3-Day Exploration Excursion to Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

3 days

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands
Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) in the Pacific Ocean, San Cristobal Island
Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) in the Pacific Ocean, San Cristobal Island
Darwin's Arch

About Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Experience the unparalleled beauty of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador - a UNESCO World Heritage site. This archipelago of volcanic islands offers a unique ecosystem teeming with diverse wildlife, many found nowhere else on Earth. Encounter giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and exotic bird species. Explore the islands' pristine beaches, lava tunnels, and crystal-clear waters perfect for snorkeling and diving. Enjoy guided tours to Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation efforts. Cruise between islands for breathtaking views and unforgettable sunsets. The Galapagos Islands promise an extraordinary adventure filled with nature's wonders, making it a must-visit destination for eco-tourists and wildlife enthusiasts.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Santa Cruz Island


Start your day with a guided tour to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can learn about the unique species of the Galapagos and the conservation efforts to protect them.


Enjoy a packed lunch while you travel to Tortuga Bay, a pristine white sand beach known for its wildlife.


Spend the afternoon at Tortuga Bay, where you can swim, snorkel, and observe the wildlife, including marine iguanas, sea turtles, and various bird species.


Have a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant offering fresh seafood and traditional Ecuadorian dishes.


End your day with a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, enjoying the cool evening breeze and the sound of the waves.


Begin your second day with a boat tour to Kicker Rock, an impressive volcanic formation rising from the sea. Snorkel in the clear waters and observe the abundant marine life.


Have lunch on the boat while you travel to your next destination, the beautiful La Loberia beach.


Spend the afternoon at La Loberia, a popular spot for observing sea lions. Take a swim in the clear waters or relax on the beach.


Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, sampling the local cuisine and fresh seafood.


Spend the evening exploring the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, with its charming streets and shops.


Start your last day with a visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where you can see giant tortoises in their natural habitat.


Have lunch at a local restaurant in the highlands, enjoying the peaceful surroundings and the fresh, local food.


In the afternoon, visit the Lava Tunnels, a fascinating geological formation. Take a guided tour to learn about their formation and significance.


Have your last dinner at a local restaurant, enjoying the delicious Ecuadorian cuisine and reflecting on your amazing trip.


End your trip with a relaxing evening at your hotel, perhaps enjoying a final stroll along the beach.

Attractions in Itinerary (6)

Charles Darwin Research Station

Charles Darwin Research Station

A biological research station and museum dedicated to the preservation of the Galapagos Islands' ecosystem.

Cultural Experiences
Tortuga Bay

Tortuga Bay

A stunning white sand beach that is also a nesting site for marine turtles.

Kicker Rock

Kicker Rock

A dramatic rock formation off the coast of San Cristobal Island, popular for snorkeling and diving tours due to its rich marine life.


La Loberia

La Loberia is a beautiful beach known for its large sea lion population. Visitors can snorkel, swim, or simply relax on the beach while observing these playful creatures.

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

Highlands of Santa Cruz Island

The Highlands of Santa Cruz Island offer a diverse range of natural attractions. From lava tunnels and sinkholes to the El Chato tortoise reserve, visitors can explore the unique geology and wildlife of the Galapagos. Guided tours are available.

Lava Tunnels

Lava Tunnels

A network of underground tunnels formed by lava flows. Visitors can walk through these tunnels for a unique and fascinating geological experience.


Local Food and Drinks (12)



A popular dish in the Galapagos Islands made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, and spiced with ají, chili peppers, onions, and cilantro.



A traditional Ecuadorian dish made with fish or seafood cooked in a sauce of coconut milk, onions, bell peppers, and spices, often served with rice.

Locro de Papa

Locro de Papa

A rich, hearty potato soup that is a classic Ecuadorian dish. It's often served with avocado and cheese.

Empanadas de Viento

Empanadas de Viento

These are large cheese empanadas that puff up when they are fried, hence the name 'wind empanadas'. They are a popular snack in the Galapagos Islands.

Seco de Chivo

Seco de Chivo

A traditional Ecuadorian stew made with goat meat, garlic, cumin, achiote, and beer. It's often served with rice and fried plantains.

Churrasco Ecuatoriano

Churrasco Ecuatoriano

A popular dish in Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands, consisting of a grilled steak served with rice, fries, eggs, and salad.



A hearty fish soup that is considered a national dish of Ecuador. It's made with yuca, onion, tomato, and tuna or other fresh fish.



A traditional Ecuadorian dish made with potatoes and tripe cooked in a peanut sauce. It's a popular comfort food in the Galapagos Islands.



A warm alcoholic beverage popular in the Andean highlands of Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands. It's made from aguardiente (sugar cane alcohol), sugar, and water boiled with cinnamon.

Chicha de Jora

Chicha de Jora

A traditional Andean drink made from fermented corn. It's a popular beverage in the Galapagos Islands.


A traditional Ecuadorian dessert made from corn, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. It's a popular sweet treat in the Galapagos Islands.

Helado de Paila

Helado de Paila

A traditional Ecuadorian ice cream made in a large bronze pan, often with local fruits. It's a popular dessert in the Galapagos Islands.

Best time to visit

The Galapagos Islands can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit depends on what you're hoping to see. The warm season from December to May is great for bird watching and marine wildlife, with calmer seas and warmer waters. However, the cooler season from June to November, although marked by a bit more cloud cover and occasional drizzle, is the best time for diving and spotting aquatic species due to the increased ocean productivity. So, it really depends on your personal preferences and interests.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

February 12



February 13



March 29


Good Friday

May 1


Labor Day / May Day

May 3


Day off for Labor Day / May Day

May 24


The Battle of Pichincha

August 9


Day off for Independence Day

August 10


Independence Day

October 9


Independence of Guayaquil

October 11


Day off for Independence of Guayaquil

October 31


Day off for All Souls' Day

November 4


Day off for Independence of Cuenca

December 25


Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

The most common way to reach the Galapagos Islands is by air. There are two airports in the Galapagos, one on Baltra Island and the other on San Cristobal Island. Flights to the Galapagos are typically routed through Quito or Guayaquil on the mainland of Ecuador.

Once you're in the Galapagos, inter-island travel is typically done by boat. There are daily ferries that connect the inhabited islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Floreana. The boat rides can be a bit rough, so it's recommended to take seasickness medication if you're prone to it.

Tour boats are a popular way to see the Galapagos Islands. These boats range in size and comfort level, and they typically offer multi-day itineraries that include guided tours, meals, and accommodations. This is a great way to see a variety of islands and wildlife in the Galapagos.

Biking is a popular way to get around on the individual islands, especially on Isabela Island where there are several bike rental shops. It's a great way to explore at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Many of the attractions in the Galapagos are best explored on foot. There are numerous hiking trails that lead to stunning viewpoints, secluded beaches, and wildlife viewing spots. Just remember to stay on the marked trails to protect the fragile ecosystem.

Taxis are available on the inhabited islands of the Galapagos. They are typically pick-up trucks, and they can be a convenient way to get around, especially if you're traveling with a lot of gear. However, keep in mind that distances can be quite long, so it's best to negotiate a price before you set off.

On Santa Cruz Island, there is a bus service that runs from the airport on Baltra Island to the ferry dock. This is the most economical way to get from the airport to the main town of Puerto Ayora.

Ridesharing services are not common in the Galapagos Islands. Most transportation needs can be met with taxis, buses, and boats.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ USD

Time zoneUTC-5

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 131; Fire: 102; Police: 101

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Galapagos Islands, Ecuador as a first time visitor


The Galapagos Islands are located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.


The official currency of Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands, is the U.S. dollar.


Spanish is the official language, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.


The Galapagos Islands operate on Ecuador Time, which is GMT -6.


The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate. The warm season (December to May) averages 86°F (30°C) and the cool season (June to November) averages 75°F (24°C).


The Galapagos Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage site and a national park, so there are strict rules about where visitors can go and what they can do.


You will need to pay a $100 park fee upon arrival in the Galapagos Islands.


You must be accompanied by a certified Galapagos National Park guide when visiting most sites within the park.


It's important to respect the wildlife. Keep a safe distance, do not feed the animals, and do not touch or disturb them.


There are no direct international flights to the Galapagos Islands. You will need to fly into mainland Ecuador first, either to Quito or Guayaquil, and then take a domestic flight to the islands.


There are two airports in the Galapagos Islands: one on Baltra Island and one on San Cristobal Island.


The Galapagos Islands are made up of 13 main islands and dozens of smaller islets and rocks.


There are only four inhabited islands where tourists can stay: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Floreana.


The Galapagos Islands are famous for their unique wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and blue-footed boobies.


The water temperature varies throughout the year, ranging from 70°F (21°C) to 84°F (29°C). If you plan to snorkel or dive, you may want to bring or rent a wetsuit.


There is no cell phone service on most of the islands, and internet access is limited and often slow.


Healthcare facilities are limited on the islands. It's recommended to have travel insurance that includes medical evacuation.


The sun is very strong due to the islands' location on the equator. Be sure to bring and regularly apply high-SPF sunscreen.


Tap water is not safe to drink. Always drink bottled water.


The Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on what wildlife you want to see, as different species have different mating and breeding seasons.

Basic Spanish to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving or saying goodbye


Por favor

Por fa-vor

Making a request

Thank you



Expressing gratitude



Agreeing or confirming




Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me



Getting attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Lo siento

Lo see-en-to


Do you speak English?

¿Hablas inglés?

Ab-las in-gles

Asking if someone speaks English

I don't understand

No entiendo

No en-tee-en-do

Communicating lack of understanding

Where is...?

¿Dónde está...?

Don-de es-ta

Asking for directions




Looking for a bathroom




In case of emergency




Looking for food




Looking for water




Looking for a hotel




Looking for a taxi

How much does it cost?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

Kwan-to kwes-ta

Asking for the price

I would like...

Me gustaría...

Me gus-ta-ree-a

Making a request

Good night

Buenas noches

Bwe-nas no-ches

Saying goodbye in the evening

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Swimwear

  • Water shoes

  • Hiking shoes

  • Hat or cap

  • Sunglasses

  • Rain jacket

  • Light sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Travel-size toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash)

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • First aid kit

  • Prescription medications

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (preferably in local currency)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and tour reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Memory cards for camera

  • Binoculars

  • Waterproof case for electronics

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Travel guidebook

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Ziplock bags for wet clothes

  • Backpack for day trips

  • Dry bag for boat trips

Weather Conditions

The Galapagos Islands, located in Ecuador, experience a unique climate that is primarily influenced by the ocean currents. The weather here can be divided into two main seasons - the warm season and the dry season. The warm season typically runs from December to May. During this period, you can expect temperatures to range from 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C). The weather is generally hot and humid with frequent rain showers. This is also the time when the sea is at its warmest, making it ideal for snorkeling and swimming. However, the high humidity might make hiking and other land-based activities a bit uncomfortable. The dry season, from June to November, sees cooler temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C). The weather during this period is cooler and drier with occasional mist or drizzle, known locally as "garua". The sea is cooler too, but the visibility underwater is at its best, making it a great time for diving. The cooler weather also makes it comfortable for hiking and exploring the islands. Regardless of when you visit, it's advisable to pack for varying weather conditions. Lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended for the warm season, while a light jacket or sweater may be needed for the cooler, dry season. Always pack a rain jacket or poncho, as rain showers can occur unexpectedly. Don't forget your sun protection - the equatorial sun can be strong year-round. Remember, the Galapagos Islands are a protected national park, so it's important to respect the local wildlife and environment. Always follow the guidance of park rangers and tour guides to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


30° / 22°

January is the start of the warm season in Galapagos, with occasional rainfall and calm seas. It's a great time for snorkeling and bird watching.


31° / 24°

February is one of the warmest months, with clear skies and warm waters. It's the peak season for marine life, making it perfect for diving and snorkeling.


32° / 24°

March is the hottest month in Galapagos, with high humidity and occasional rain showers. It's a great time to see marine iguanas, sea turtles, and land birds.


30° / 24°

April experiences a gradual cooling trend, with less rainfall and calmer seas. It's a good time to see the hatching of giant tortoises and land iguanas.


28° / 22°

May marks the beginning of the dry season in Galapagos, with cooler temperatures and misty mornings. It's a great time for hiking and observing bird mating rituals.


26° / 20°

June is the coolest month, with frequent mist and drizzle. It's the best time to see the migration of whales and dolphins.


25° / 19°

July is characterized by cool temperatures, strong winds, and rough seas. It's a good time to see bird nesting activities, especially the blue-footed boobies.


24° / 18°

August is the coolest month, with strong winds and rough seas. It's a great time to see sea lions, as it's their breeding season.


24° / 18°

September is characterized by cool temperatures, strong winds, and rough seas. It's a good time to see penguins and sea birds.


25° / 19°

October experiences a slight warming trend, with less wind and calmer seas. It's a great time to see sea lion pups and bird courtship rituals.


28° / 20°

November marks the beginning of the warm season, with increasing temperatures and occasional rain showers. It's a good time to see sea lion pups and marine life.


29° / 21°

December is characterized by warm temperatures, clear skies, and calm seas. It's a great time for snorkeling and observing the nesting of giant tortoises.

Did you know?

Did you know that the Galapagos Islands are home to the only penguin species that lives north of the equator in the wild?

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