The Galápagos Islands have attracted tourists from all over the world. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Galapagos has been called a “living museum” because of the wonders found here. In fact, think of these islands near South America have been a melting pot for marine life. This is because the islands lie in a confluence of three ocean currents.
Day Galapagos Islands Tours & Trips
This unique phenomenon has made this area a favorite hunting ground for many sea creatures. Among these are giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and even flightless cormorants. In fact, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was inspired by what he saw on these islands.
That said, if you get the chance to visit the Galapagos archipelago, then make the most out of your trip here. You can do this by choosing land-based tours or going on a cruise, take your pick! Going on a Galapagos Islands cruise means going on board a yacht and exploring different areas of the archipelago. Meanwhile, a land-based tour can take you to Cotopaxi National Park. Of course, this depends on the type of tour that you booked.
Galapagos Tour – Which Tour to Book?
The Galapagos Islands have been listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that this is a protected area. The good news is that there are different ways for you to explore the islands. In fact, the best way to do this is to go on a tour of the Galapagos Islands. Not only will you get to see the main highlights of the island, but you’ll get more information through a tour guide.
That said, you can go on a day trip here or opt for a multi-day trip. Either way, you are sure to learn a lot about these islands. Let’s take a look at the tours that you can take in Galapagos.
Going on 7-day tours in Galapagos is a great idea. After all, it gives you plenty of time to explore the islands and their surroundings. Aside from being the wildlife, you can also do different water activities too. Think swimming, kayaking, hiking, and even relaxing on the beach.
In this 7-day tour, you will arrive on Santa Cruz island first. Here you will visit the Charles Darwin Station. This is where you’ll get an overview of the conservation efforts being done on the islands. If you are in luck, you can spot a giant Galapagos tortoise on the field nearby.
The second day will take you to an uninhabited island for wildlife viewing. Make sure that you keep your eyes peeled for nesting frigate birds and the blue-footed boobies. On the third day, you will be taken to Isabela Island. Here you will be taken to the Las Tintores Islet. Aside from that, the following day you will head to Los Tuneles which is known for its rock formations. This is also a good spot to go snorkeling. Aside from tropical fish, you can also spot sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and even penguins.
Explore Tortuga Bay on the fifth day by going kayaking. On the sixth day, you can just sit back and relax on the beach. For the last leg of your trip, you will head to another uninhabited island for wildlife spotting and hiking.
Go on a 7-day Galapagos Cruise
This cruise will start on Baltra Island after landing at Baltra airport. From here, your first stop is Mosquera Islet. Aside from seeing a large number of sea lions, there are plenty of birds here too. You will later dock at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno which is the capital of the archipelago. From here you will be taken to Cerro Colorado. This center is where they breed giant tortoises.
The next day, you will be off to Punta Pitt. Hike the trails here to see some amazing views of the coastline. Afterward, you will be heading towards South Plaza Island and Santa Fe Island. These islands are perfect for hiking and wildlife viewing.
Meanwhile, cruise passengers will be heading to the town of Puerto Ayora on the fourth day. You will go on a tour around the Charles Darwin Station. This is actually the best spot to learn about conservation efforts to preserve marine life and the ecosystem. Aside from that, your cruise ship will sail around Española Island the following day. You will be taken to Punta Suarez to see sea bird colonies up close. The itinerary also includes seeing the coral beach at Gardner Bay and Osborn Islet. You can go snorkeling here too which is a plus.
Finally, you will be heading to Eden Islet to see the blue-footed boobies. You can also catch the sunset prior to leaving the following day.
Galapagos Outdoor Adventure
Thinking of going on a Galapagos trip? How about booking this outdoor adventure? In this tour, you will be starting on San Cristobal Island. There is an airport here which you can fly into. On the first day, you’ll be directed to the Interpretation Center. They follow this up with a trip to Tijeretas Hill where you will find frigate birds nesting. Afterward, you will head to La Loberia to see a sea lion colony.
Aside from that, your group will be snorkeling at Kicker Rock on the second day. You will spot sea lions, manta rays, and hammerhead sharks here to name a few. The following day will see on a speedboat on Santa Cruz Island. You will visit the Charles Darwin Station where giant tortoises are to be seen.
Meanwhile, you will set up base at Puerto Ayora for the rest of the trip. In fact, you will go on an afternoon boat tour on day four. This is the best way to get an overview of the surrounding area. Next up will be a day trip to an uninhabited island to see more wildlife that Galapagos is known for. You will have a free day to do what you like on the tour. This means that you can go hiking, kayaking, and boating If you are looking for a recommendation, I would say go to Tortuga Bay.
Western Islands Aboard La Pinta
La Pinta is one of the biggest expedition ships perfect for large groups. This tour begins on Baltra Island which you can reach through its airport. You will then be taken to the dock to go on board La Pinta. After being assigned your cabin, passengers will have lunch on board the ship. In the afternoon, guests will be exploring North Seymour which is along the coast. Aside from the different bird species, you can also see land iguanas and sea lions here.
The following day will see Isla Isabela and Fernandina Island. Although there are no docks here, you will be able to reach these islands via a panga. Expert naturalist guides will accompany you as you explore these islands. You’ll learn how the geology of the area was formed with lava flows and even tuff stone layers. In addition, you will visit Fernandina which is a tourist hotspot. Here you will find Punta Espinoza which, in spite of its barren look, is full of wildlife. Enjoy the stunning views of the volcanic landscapes here.
You will continue your exploration of Isabela Island the following day. As your ship navigates the Bolivar channel, there is a good chance that you’ll see several whales. Meanwhile, the secluded Tagus Cove was once a favorite docking point by pirates. Day four is for the red-colored beach of Rabida Island and enjoying the numerous activities here. Next up is a trip to Santa Cruz Island where the Charles Darwin Research Station is.
The following day, the ship will land at Post Office Bay. You can go snorkeling along the coast of the “Champion Islet”. End the day at Cormorant Point where you’ll see turtles on its white sand beach area. Exploring Floreana Island is a nice ending to this trip.
Southeastern Islands Aboard Isabela II
Booking small ship cruises in Galapagos guarantees a lifetime experience. On this trip on board the yacht Isabela II, you will start at Batra Island. From here, you will head to Santa Cruz Island to visit Bachas Beach. On the second day, you will head to Cerro Colorado or San Cristóbal Island. In the afternoon, you will be taken to Punta Pitt for more exploration. What’s great about this trail is that you will see spectacular views of the shoreline. Not only that, but this is the only place where you will find three species of boobies together.
Meanwhile, on day 3 you will be heading to Gardner Bay. Go for a short walk on the white coral beach and see wildlife up close. You can also go snorkeling here or ride a glass-bottomed boat. Afterward, spend the afternoon at Punta Suarez which is one of the volcanic islands in the area. The next day, your cruise ship will take you to Floreana Island. Passengers will disembark at Cormorant Point where they can walk on the beach. In the afternoon, you will head to the Post Office Bay.
Day 5 will see you on Punta Moreno on Isabela Island. Here you will find Galapagos penguins, brown pelicans, and sea lions to name a few. Guests can board small boats to Fernandina Island. Here you’ll find plenty of endemic wildlife to keep an eye on. The tour will end at Eden Islet. Of course, North Seymour is the last stop which is the best place to be.
Quito and the Galapagos Islands
It is also possible to explore mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos in one tour. After disembarking at Quito Airport, you will go on a guided tour around the city. You will then travel to Mitad del Mundo. This is where you can stand on the equator. Afterward, spend the day exploring Quito, including buying souvenirs.
The second leg of the tour will be on Galapagos Islands, starting on Santa Cruz Island. You will start your trip here with a visit to the Charles Darwin Station. The rest of the tour will involve island-hopping as well as visiting uninhabited islands. Aside from snorkeling in these areas, you can also observe wildlife in their natural habitat. At the end of the tour, you will be based at Puerto Ayora. Enjoy the shops and the nightlife on this small island before heading back.
Western Islands Aboard Angelito
If you are traveling with a small group to Galapagos, why not book one of the cruise ships here? Angelito may be one of the smaller boats but they have an interesting itinerary for you. From Baltra airport, you will head to Las Bachas beach on Santa Cruz island. Walk along the shores or go swimming or snorkeling. The following day, you will be taken to Mosquera where sea lions can be observed. Afterward, your group will head to Cerro Dragon for more hiking. Aside from the prickly pears and cacti, you will also spot land iguanas here.
The third day will be devoted to exploring Isabela Island. Think Tagus Cove, Darwin Lake, and the lava fields of Darwin Volcano. Later in the day, you will visit Fernandina Island to see more of the unique species of birds. Meanwhile, Urbina Bay is your itinerary for the following day. You will find flightless cormorants and tortoises along the trail.
Aside from that, you will also explore Punta Moreno on the fifth day. You will find three different types of cacti here. On top of that, the brackish lagoons are home to flamingos, crakes, and others. On the sixth day will see you in Puerto Villamil. Your first stop here is the Tortoise Breeding Center where you will find subspecies of the Galapagos land tortoises. It is also here where you will find the well-known Wall of Tears.
In addition, you will ride a bus to Sierra Negra Volcano. Here you will see the different vegetation on the volcano. The final day will be spent on Floreana Island.
If you want to avoid paying a higher cost when traveling to Galapagos, why not join tours instead? In fact, it would be a good idea to travel with a group since you can cut costs. Although you will have to pay for the round trip fare on your own, you can share with the transport services.
Aside from the tours mentioned above, there is another option to consider. This is the Machu Picchu – Galapagos Tour. However, this is going to be a longer tour. In fact, you should set aside two weeks at least for this trip. Also, it is a good idea to book earlier to get the best price. Since this will require the use of several transportations, you will need to have enough money with you. This is one trip that you will not regret taking for sure.
The best time of year to visit the Galapagos is from November to December. You can start your trip at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador. From there, you can continue to the other islands on small ships. The good news is that there is no shortage of tourist hotspots here. In fact, you should head to Santa Cruz Island where the Charles Darwin Station is. If this is your first time visiting then this is the best place to learn more about the Galapagos Islands.
Aside from the islands mentioned in the tours above, you should also check Darwin Bay. It lies on Genovesa Island and is home to swallow-tailed gulls. In addition, you might be able to spot red-footed boobies as well as great frigatebirds here. Depending on where you will be coming from, you can ride smaller boats to different islands. This is usually done on islands when cruise ships cannot dock.
Planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands is not a bad idea. As mentioned before, the islands have become a melting pot for marine life. Snorkeling and scuba diving here are among the top activities that tourists do. This is not surprising since life under the sea is quite amazing. But don’t worry, land tours are worth seeing as well. After all, there are plenty of bird species here that you’ll enjoy.
If you are heading here soon, why not book a tour right now? Not only will you get to save more, but you’ll also see more of the Galapagos easily. You can use this post as a guide to choosing a tour to book to Galapagos Islands.