The Galápagos Islands are on many people's travel Bucket Lists and for a very good reason! There’s something for all nature and animal lovers! You will not be disappointed
Highs & Lows
Los Tuneles snorkel Trip
The ferries in between islands are very rough. I recommend some travel sickness tablets
Being a nature lover as well as an ocean lover, the Galápagos Islands have been on my bucket list for quite a while! The fact that you don’t need a diving license to be able to see a lot of the wildlife means that it’s accessible to almost everyone. I recommend spending at least 6 nights here as an absolute minimum as flights only leave in the morning so you will miss a day. You also need to pay $100 entry fee to the islands so it’s better to spend as many days as possible.
I arrived to Santa Cruz island from Guayaquil Airport. It is pretty easy to get from Baltra Airport to Puerto Ayora, the main port in Santa Cruz which hosts most of the accommodation and shops. A lot of companies advertise taxis and private transfer but there is also a public bus that runs for those travelling alone or who want to save a little bit of money. I stayed in a really nice hostel called Hostal Vista al Mar. Ideal location with clean rooms and good cooking facilities. There are many day trips or multi day live a boards that you can do from this island. For me, I chose to visit Floreana Island which only has about 150 inhabitants. It’s really peaceful and contains both white and black sand beaches. You can snorkel with sea lions, tropical fish and sea turtles as well as visiting some giant land tortoises and a volcanic formed ‘maze’ at the top of the island with fantastic views. I recommend doing this trip as part of a tour, which includes transport, but it is also possible to do it independently. For your next day on Sant Cruz, you can wake up early to see all the wildlife down at the port and fish market and then continue on to Tortuga Bay. Bring some snacks, your snorkel and a good book. After the 2.5km-3km walk to the bay, you can relax for a few hours. Head off the beaten track to some quieter areas for a chance to see some blue footed boobies or other amazing wildlife!
The next day, get the morning ferry to Isabela island! This island is really special, although it’s the biggest of the islands it is very densely populated so it has a much more ‘remote island’ feel to it. On the day you arrive, check in to your accommodation ( I stayed at Rincon de George hostel, really recommended it) and grab some breakfast at the many the cafes near the main square. You can either rent a bike or walk along a 12km out and back trail to see the Wall of Tears. There are many other destinations along the way, included some volcanic caves and tunnels, some small beaches (so definitely pack your swimwear) and you’ll see plenty of wildlife along the trail. The next morning, head off on the Los Tuneles tour! This one is really not to be missed. Not only do you get to swim with loads of sea turtles, black tip sharks, golden rays, white tip sharks and sea lions, but you also get to see some of the really unique volcanic geology of the Galápagos Islands! In the evening, find one of the many Happy Hour spots on the beach and enjoy the sunset!
Q & A
What would you have changed?I would have spent less time on Santa Cruz island, it’s a good base for doing day trips and dives but there’s not a lot to do independently there
Anything go wrong during the trip?The ferries between islands are not for the faint hearted. Up the front you get bounced around a lot but at the back you can smell the fumes of the engine. At least one person on every journey I was on got sea sick
Restaurant recommendations?I got some ingredients in the supermarkets and cooked dinner in my hostel to save some money
Tips you would give a friend?Rent a bike to get to the wall of tears, and not by foot! Don’t eat breakfast on the days you are getting the ferries between islands
Packing tips?Bring your own snorkel if you can, although many places have them for rent. Definitely bring an underwater camera
Transportation Tips?Get the public bus from and to the itabaca canal when getting to the airport. It’s only $5 compared to $25 for a taxi
Any surprises?The sunsets on Isabela island from the beach are really special! The atmosphere of Isabela island itself is really chill and you could definitely hang out for a few days without even doing a lot of tours
Booking details?Walk along the main streets and chat to the different tour operators, see what’s included. For snorkel trips try and get a tour that has wetsuits included. Not only to keep you warm but also to