Travel to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador
An archipelago made up of 13 islands and 107 islets or smaller islands. One of our favorite destinations in the world.
Home to the giant land turtle and place of inspiration for Darwin to develop his theory of evolution. A place that seems from another planet, and that is capable of making anyone fall in love. It is so special that birds fly around you as if they have never seen misrespect from a human.
An oasis of respect and care for nature, which allows you to have unique experiences with animals. It is the second-largest marine reserve on the planet, so here you can do one of the best diving experiences in the world. We recommend taking snorkel and goggles to do it wherever you want and to enjoy the marine world whenever you feel like it.
Many believe that it is only a place to observe animals, but the truth is that it has spectacular landscapes, and the air feels different.
Tips for traveling to Galapagos Cheap
The key to making this trip cheap is traveling in periods away from the high season. Track flights or constantly look at flights until they come down to buy Cheap tickets, since you can really buy them at very cheap prices if you are patient. If you buy in a rush, the ticket will probably be too expensive, and if it is high season, the accommodations will also be very expensive.
Try to land on one island, and take off from another. This is possible, and you will save yourself a boat ride.
Another good tip is to bring food from the continent, so you don’t have to buy anything on the island, and find a hostel that has a kitchen. * You can buy very cheap lobsters in the port and make them on your own.
If you want to save more, we advise you to stay somewhere a little further from the city center, as it will not be so far, you will be able to walk and it will probably be a good place to stay. The agreed minimum in the islands for accommodation is 30usd, they cannot charge less. If you are in the right time and do not concur during high tide, you can also camp on some islands, thus saving on accommodation, and you will have an incredible experience.
Other general tips about the Galapagos Islands Archipelago
Best Time or moment to Travel to Galapagos. From January to June more or less the warm season occurs. But you have to know that when it is hot, it is hot. From July to December the Dry Season ocurrs. If you go in September it is not that hot and maybe you do not feel like going into the water, and if you go in March you will be suffering because of heat.
How many days to visit Galapagos. What I can say about it, is that the more days you travel the better it will be. I would have stayed there for months. The recommendation is as much as possible.
How to get to the Galapagos Islands? You must take a plane from Quito or Guayaquil. You have no other alternative, so you have to get to one of those cities before if you want to go to the Galapagos Islands.
What to do or what to visit in the Galapagos Archipelago Islands?
I will make the description by Islands. There are many islands and each one with something to show, so I will start from the bigger ones and those that have an airport first, to the most particular ones.
– Santa Cruz Island
A very complete island for the experience of being in the Galapagos. The small town of Puerto Ayora is the main city of the island. It has good sandy beaches, and you can interact and learn about the giant turtles.
What to do in Santa Cruz Island?
- Herbarium Station Charles Darwin and Solitaire George. If you are staying in Puerto Ayora, you can probably go walking there and it is a place where you can have your first approach with giant tortoises. A very well-kept place, dedicated to the study of turtles, so you will know valuable information about the place. The big star of the place is the lonely George, who was the last turtle of his kind.
- Tortuga Bay. A huge beach with clear water and sand. If you go early in the morning you can see aquatic turtles near the shore. To get there you must cross a path of just over half an hour in the middle of an indigenous forest. Marine iguanas are common on this beach too.
- El Chato Giant Tortoise Reserve. Although it is not the only option for this, it is an incredible place to interact with the giant tortoises since they are free in different parts of the reserve. Do not abuse of the possibility and avoid being so close to them as you can disturb them. Walk slowly and if you realise she is intimidated by your presence, walk away.
- Tour Puerto Ayora. The city center, although it is very small, It has a certain charm that is worth enjoying. Walking during day or night is a different experience. Restaurants light up at night, and souvenir shops fill with tourists. Very close to the city is the nymph’s lagoon, a very beautiful place to walk and relax.
- The Cracks. A narrow lagoon that is formed between two large rocks. A very nice place to bathe and enjoy the color of the water and the surrounding landscape. To get there you have to cross the beautiful beach of the Germans, where it is possible to see manta rays and other marine animals and some salt lagoons, where you can appreciate a very special landscape that is created.
- El Garrapatero beach. It is a pleasant beach to feel a different atmosphere. There are grills so you can go there and cook on your own. You are allowed to camp here too, but you have to ask for a permit at least one day in advance at the Galapagos National Park office. If you pay 10 usd and do not coincide with high tide days, they should allow it. Being there, at night, alone, 15 km from anyone else, is a unique experience.
- North Seymour Island. At the opposite end of Puerto Ayora is the North Seymour Island, very close to Santa Cruz Island’s airport. This place is famous because there is a large population of blue-footed boobies and forked gulls, in addition to other species of animals such as sea lions and iguanas.
- Black Turtle Cove. A mangrove swamp on the other side of the island recommended by locals for diving and/or snorkeling as you can see turtles, sharks and rays. It is very little frequented, because it can only be reached by boat.
– San Cristobal Island
An island also quite complete, with many incredible tourist attractions to enjoy. You can also see turtles walking on their own and many other species of animals. The energy is different, but also incredible. In the interpretation center you can learn more about the observations that Charles darwin made on the island, and you will see that you can observe them by yourself.
What to do on the Island of San Cristóbal?
- Interpretation Center in San Cristobal Island. A place dedicated to showing the evolution and processes that the island has undergone, as well as important figures that have influenced in it. It is possible to learn a lot about Charles Darwin, and how the island contributed to the further development of the theory of evolution.
- Bay of Tijeretas. A beautiful natural pool to bathe and relax. It is possible to see turtles here, in addition to sea lions and many species of birds. There is also a viewpoint to enjoy the place.
- Sleeping Lion Rock. The big star of this place. The perfect place to observe marine animals in their natural habitat. It is possible to see the famous hammerhead sharks, rays, turtles and many other species. Snorkeling or tank diving is necessary to live the experience as it should.
- Galapaguera from Cerro Colorado. It is a good place to interact and learn from the giant tortoises. Do not abuse of your freedom and avoid being so close to them as to disturb them. Walk slowly and if you see they are intimidated by your presence, walk away. On the way to this place you can stop at El Junco Lagoon, a lagoon formed in the crater of a volcano.
- Puerto Chino Beach. An amazing beach where turtles can be easily seen, and there are many sea lions as well. That is precisely the problem to camp in this area. If you want to do it anyway, you must request a permit in advance at the Galapagos National Park office and pay 10 USD.
- Punta Carola beach. This is a beach very close to Puerto Baquerizo, It’s perfect to enjoy the sunset with the sea lions around. Locals sell beers and drinks in the place, which makes the experience even better.
- The Sealion place. Another place that only a few people visit. It is in the direction of the airport, where you find a very large beach. If you walk long enough, you can see the sea lions as the owners of the beach. The strong waves along with their swimming of the sealions is a show you should watch. It is possible to see turtles and birds as only in few places in the Galapagos you can see.
– Isabela Island
It is the largest island in the entire Galapagos archipelago. Still, it does not have an airport, so the only way to get there is from the sea. This generates a feeling of total disconnection. **You must pay 10usd of entry.
This island was used as a prison for some years, similar to what happened in Alcatraz. Prisoners were made to work in inhumane conditions.
What to do and what to visit on Isabela Island?
- Wall of tears. It is called like that because it was built by prisoners in very inhumane conditions. There is a path of about 5 km that connects some beautiful beaches, an estuary, and wetlands.
- Pearl shell. It’s a Shallow Bay, which forms a natural pool. Perfect for snorkeling.
- Pool of devils in Isabela Island. A place to observe flamingos in their habitat.
- Turtle breeding center. Although it is a bit far, it is worth visiting since you can better appreciate the differences between species. To get there, the road has good surprises for you. It’s free, and you can rent a bike to get there faster.
- Mango viewpoint. The perfect place to observe the island from above, and to watch the sunset.
- The Tunnels. An incredible place to dive or snorkel through aquatic tunnels formed by the passage of lava. It is a quite expensive tour but it’s worth swimming with rays, sharks, and turtles in this particular place.
- Climb the Sierra Negra volcano and the Small Volcano. Both Volcanos are incredible. The views and craters are very different from any others you have ever been before. Both of them can be done on an excursion, and the prices are not so expensive.
- Swimming with tiger sharks. Another typical excursion on the island, where you can swim with these sharks. The environment with lava channels is also very unique.
- Darwin Lake. This lake, which has the particularity of being just a little above sea level, and with a much higher level of salt than the sea. The scenery is spectacular.
– Fernandina Island
The third-largest island in Galapagos. Famous for being the home of one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Close to this place is one of the largest marine iguana colonies in the entire archipelago. You can see penguins and other birds and snorkel in nice places as well. One of the favorite islands for the visitors of the Galapagos archipelago.
– Floreana Island
The sixth-largest island in Galapagos. An island with flora and fauna that does not exist anywhere else. Perfect to discover it on a day trip. You can follow a path to a lagoon (Punta Cormorant) inhabited by flamingos (when it is the season) and other birds. There are several beaches, places to snorkel close to the seal place or devil’s crown.
– Santa Fé Island
A smaller island, which can be easily reached from Santa Cruz Island, and which has beautiful beaches and access to various species of animals. It does not stand out much.
– Santiago Island
A large but deserted island that also has different things to show. It stands out for its rock formations and for having a great flow of lava (It is located in Sullivan Bay). At Espumillas beach you can see turtles nesting. There are trails that lead to caves and to the interior of the salt mine volcano. Here you can see countless birds and aquatic animals. A good place to practice Snorkel or Diving.
– Española Island
A small island, where Gardner Bay stands out, to observe and even swim with sea lions.
– Caldwell Island
A small island, close to a Floriana that stands out for the possibility of seeing lots snakes.
– Genovesa Island
An island that has the particularity of being one of the few Galapagos islands that are located north of the equator. It stands out as a perfect destination to observe the red-footed booby and a large number of other birds.
– Unnamed Island
According to those who have visited it, It’s the best of the Galapagos. A perfect place for bird watching, and for snorkeling or diving.
– Rabida Island
Due to the high iron content in the lava that formed the island, it has the particularity of having a reddish color that forms a different landscape from the rest of the archipelago. There are good trails, and beautiful beaches.
– Bartolomé Island
A very beautiful island as well. From Playa Dorada you can do good snorkeling and the place is incredible. You can see Penguins and sharks too. There are good viewpoints