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Highlights of the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos has 7 large islands and 12 smaller islands, for a total of 19 islands. During our journey, we’ve visited 5 of them (Baltra, Bartolome, North Seymour, Santa Cruz, and Santa Fe), and it’s been an amazing experience.


Day 1: Baltra Island, from Beaches to Jungle

My flight departed at 11:50 am from Guayaquil, arriving in the Galapagos just 2 hours later at 12:50 pm (with the time change). They served a light lunch on the plane, which was actually very well done and quite delicious! I arrived on Baltra Island at a small yet charming airport and was met by my guide holding an “Acanela” sign right as I entered the arrival hall.

Semilla Verde is a beautiful boutique hotel located on one of the main islands of the Galapagos, and the property is absolutely stunning. There are giant tortoises strolling around the grounds, and they’re so fun to watch. I’m here with a small group of just four people—Susan, Chrissy, Katie, and myself—and we sure are ready for an adventure! We enjoyed a relaxing evening at Semilla Verde and a delightful welcome dinner of Albacore tuna.

Tips: Remember that you need to purchase a tourist card at the airport before you depart (located in the main terminal for $20/person). The local currency in Ecuador is the USD, so if you’re traveling from the USA, you’ll have nothing to worry about!


Day 2: Bartolome Island, Galapagos Penguins, Sea Turtles, and Scenic Views

We began the day with a delicious breakfast of homemade granola, yogurt, bread & jam, eggs, fruit, and pancakes. Shortly after, our driver and guide picked us up to depart for our day visit to Bartolome Island.

Our navigation to the island was 2 hours through smooth waters, during which we saw dolphins, manta rays, turtles, thousands of shear birds, and even a whale shark! I was amazed at just how much wildlife we saw from onboard the boat.

When we arrived on the island, we climbed to the top to get a scenic view of the landscape before heading out on a snorkeling adventure. We saw a penguin, sea crabs, and a lot of sea lions, which were all really cool!

Day 3: North Seymour Island, Blue Footed Boobies, Marine Iguanas, and Frigate Birds

North Seymour is a magnificent island with lots of diverse wildlife. After breakfast, our driver and guide took us to our boat for our morning departure to North Seymour. Today’s navigation was less than an hour through calm seas once again—we’ve had really good weather during our trip.

While exploring North Seymour, we saw blue footed boobies, frigate birds, and lots of land iguanas. We saw sea lions again today, and they were much closer to us this time!

During our afternoon snorkel activity, we swam by various schools of colorful fish, as well as other marine animals, such as octopus, small jellies, and starfish. It was another lovely day!

Day 4: Santa Cruz Island, Giant Tortoises, Craters, and Lava Tunnels

Our lovely boutique hotel is located on the island of Santa Cruz—one of the most beautiful (and accessible) islands in the Galapagos. We fueled up with breakfast at the hotel before meeting our guide for a journey through the highlands of the island.

Although we’ve become accustomed to the many giant tortoises ambling around the hotel, today we headed deeper into the highlands to discover even more of them. We visited two massive craters, walked through cavernous lava tunnels, and saw countless tortoises!

In the evening, we visited the fish market in town and spent some time browsing the many souvenir shops. We also stopped by Charles Darwin Station to learn about his finches and other studied species.

Day 5: Santa Fe Island, Sea Lions, Schools of Fish, and AMAZING snorkeling

Santa Fe is the island known for sea lions and one of the best places in the entire Galapagos to swim with the playful creatures. The navigation to the island was 2 hours, and we had both land and sea activities planned for us once we arrived.

The terrain on Santa Fe was gorgeous, and we saw many birds, iguanas, and sea lions. While snorkeling, we came across huge schools of vibrant fish, as well as a sea turtle!

In the evening, we returned to our hotel to enjoy a delectable dinner and great company, as we shared stories and cherished the memories we made during our visit.

Day 6: Back to Guayaquil / Quito

This morning, we savored our last delicious breakfast before packing our bags, checking out of our hotel, and heading to the airport.

As always, the end of a good trip is sad. Our time in the Galapagos has been an unforgettable experience, and I already can't wait to come back again in the near future. I’ll be doing a complete write-up of my adventures soon, so stay tuned!

Travel to the Galapagos with us on our Galapagos Expedition.