Trip to Galapagos

When I was googling for “places to visit before they disappear” or “places to visit before you die”, Galapagos was definitely one of the top choices. This isolated archipelago is home to so many diverse wildlife which is where Charles Darwin based his famous book Origin of Species on which originated the theory of evolution. There is just one word to describe this place: Magical. By the end of the trip, we were lucky enough to see 25 different types of animals (not to mention a 180 year old Giant Galapagos Tortoise!!!!!)!

Giant Galapagos Tortoise

Things to do in Galapagos

Here is a list of activities we did in Galapagos. Hopefully, it’ll give you a better idea of which ones are must dos and which ones can be skipped. Since vacation days are limited and I know this is a pricey place to visit, I’m hoping this list can help you make the most out of your trip!

  Day trip to North Seymour MustDo
  Day trip to Isabela
  El Chato Tortoise Reserve   MustDo
  Charles Darwin Research Station 
  Fisherman’s Wharf    MustDo
  Tortuga Bay 
  Las Grietas 
  Wildlife Watching 

What to Pack

Now that tickets are booked and you’re leaving in a week’s time, here’s a useful Packing Guide to help make this step as painless as possible. I’ve gone through this process myself so I definitely hope it’ll save you some hassle!

Wildlife in Galapagos

The amount of animals you’ll get to encounter during your trip will be unimaginable! To get a glimpse of what some of them may be, check out my YouTube playlist below (I’m sure you will be even more tempted to go when you watch these!):

Expensive Cruises, Land Tours, or On Your Own?

When we first did our research, it looked like the only option to see Galapagos was through expensive cruises or with land tours. However, after doing a bit more digging, we realized it was possible to do it on our own, backpacking style! The downside with that is you’re not able to visit islands that are further away, but the upside is that many people often get sea sick from the cruises which can be quite a bummer. Also, traveling independently allows you the freedom of doing what you want and whenever you want (imagine being stuck on a boat for 10 days with people you don’t like…definitely not too fond of that idea…)!

We picked Puerto Ayora, the largest town on Santa Cruz island, as our home base and instead of renting a hotel, we rented an Airbnb home. That definitely made the stay more enjoyable as we had the whole one-bedroom house to ourselves and we were able to do laundry and cook. Most of our days were spent exploring Santa Cruz since there are lots of fun things to do and from there, we took several day trips to the other islands. We didn’t get to see the islands that are further out, but nonetheless, we had a blast and would highly recommend doing that instead of joining luxury cruises and land tours!

Suggested Itinerary

For those who are considering visiting Galapagos on your own and not sure how to organize your trip, here’s an example of our itinerary that might help you out with your planning:

Day 1: Leave for Galapagos (stayed the night at Guayaquil to catch morning flight to Galapagos)

Day 2: Arrived at Santa Cruz, Galapagos (Highlights: Walked around Puerto Ayora, Charles Darwin Research Station.)

Day 3: Puerto Ayora (Highlights: Las Grietas, Tortuga Bay-beautiful white sand beach)

Day 4: Santa Cruz Highlands (Highlights: Los Gemelos, Los Tunneles, El Chato- saw a 180 year old giant tortoise)

Day 5: Diving/Snorkelling @ North Seymour & Mosquera (Highlight: saw hammerhead sharks)

Day 6: Isabela Island Day Trip (Highlights: Tortoise Breeding Center, Tintoreras-saw Galapagos Penguins)

Day 7: North Seymour Day Trip (Highlights: Snorkelling, saw frigates, blue-footed boobies, land iguanas throughout the trail)

Day 8: Puerto Ayora (Highlight: Playa de la Estacion)

Day 9: Santa Cruz (Highlights: El Garrapatero Beach- saw ghost crabs, Port at Night)

Day 10: Puerto Ayora (Highlights: Saw a school of golden rays next to the Port)

Day 11: Leave Galapagos 


Read up more on the activities you can do in Galapagos:

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Planning your next adventure? Feel free to leave me a question!