a two-hour speedboat to Isla Isabela. You'll arrive at Puerto Villamil, your base for three days, and check in at your hotel. Later in the day, take a 40-minute boat ride from Puerto Villamil to the volcanic formation of Los Túneles, which offers outstanding snorkeling.

Los Túneles' geological formations of rock arches and tunnels below and above the ocean are one of Isabela Islands' unique snorkeling spots. With your gear ready, start in shallow water and be on the lookout for tropical fish, rays, turtles, seahorses, and even whitetip reef sharks. When you emerge above the water, you'll spot penguins waiting to greet you. At night, relax at your hotel and explore Isla Isabela.

Day 3: Hiking the Sierra Negra Volcano

Lace up your hiking boots as you'll explore the crater of Sierra Negra
Plan your trip to Galapagos Islands
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Lace up your hiking boots as you'll explore the crater of Sierra Negra volcano today. It's one of the largest shield volcanoes in the world with a distinctive low profile and nearly 6-mile (10 km) diameter crater. Your six-hour roundtrip hike to the volcanic summit will begin from Puerto Villamil. As you approach the crater, explore its lava landscapes and see views of Isabela and Fernandina islands' volcanoes. End your day with time on the beach or snorkeling through Concha Perla's mangrove forests.

Day 4: Explore Tintoreras Islet

Explore Tintoreras Islet
See harmless whitetip reef sharks in Tintoreras Islet

Visit Tintoreras Islet, mainly formed by lava rocks, for a short hike and snorkel. You'll find a site full of rich biodiversity and is home to the famous whitetip sharks, sea lions, turtles, iguanas, and many other species. This small islet receives its name from the reef sharks, also known as white-tip sharks, that can be seen swimming along with fish and sea lions in the channels when the tide is low. You'll sail about 10 minutes from the port to get here.

This location for marine iguanas' nesting allows for close encounters with these animals. You'll discover Humboldt penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, and sharks, which rest in the natural channels formed by lava flows. Whether you snorkel in the turquoise waters or relax on the shore, you'll see blue-footed boobies, sea turtles, starfish, tropical fish, rays, sharks, pelicans, and Galápagos penguins.

Day 5: Puerto Villamil Standup Paddleboarding, Transfer to Puerto Ayora

Puerto Villamil Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
A flamingo in the mangroves near Puerto Villamil 

Discover Puerto Villamil Bay from your standup paddleboard. Navigate mangroves and the calm bay while staying on the lookout for blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and flamingoes. Later, give your arms a break, set your paddleboard aside, grab your snorkeling gear, and stroll along the boardwalk through mangroves out to La Concha Perla, a small beach fronting turquoise waters that are full of marine life. At the end of the day, watch the sunset over snacks and drinks at the Iguana Point Bar, with a terrace overlooking the beach. 

Day 6: Transfer to Isla Baltra, Depart

Sunset over Baltra Island
Farewell Galápagos!!

It's time to say goodbye to the Galápagos today. Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Itabaca Channel to cross by ferry to the airport on Isla Baltra, where you'll catch a flight to your final destination. Safe Travels!

More Great Galápagos Islands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Galápagos Islands? Check out these other Galápagos itineraries, with island-hopping cruises, land-based trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Rugged Galápagos Islands Adventure: Isla Santa Cruz & Isla Isabela - 6 Days
Map of Rugged Galápagos Islands Adventure: Isla Santa Cruz & Isla Isabela - 6 Days