Itinerary 1: Galapagos Grand Adventure
Days 1 & 2: Baltra & North Seymour
Begin your journey in Baltra. Explore the small island and prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime. Once you get your bearings, take a day trip to North Seymour island where you will be greeted by sea lions, land iguanas, and blue-footed boobies; spend the day soaking in the views and the wildlife that roams the island. On one side, you can trek across smooth rock beaches, while the other is covered in white powdery sand. This island is excellent for snorkeling—spot magnificent creatures such as reef sharks, garden eels, and tropical fish in the clear turquoise waters.
Day 3: Santa Cruz
Shopping, trekking, snorkeling, you name it, can all be done in this Galapagos hub. In Santa Cruz, get lost in a field of cacti and ferns, peer into pit craters, or wander through the Scalesia Forest. Capture striking photos of giant tortoises in the Galapagos highlands, rent a kayak and explore lagoons, visit the lava tunnels, or hike up Cerro Crocker for lush green landscapes. Relax or surf at Tortuga Bay and search for flamingos at Playa Garrapatero.
Santa Cruz hosts the Charles Darwin Research Center for those interested in the Theory of Evolution! Discover the history of the most biodiverse waters in the world followed by a scuba diving lesson. Explore Santa Cruz by bicycle and head to Charles Binford Avenue at night—stumble across many quaint restaurants and cafes where you can savor fresh catches and sip on passion fruit cocktails!
Day 4: Bartholomew
The stunning red, orange, black, and green volcanic formations that are scattered throughout the island of Bartholomew will mesmerize you. A magical staircase leads to the top of the volcano, where you will be enthralled by one of the best views on this island! Find yourself in a panoramic landscape at Pinnacle Rock to observe penguins, cacti, and bright fish. A dinghy ride takes you to superb beaches perfect for snorkeling with penguins. Brave the ocean blue for a dive to see red-lipped batfish! Head back to Santa Cruz for the evening.
Day 5: South Plaza
South Plaza will take your breath away with its lava-formed cliffs, extensive sea lion colony, and colorful yellow and red land iguanas. Take a photo of the swallow-tailed gulls as you walk around the Opuntia cacti that envelop the landscape. View vibrant shades of red, blue, and green in every direction. South Plaza is a small island that is perfect for a day trip. Pack your hiking shoes and water, then roam freely for the day with only sounds of the local wildlife and the ocean breeze to guide you. Head back to Santa Cruz for the evening.
Days 6 & 7: Isabela
Who can say they have been to both sides of the world simultaneously? Here on the island of Isabela, you can actually straddle the Equator! Isabela Island is the largest in the Galapagos and one of the most volcanically active places on earth. Alcedo volcano not only has the largest tortoise population but is also the only volcano out of five that can be climbed on Isabela. Plentiful, unfearful wildlife allows you to get ‘up close and personal’ with some of the world’s rarest animals! On Isabela, behold the giant marine iguanas, penguins, flightless cormorants, and flamingos.
On the west side of the island, visit The Wall of Tears, built by prisoners. While biking along the wall, the wildlife gems won’t go unnoticed. In town, spot marine life along the main dock, walk the boardwalk at the Flamingo Lagoons, or head to Playa Puerto Villamil, made up of soft white sand and stunning blue ocean hues. You’ll get your fill of wildlife watching, stargazing, snorkeling, and relaxing on Isabela!
Day 8: Floreana
Start at Post Office Bay, a historical curiosity, where you can send a card home to a loved one from this barrel-shaped mailbox. Tales of pirates and whalers can be heard here as they kept in touch with their family while out at sea. After you partake in this fascinating tradition, stroll to see flamingos, sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks. Make your way to Puerto Villamil and feast on freshly caught fish, find a unique souvenir, and roam the boardwalk, where you will be graced by mangroves and whimbrels. A kaleidoscope of blues and greens will entrance you as you enter numerous lagoons set next to white beaches encircled by black volcanic rock. Head back to Santa Cruz for the evening.
Day 9: Santa Fe
This small island has an exquisite picturesque bay perfect for hiking. Pass by rows of Palo Santo trees on your way to the scenic viewpoint that sits atop a cliff or find yourself near a prickly pear cactus forest to catch another great view of the ocean. After your hike, grab a panga ride around the island to explore the coastline of Santa Fe, head into hidden coves, or snorkel in the calm bay accompanied by sea lions! Head back to Santa Cruz for the evening.
Days 10 & 11: San Cristobal
Check out the Junco Lagoon that sits above sea level to see the volcanic crater lake surrounded by a plethora of abundant vegetation. Hike to Cerro Tijeretas lookout for photos of the numerous birds or to Playa Baquerizo for a secluded afternoon on the beach. Rent snorkeling gear or kayaks to traverse the Pacific Ocean on this island. Enjoy white sand at Cerro Brujo and olive sand at Punta Pitt, where you can sink your toes in and hang with sea lions and sea turtles!
Day 12: Journey Home
Fly out of San Cristobal Airport. Have a safe flight home!