Welcome to this unique corner of the planet, an archipelago that challenges the imagination and captivates the senses: the Galapagos Islands. In this blog, we detail a 7-day itinerary in the Galapagos Islands offered by Responsible Travel, discover an incomparable natural paradise, where wildlife unfolds in a surreal setting.
Galapagos, known for its crucial role in Darwin's theory of evolution, is much more than a tourist destination. It is a living laboratory of nature, where life flourishes in forms and colors that defy expectations. Join us as we explore the most fascinating Galapagos itineraries, discover hidden secrets on each island, and immerse ourselves in the unique richness of this natural heritage.
Get ready for a trip that goes beyond conventional tourism; it is an immersion in the biodiversity, history and magic that only Galapagos can offer. Embark with us on this virtual adventure and discover why Galapagos is much more than a destination, it is a transformative experience!
Why visit the Galapagos?
Galapagos is an experience that goes beyond a simple vacation. It is an encounter with the wonder of creationA reminder of our responsibility to protect and preserve the fragile beauty of our planet. An isolated archipelago in the middle of the vast Pacific, it is much more than a collection of islands; it is a sanctuary of life in its purest form. Dive into the compelling reasons why Galapagos should be your next destination:
Unique Biodiversity: Nowhere else in the world will you find such an amazing concentration of endemic species. From iconic giant tortoises to blue-footed boobies, every corner of the Galapagos is home to life you won't find anywhere else.
Evolution in action: Galapagos played a pivotal role in Darwin's theory of evolution. Here, you will witness the adaptation and evolution of species in a way that redefines our understanding of life on Earth.
Unforgettable experiences: From swimming with playful sea lions to walking among marine iguanas, each day in Galapagos will provide you with unique encounters with wildlife. Diving and snorkeling opportunities will immerse you in an underwater world teeming with color and life.
Breathtaking scenery: From white sand beaches to surreal rock formations, Galapagos offers a variety of landscapes that will take your breath away. Each island boasts its own distinctive beauty, from the lava fields of Sullivan Bay to the forests of Scalesia in Santa Cuz Island.
Commitment to Conservation: Visiting Galapagos is not only an opportunity to enjoy nature at its best, but also to contribute to its preservation. Strict tourism regulations ensure that this paradise remains intact for future generations.
7-day itinerary: Discover a paradise on the crossroads of time
Day 1 : Flight to Baltra / Santa Cruz Island - Highlands - C. Darwin Station. Darwin Station
Once in Baltra, our specialized guide will pick you up at the airport to start the tour. On your first day you will visit the upper part of Santa Cruz Island, on the way you will observe the change from dry vegetation in the lower part, to a tropical rainforest in the upper part. The characteristic trees in the upper part are the Escalecías and the Palo Santos. Here you will visit a farm, where you will have the opportunity to observe the famous giant tortoises in their natural environment.
After the tour you will enjoy a typical lunch. You will continue your tour to an impressive tunnel almost 300 meters long, formed by lava flows (the outer part of the lava cooled faster than the inner part and therefore this tunnel was formed). Arrival in the afternoon at the hotel in Puerto Ayora. Then you will take a short walk through the Charles Darwin Research Station: Scientists from all over the world meet here for environmental protection projects (such as water analysis, animal welfare, influences of tourism). Here you can visit the turtle hatchery, where the animals are bred before being released back into the wild. Land iguanas can also be seen here.
DAY 2 - Snorkeling tour and fishing demonstration
Today you will participate in a yacht excursion to Pinzón Islet. This excursion is not private and is done in the company of other guests (maximum 12 passengers per boat). In the afternoon, you will enjoy free time in Puerto Ayora.
To visit Pinzon Islet we will pick you up from your hotel at 8:00 am to take you to the Itabaca Channel on Santa Cruz Island where you will board a boat, the trip from Puerto Ayora to the Itabaca Channel is approximately 45 minutes. From the Itabaca Channel, you will go to Pinzon Islet, a 25 minute boat ride. Once on the islet, you will snorkel for about 45 minutes and do some bird watching from the boat, specifically seabirds such as blue-footed and masked boobies and frigate birds. We will also have a demonstration of artisanal fishing, as it is done by Galapagos fishermen.
DAY 3 - Launch to Isabela / Tintoreras Islet
Early in the morning, we will take a speed boat to Isabela Island. The tour lasts approximately two and a half hours and you can observe various species such as manta rays, sea turtles and, with much more luck, dolphins. When we disembark we will find a landscape with lots of volcanic rock, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and playful sea lions. Afterwards we will transfer to the hotel and after a short rest, we will head to the Tintoreras. "Las Tintoreras" owes its name to the fact that in this place there are white-finned sharks known as Tintoreras, in this place we can snorkel to observe them closely and also swim with a variety of multicolored fish.
DAY 4 - Sierra Negra Volcano / Boat to Santa Cruz
Today you will visit some of Isabela's best attractions, the Sierra Negra Volcano and Chico Volcano.
Sierra Negra is one of the most active volcanoes of the archipelago, its recent eruption took place in 2005. The crater of the volcano is considered the second largest in the world, with a diameter of 10 km. Volcán Chico is also an active volcano, in this area you can see sulfur fumaroles.
This is a tour of approximately 6 hours of hiking to appreciate all the splendor of the volcanoes.
Finally we will return to port to take the boat back to Santa Cruz.
Today you will participate in a yacht excursion to an uninhabited island. It will be South Plaza or North Seymour. The destination will depend on availability, day of the week and National Park permits. This excursion is not private and is done in the company of other guests (maximum 20 passengers per boat).
This is a small island in the Galapagos, with endemic populations of species of both flora as well as fauna, for example, the royal frigatebird and the blue-footed booby, if we are lucky we can witness the interesting mating rituals of these species. Frigatebirds have interesting mating rituals; the frigatebird inflates its red sac in its throat, and the blue-footed booby performs a kind of unique dance.
North Seymour Island also has a thriving colony of land iguanas and sea lions near the coast. On this island we will walk along several trails to appreciate its wildlife for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. We will have the option to live an unrepeatable experience while snorkeling, it is common to observe hammerhead sharks, turtles and a great variety of reef fish.
Our navigation will last approximately 2 hours, when we disembark we will be able to observe one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the archipelago and a few meters behind a group of land iguanas can be seen. Along our walk through Plazas, it is common to find land iguanas and birds such as blue-footed boobies, nesting swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds and pelicans. Depending on the season, the vegetation changes its color from intense green in the rainy season to orange and purple in the dry season.
Once in Bartolome Island, we will walk along a lunar-like volcanic trail until we reach the highest part of the island in order to observe the landscape that includes Santiago Island, the immense ocean and the white sand beach surrounded by green mangroves that contrasts with the lava rocks. During our tour it is possible to encounter penguins, sea lions, white tip sharks, a great variety of reef fish and sea turtles. We will return to our hotel in Santa Cruz.
DAY 6 - Tortuga Bay / Free afternoon
Today, in the morning, we will have a transfer and guided visit to the Tortuga Bay beach, considered one of the most attractive in South America.
Tortuga Bay is a white sand beach accessible through a path surrounded by bushes. Tortuga Bay is famous for its long, pristine coastline that gradually slopes down to the sea. It is a great place to swim, kayak or just relax and sunbathe with marine iguanas.
Return to Puerto Ayora and free afternoon.
DAY 7 - Transfer to Baltra.
After a delicious breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the Baltra airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador and your international connection.
Galapagos is not just a destination; it is an encounter with the magic of wildlife. From the majestic giant tortoises to the aquatic games of the sea lions, every moment is an opportunity to connect with nature in its purest state. Darwin's lessons come alive in Galapagos. Here, we have witnessed evolution in action, a reminder of life's amazing ability to adapt and thrive in unique environments.
Don't think of Galapagos as just another destination on your bucket list. Consider this trip as an invitation to be part of something bigger, to be a witness and protector of a special corner of the Earth. The adventure may end, but the memories and awareness that Galapagos leaves behind are eternal.
Are you ready to immerse yourself in the wonder of Galapagos and take with you not only memories, but also a renewed commitment to the conservation of our precious planet? The choice is yours, paradise awaits you!
We recommend at least a week to explore several islands and enjoy a variety of activities.
It is recommended to consult a doctor and make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations before traveling to Galapagos.
Yes, there are strict regulations to protect wildlife. For example, you must keep a safe distance from the animals and follow established guidelines.
Flights from mainland Ecuador to Baltra or San Cristobal airports are the main way to get there.