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[7 days] Galapagos Islands Express – Land-Based Tour Galapagos Islands

  • Trip Type: Private (Guided)
  • Group Size: Up to 12
  • Departure Date: Flexible
  • Bookable From: All year round
  • Duration: Weeklong (7-9 days)
  • Physical Rating: Average

Join us for an unforgettable, sustainable land-based trip to the Galapagos Islands where you’ll get to experience some of the most amazing natural wonders on earth! Explore the islands in their entirety through a number of guided tours and activities. This package offers a total combination to help you enjoy (almost) everything that these enchanted islands have to show you.

On this land-based tour of the Galapagos Islands, you will stay in a hotel and island hop by boat to explore the wondrous diversity of this World Heritage Site. Starting in Santa Cruz Island, you will visit the famous Charles Darwin biological station to learn about the complexity of the natural world, and visit the breeding center, before continuing on to Isabela Island where the wetlands and the volcanoes wait for you. You will also visit two of the following islands: Bartholome, North Seymour, Santa Fe, or South Plaza; each one has unique and endemic wildlife. Your trip will show you first-hand the importance of protecting our planet’s fragile ecosystems.


  • 7 days in the remarkable land of giant tortoises
  • Navigation and day tours by expert English-speaking guides
  • Stunning views, unique landscapes, and friendly wildlife
  • White sand, tranquil beaches
  • Delicious cuisine
  • Transportation by a speedboat, a ferry boat, and a yacht

Take a thrilling ferry speedboat ride to Isabela Island where you’ll embark on an exciting tour of the Wetlands, Wall of Tears, and Breeding Center, before taking a Bay Tour to Tintoreras Islet. Enjoy an adventure of a lifetime as you embark on an excursion to the breathtaking Sierra Negra Volcano, followed by an afternoon visit to Concha de Perla, a serene and picturesque beach. A day tour on a yacht will let you encounter the unique flora and fauna of the islands. Experience the ocean up close and meander through the different islands to uncover the enchanting wonders that this heavenly destination has in store for you. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore one of the most stunning places on earth!

3 reasons why the Galapagos Islands are so special:

  1. Biodiversity: The Galapagos Islands are home to an incredible array of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The islands’ isolated location, combined with their volcanic origin and complex ocean currents, created a unique ecosystem that allowed species to evolve in isolation from mainland populations. This led to the development of numerous endemic species, such as the Galapagos tortoise, the marine iguana, and the Galapagos penguin.
  2. Scientific significance: The Galapagos Islands played a significant role in the history of science, particularly in the development of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. During his visit to the islands in 1835, Darwin observed and collected numerous specimens that helped him develop his theory of natural selection. His observations of the islands’ unique fauna and flora led him to propose that species change over time through a process of natural selection, which revolutionized the way we understand the natural world.
  3. Conservation efforts: The Galapagos Islands are now recognized as one of the world’s most important conservation sites, with ongoing efforts to protect the islands’ unique ecosystem and biodiversity. The islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve were established in 1959 to protect the islands’ natural resources. Conservation efforts have included the eradication of invasive species, the establishment of breeding programs for endangered species, and the promotion of sustainable tourism practices.

Related Trips:
[8 days] Diving with Scientists in the Galapagos
[15 days] Diving with Scientists in the Galapagos

Seasonal Notes:
The best time to visit the Galapagos Islands depends on your interests and priorities. However, there are two main seasons to consider: the dry season and the wet season.

The dry season runs from June to December, and it is generally considered the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands. The Humboldt Current, a current that runs north-westward along South America’s west coast, ushers in cooler temperatures and nutrient-rich water that attracts rare fish and birds. With the cooler and drier weather comes less rain and more sunshine.  (When it does rain during these months, the showers tend to last longer than they do in the wet season.) During this season, the sea is calmer, making it easier to navigate between the islands and enjoy activities such as snorkeling and diving. Additionally, this is the best time to see many of the Galapagos’ iconic wildlife species, including giant tortoises, land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and penguins. If you want to see the most wildlife and enjoy the best weather for outdoor activities, the dry season is the best time to visit.

The wet season runs from January to May, and it is characterized by warmer temperatures (ranging from the low 70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit). This results in pleasant conditions for hiking and wildlife spotting, though there will be frequent (but short) showers and higher humidity. Despite the rainfall, the sun still shines brightly on most days. During this season, the islands are also lush and green, and the ocean is warmer, making it an ideal time for swimming and snorkeling. The wet season is also the best time to see many of the Galapagos’ underwater species, such as sea turtles and hammerhead sharks. If you want to see the islands at their most lush and green and don’t mind occasional rain, the wet season may be a better choice.

📋 Itinerary

This itinerary is customizable. Please contact Yugen Earthside for more information.

Day 01: Quito [Ecuador] (arrival day)
Day 02: Ferry speedboat to Isabela Island.
Visit to Wetlands, Wall of Tears, and Breeding Center.
Bay Tour to Tintoreras Islet.
Day 03: Excursion to Sierra Negra Volcano.
Afternoon visit to Concha de Perla.
Day 04: Ferry speedboat from Isabela back to Santa Cruz.
Special Santa Cruz highlands trip: ranch, el Trapiche, and El Garrapatero Beach.
Day 05: Day tour on a yacht to one of the following Islands: Bartholome, North Seymour, South Plazas, or Santa Fe.
Day 06: Day tour on a yacht to another one of the islands mentioned above.
Day 07: Quito (departure day)

🌱 Sustainability

This is a program that enables you to understand the importance of this amazing destination. It is carefully designed with the support of our local supplier and follows all regulations imposed by the Galapagos National Park to preserve the fragile ecosystem of the islands.

  • By visiting the islands you will be helping with the Islands’ preservation as your entry fee to the national park will go directly towards the conservation projects.
  • The preservation and sustainability standards here are the highest in the country. However, there are many challenges the Galapagos faces: overfishing, human population growth, climate change, and invasive species.
  • When you visit the islands be aware of the fragile nature ecosystem you are stepping on, and make sure you always abide by the following rules explained by your naturalist guides.

Everything in the Galapagos is very special and you must follow the rules to keep this paradise as remote as possible. Guides will make all efforts for every traveler to understand the importance of each island, they will explain to them the preservation efforts of the community, the government, and the local operators. They will be the voice of the wildlife and you will follow in Darwin's footsteps!

Local Economy
The Galapagos economy depends on tourism. We work with a local partner who is regulated by the Galapagos National Park laws. They employ excellent local guides and staff and follow all the sustainability policies ordered by the Galapagos government system.

They are small and locally run, and they use eco-friendly cleaning products and energy-saving lights. All lodges and hotels follow the regulations of the Galapagos National Park strictly.

  • Clear sustainable travel policy
  • Behavioral Awareness Education
  • Adhere to Strict Environmental Standards
  • Conserve Ecosystems/Preserve Biodiversity
  • Use Environmentally Friendly Products
  • No Animal-Harming Tourism
  • Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
  • Energy-Saving Lights
  • Provide Local Employment
  • Fair Wages / Fair Trade
  • Supports Local Businesses
  • Act Mindfully of Local Health
  • Inclusive & Non-discriminatory Hiring
  • Provide Authentic Experiences

📌 Location

Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip.

🏷️ Pricing

Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
Prices for the trip + accommodation are listed below based on Mid-Range or First Class hotels. If you would like to stay in a Luxury hotel, contact us for pricing.

Prices Include:

  • 4 nights of accommodation at Santa Cruz Island
  • 2 nights of accommodation at Isabela Island
  • Lunch and breakfast daily
  • Transportation within Galapagos
  • English-speaking naturalist guide
  • Permits and entrance fees

Prices Exclude:

  • Airfare between Quito or Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands
  • Ingala tourist control cards (US$20)
  • Entrance fees to the Galapagos Islands (US$100)
  • Meals unless mentioned
  • Beverages, tips, extras
  • Deposit per person

    50% of the trip price

7 day trip + staying in Mid-Range hotels

  • For 1 person

    Price per person

    $ 3920
  • For 2 people

    Price per person

    $ 2870
  • For 3 people

    Price per person

    $ 2840
  • For 4 people

    Price per person

    $ 3010
  • For 5-9 people

    Price per person

    $ 2750
  • For 10-14 people

    Price per person

    $ 2730

7 day trip + staying in First Class hotels

  • For 1 person

    Price per person

    $ 4320
  • For 2 people

    Price per person

    $ 2990
  • For 3 people

    Price per person

    $ 2970
  • For 4 people

    Price per person

    $ 3010
  • For 5-9 people

    Price per person

    $ 2940
  • For 10-14 people

    Price per person

    $ 2740

ℹ️ Other Info

If you are ready to book this trip or have any questions contact us!

A 50% deposit is required to confirm your booking. It is refundable 31 days prior to departure. The balance must be sent 30 days prior to arrival at the islands.

This trip has a variable start date, so you can plan a departure date that suits you.

Please be sure you have traveler's insurance.

Covid Precautions
Please be fully vaccinated and boosted before traveling. You may also need proof of a negative Covid test before arrival to the country. Keep a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.

We have been certified with the Safe Travels stamp from the WTTC and we follow all regulations instructed by the Ministry of Tourism in our country. All our suppliers and office staff have been vaccinated at least twice.

Q: What does the Physical Rating of "Average" mean for this trip?
A: Some hiking, snorkeling, and wet landing are involved in our activities.

Q: What are the accommodations like?
A: You can either choose a mid-range, first-class, or luxury hotel for this tour package.

Q: Is this trip recommended for solo travelers, Women, and BIPOC travelers?
A: Yes, Galapagos is a destination that honors all forms of life. It is a place where tourists from all over the world come together to explore the magic of these paradisiac islands.

Q: Would you recommend this land-based island hopping program or a cruise?
A: If you are a person who enjoys a certain level of comfort, despite your budget, this is the perfect program since you will stay overnight in a hotel and spend the days on excursions discovering the enchanted islands.

If you want to reach further islands or if you have a specific interest like birding or diving, please let us know, so we can find the right cruise for you.

For special citizen science scuba diving trips with marine biologists on board, check out this 8-day program and the extended, 15-day program.

Q: When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?
A:  The islands are, without a doubt, a year-round destination. If you want sunny weather and smooth sailing, the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands is from December to May. However, June to November is the best time to see blue-footed booby mating displays and migrating whales. See Seasonal Notes for more.

Q: How long in advance should I book this program?
As soon as you have your travel dates set, the better. However, we are always willing to assist clients with last-minute requests.