Consider yourself lucky if you have two weeks to spend in the Galapagos Islands. You could choose to spend all 14 days in the archipelago, island-hopping around the region to see giant tortoises in the wild, snorkeling with sea lions, and hiking to volcanic craters. Or you could incorporate a week in the Galapagos into a more wide-ranging trip around Ecuador that includes time in Quito and Cotopaxi National Park. If you're feeling especially ambitious, consider combining a trip to the Galapagos with an adventure to Machu Picchu in Peru. Learn more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.
Galapagos Islands Travel Insights
If you have a week to spend in the Galapagos Islands, choose between a cruise and a land-based tour. You could sail around the archipelago on a yacht, stopping at various islands to hike and view wildlife, or you could base yourself on one or more of the islands, going on daily excursions to snorkel with penguins, kayak in the sea, and look for blue-footed boobies in the wild. Alternatively, get an overview of Ecuador's top highlights by combining a few days in the Galapagos with a trip to Quito and Cotopaxi National Park. Learn more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.
Get off the beaten path on this 5-day cruise around the Galapagos archipelago. This short but fascinating journey offers world-class wildlife viewing at lesser-known points of interest throughout the islands. You'll sail from one rocky beach to another, disembarking for short guided hikes to see blue-footed boobies, cormorants, penguins, and flamingoes in their natural habitats. In the evenings, relax on the boat with a cold drink as the sun goes down.
With ten days to spend in the Galapagos Islands, you could opt for a land-based tour that takes you to the archipelago's natural highlights. Or choose a cruise tour that takes you around the islands, stopping along the way to hike to volcanic craters, snorkel with penguins and sea lions, and walk around the habitats of blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises. Alternatively, work your trip to the Galapagos into a broader tour that covers Ecuador's highlights, or combine several days in the Galapagos with an adventure across the Peruvian border, ending at Machu Picchu. Find out more about your options by reading over the itineraries below.
Discover the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands on this weeklong journey around the archipelago. Instead of getting on a yacht, you'll base yourself on dry land, enjoying various excursions from island towns. Snorkel with sea turtles, hike to see blue-footed boobies in their natural habitat, view giant tortoises up close, island-hop on a speedboat, and relax on pristine beaches. This wide-ranging itinerary offers a great variety of attractions for outdoor enthusiasts.
The incredibly diverse wildlife of the Galapagos Islands awaits you on this 5-day cruise around the archipelago. You'll visit several islands to hike through frigate bird habitats, spotting blue-footed boobies and herons, then go underwater to snorkel with sea turtles and penguins. Learn about conservation efforts on the islands at the Charles Darwin Center, see flamingoes in the wild at Cormorant Point, and ride a glass-bottomed boat to see colorful marine life beneath the surface of the water.
Combine two of South America's most iconic destinations into a single trip on this 10-day tour of the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu. You'll start in Ecuador, spending several days island-hopping, snorkeling, hiking, and wildlife viewing in the Galapagos. Then you'll cross the border to Peru, spending a night in Lima, another in Cusco, and finally taking the scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. A visit to the famed "lost city of the Incas" is the perfect way to end this diverse adventure.
Explore three magical Galapagos Islands via private yacht on this 6-day tour of the archipelago's standout sights. Start on Santa Cruz, where you'll come face-to-face with giant tortoises in the lush highlands, soak up the sun on the sands of Tortuga Bay Beach, and discover a world of natural history and conservation at the Charles Darwin Research Station. After a day spent hiking the grasslands and caves of Floreana, head to Isabela to snorkel the turquoise waters of Tintoreras alongside penguins, sea lions, and sea turtles.
Discover spectacular scenery and diverse ecosystems on this whirlwind 6-day tour of the Galapagos Islands. Focusing on three of the archipelago's inhabited islands, you'll hop between them by boat while spotting rare and remarkable wildlife up close. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, meet giant tortoises in the Santa Cruz highlands, hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, and swim in turquoise waters at Tortuga Bay Beach.
Explore the Galapagos Islands on a yacht! This 10-day tour takes you around the archipelago to see Humboldt penguins in their natural habitat, snorkel with sea turtles, explore tidal pools, visit Charles Darwin Station, hike to a volcanic crater, and spot blue-footed boobies in the wild. After spending the first night on dry land, you'll island-hop to various islands, including San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, South Plaza, and North Seymour, stopping at various natural attractions along the way.
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.
During this Galapagos Islands adventure, you will explore the famous archipelago, swim with playful sea lions, and see giant tortoises up close. The itinerary is land-based, meaning you'll sleep on the islands instead of on a yacht. But you'll still spend plenty of time on the water as you navigate to various islands by speedboat, enjoying hiking, snorkeling, and guided wildlife viewing walks along the journey.
The Galapágos Islands are great to visit at any time of the year, as you will always enjoy warm weather with exciting wildlife and activities. The Galapágos climate is characterized by a rainy season (December-May) and a dry season (June-November), but every season brings something unique, whether you are an adventurous traveler, a birdwatcher, a beach lover, or nature explorer. Walk in Charles Darwin's footsteps, observe countless incredible species of reptiles, mammals, and birds, and snorkel or scuba dive among sharks, dolphins, and whales.
December on the Galápagos means two things: Christmas and sea turtles. It's during December that baby Galapágos giant tortoises see light for the first time and Galápagos green sea turtles accompany you on your snorkeling adventures. With a perfect blend of warming weather, cultural activities, and abundant wildlife, December is one of the best months to visit the Galápagos—which also makes it one of the busiest. Visitors during this month will experience the landscapes coming to life after the rains, and if you stick around for Christmas or New Year's Eve, you'll experience a holiday that's entirely unique.
November's cool weather and off-season quiet make it an excellent month to enjoy unique water activities and sightseeing. Swim with playful seal and sea lion pups as they enter the waters for the first time and enjoy snorkeling through volcanic tunnels at Los Tuneles. Visit Fernandina Island and share underwater space with penguins and marine iguanas, walk through swathes of pahoehoe lava flows in Sullivan Bay, and look for several different breeding bird species. Read on for more travel tips and advice for visiting the Galapagos in December.
October brings impressive scenery of the Galápagos Islands, and it is the prime time to catch beautiful sunrises and dramatic sunsets. The transition from colder to warmer waters creates the opportunity to see some of the best wildlife of the year. You can still spot dolphins and whales, swim with sea turtles and penguins, and watch for cute sea lions and sea fur pups. It is a quiet month with lower prices, mild weather, and fewer crowds. October is perfect for couples as well as nature lovers and animal explorers. Keep reading to find out why October is a fantastic month to visit.
September on the Galápagos is perfect for enjoying the low season's tranquillity, lower prices, and particularly active wildlife. The Galápagos fur seals arrive during this month, sharing space with the cute sea lions and their pups. Visit Isabela Island to see them mating, being lazy on the pavements, and taking up space on the beaches. It is also the season of the penguins, and the last chance to see the humpback whales. Snorkel with penguins around Bartolóme Island and hike to Pinnacle Rock to enjoy beautiful sea views. Read on to find out why September is an excellent month to visit the Galápagos.
August is high season in the Galápagos, and for good reason: marine life is abundant, the weather is great, and it's summer vacation for families in the Northern Hemisphere. This month is perfect for families, as well as adventure seekers. The whale-watching is superb during this month, and plenty of other marine species—such as dolphins and curious sea lions—are active as well. Galápagos hawks make their appearance, as do giant tortoises and lava lizards. Book in advance, especially for cruises, and pack warm clothing, as night can be chilly and windy. Keep reading to find out why August is one of the best months to visit the Galápagos.
July is the middle of the high season in the Galápagos, with many international and Ecuadorian families traveling to the islands during this time. Visitors during this month will enjoy colder waters, abundant marine life, and incredible birdwatching. It is the perfect time to travel with family, enjoy hiking, dive with sharks and whales, and go snorkeling among crustaceans and mollusks. Lazy sea lions and their pups will welcome you around the islands, and you will see blue-footed boobies go about their days. Keep reading for travel advice for visiting the Galápagos in July.
June on the Galápagos Islands is the start of the winter season, meaning cooler weather, clear water, and an uptick in marine wildlife activity. You'll see endemic bird species (like the colorful greater flamingo and frigatebird), go swimming with sharks, and snorkel with particularly active marine life. If you like being active on your vacation, June is an excellent time to visit for whale watching, diving, kayaking, and mountain biking. Since it's high season, you'll want to book a few months ahead.
May on the Galápagos Islands is shoulder season, with lower prices and quieter beaches. The sea is cold and clear during the month, which means the snorkeling is at its best. Take the boat to Santa Cruz Island to spot young land iguana hatchlings and visit the port of Puerto Ayora, where Galápagos sea lions take their afternoon siestas on the benches. Read on for travel advice and suggestions for visiting the Galápagos in May.
April in the Galápagos brings snorkeling in clear blue waters, spotting baby giant tortoises, and Easter celebrations. As the month progresses, dramatic scenes play out between the hatchlings and their fierce predators: stick around the beaches to see how it unfolds. It is the ideal time for island-hopping between Isabela, Genovesa, and Española Islands to see a variety of wildlife. Between the land-based activities, you'll dive into the sea and experience the marine underworld. If you're planning on visiting in April, read on for weather tips and travel advice.
Traveling to Galapágos Islands in March means excellent wildlife watching and clear water visibility. It is one of the warmest months, which makes it the perfect time to enjoy snorkeling and visit the western islands. Many bird species are in the midst of their nesting seasons, and you can spot waved albatross and male frigate birds as they dazzle prospective mates with raucous displays. The renowned Holy Week starts towards the end of the month, where you can enjoy parades, food, and a vibrant atmosphere. Read on to find out more about visiting the Galápagos in March.
February is a festive month in the Galápagos Islands, with Ecuador's Carnival celebration and ideal conditions for scuba diving and boating. You will enjoy colorful parades, delicious food, and true Ecuadorian spirit. The penguins will join you as they return to the islands during this time, while greater flamingos and marine iguanas begin their nesting season. Keep reading for tips and advice if you're planning on visiting in February.
Travelers wanting to keep their costs low will enjoy this short but active five-day tour. Staying on Santa Cruz Island, you'll take tours to some of the highlights, such as the unmissable Charles Darwin Research Station, and a boat tour where you can snorkel with sea turtles if you wish. There's also plenty of downtime scheduled, so choose your own activities that suit your interests: chill out on a beach, visit enormous Galapagos tortoises, and more.
Spend two magical weeks island-hopping around the Galapagos on this highlights tour of the archipelago. Start at San Cristobal Island, where you'll observe sea lions, go snorkeling, and hike to see rare birds in their natural habitats. Then you'll head to Isabela Island to swim next to iguanas and sea turtles, hike a volcano, and relax on the beach. The trip ends on Santa Cruz Island, where you'll get up close with giant tortoise residents and learn about conservation efforts in the region.
Visit three of the most famous islands in the Galapagos archipelago — San Cristobal, Isabela, and Santa Cruz — on this 10-day adventure. You'll hike volcanoes, snorkel around rock formations, and explore each island in-depth, keeping your eyes open for giant Galapagos tortoises and marine iguanas. The itinerary involves travel by plane and speedboat, making it possible for travelers to see far-flung areas of the famous archipelago.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the world's biggest ecological hotspots, with some of the highest percentages of endemic species and dozens of uninhabited islands. You'll spend two weeks exploring the biggest islands to see major landmarks—like the Charles Darwin Research Station and Sierra Negra Volcano—while also spending time on some less-known destinations, experiencing the truly remote nature of the rocky archipelago.
Spend time in Ecuador's capital city and explore the biodiverse Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a cruise ship on this 10-day itinerary. After touring colonial churches and hiking in Cotopaxi National Park, catch a flight across the water to Santa Cruz Island, your launching point for the cruise. You'll wake up at a new island every day, maximizing your opportunities for sightseeing and exploring.
This whirlwind trip takes you to many of Ecuador's top highlights in a single week. Stroll the colonial streets of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and stand on the equator at Mitad del Mundo. Then it's off to the Galapagos Islands for four days of hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, wildlife viewing, and relaxing on the beach. From snow-capped peaks to deep waters filled with sea turtles and penguins, this diverse itinerary has something for everyone.
If you're short on time but don't want to cut back on experiences, this 5-day island hopping trip to the Galapagos is for you. Fly out of Quito, heading for San Cristobal—home of the famous sea lion colony and Kicker Rock. Then, take a speedboat to Santa Cruz, where you'll see giant tortoises and visit an uninhabited island.
January is one of the best times to visit the Galápagos Islands, thanks to the pleasant temperatures and birdwatching opportunities. It is also a great month to experience hiking and underwater adventures, such as snorkeling and diving. Many of the marine species are active during this time, which means you will get to see endemic birds, iguanas, and sea turtles as they make their way upon the land to nest and lay their eggs. Read on to learn why January is an excellent month to visit the Galápagos.
Discover ancient ruins, colonial architecture, fantastic food, and folk culture in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and iconic Machu Picchu. Then hop aboard the luxurious Galapagos Legend—the only cruise boat in the Galapagos with an on-deck swimming pool—for a multi-island expedition to observe the birds, iguanas, and sea creatures that make this place so special.
Discover a nature lover's heaven through a wildlife tour that will uncover the most extraordinary sights of the Galapagos Islands. Over a week and a half, you'll discover the local flora and fauna through outdoor activities like kayaking, mountain biking, trekking, and snorkeling. This socially and environmentally responsible itinerary features top-notch guides and immersive educational experiences, in addition to benefitting local communities.
The Galapagos Islands comprise one of the world's most extraordinary travel destinations, and the opportunity to observe the famous archipelago's native creatures is especially magical for children. This guide tells you all you need to know to embark on the family adventure of a lifetime.
Cruising around the Galapagos Islands — viewing extraordinary wildlife and natural sights by day while motoring between islands at night — is one of the best ways to experience these magical islands. On this tour, you'll visit 11 islands in the famed archipelago, observing birdlife, sea lions, marine iguanas, sharks, giant tortoises and an array of other creatures.
From snorkeling with sea turtles and hiking up a dormant volcano to spotting giant tortoises and penguins, a journey to the Galapagos brings an array of incredible sights and activities. With a cruise, you’ll get further from the main islands, and there’s no need to pack each day for a new hotel as your accommodation and transportation are combined. Use this guide to get the most out of your Galapagos cruise.
Planning to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and spot the extraordinary wildlife on the Galapagos Islands? A great way to make this journey is on a land-based tour: sleeping in hotels by night and shuttling between the islands by day. In between, you’ll have the chance to spot giant tortoises in their native habitat, snorkel with sea lions, hike up an active volcano and spend time experiencing the culture of these Enchanted Islands.
This 10-day trip will take you to the best the Galapagos has to offer. Immerse yourself in the wildlife, culture and unique ecosystem of the archipelago as you see the sights by bike, by foot and in the water. This extraordinary week includes snorkeling with sea lions, tropical fish, and beautiful manta rays. On land, there will be numerous chances to observe giant tortoises and other amazing creatures in this one-of-a-kind destination.
Land-based tours are a more economical and comfortable alternative to cruising the Galapagos. This 6-day itinerary takes in the highlights of the three main inhabited islands — from watching giant tortoises to hiking around an active volcanic crater and snorkeling with penguins and sharks.
The Galapagos Islands are spectacular in so many ways, but even more so underwater. The seascapes of reefs, ledges, walls and extinct volcanic craters are teeming with wildlife – from sea lions and marine iguanas to turtles and schools of hammerhead sharks. This guide tells you all you need to know to discover one of the world's best diving destinations.
The Galapagos Islands are a diverse set of islands off the coast of Ecuador full of distinct wildlife, idyllic beaches, and incomparable visitor sites that offer a range of interesting activities—from hiking, to snorkeling, close-ups with pre-historic looking animals, kayaking and treks across volcanic islands—to name a few of the endless possibilities. This one-of-a-kind destination is a must when visiting Ecuador.