This post is part 1 of 20 in the series Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

We’ve traveled to the Galapagos Islands three times ultimately spending more weeks in the archipelago than Charles Darwin did. All that reporting, photography, and adventure mean that we know our way around Ecuador’s most famous destination. We put all that know-how into our complete Galapagos Islands Travel Guide which includes everything from unexpected things to pack, how to take the best photos, detailed destination reports for all of the top islands and activities, and much, much more. Here’s how to find the information you need about how to travel to the Galapagos.

bartolome view Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

The iconic Galapagos view from Bartolomé Island.

Galapagos Islands travel planning essentials

Travel to the Galapagos Islands, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978, is more complicated than your average adventure. First of all, these islands are far from mainland Ecuador. Also, the entire archipelago is a national park that is protected by a long list of rules and regulations. Our Galapagos planning posts cover everything from when to go to the Galapagos, unexpected things to pack (and a few things NOT to pack), fees and rules, budget travel tips, choosing the right adventures for you, and much more.

Be sure you’re aware of all of the rules, fees, and restrictions in the Galapagos Islands with our post covering the facts you need to plan your trip to the Galapagos.

Our post about 5 top Galapagos travel questions provides answers that help you decide whether to organize a boat-based or land-based adventure, how to choose a cruise ship, when to visit the Galapagos, how to keep costs down, and choosing the itinerary for you.

Galapagos guides

Galapagos travelers and their guide get a lesson about sea lions on the beach.

You’ll be packing like a pro with our post about 7 unexpected things to pack for the Galapagos. Hint: you probably have one of them in your bathroom cabinet right now.

Galapagos Islands destination reports

There are dozens of islands, coves, lava tunnels, beaches, and other stunning spots to explore in the Galapagos and we’ve visited most of the top spots (some more than once), including SCUBA diving around the little-visited islands in the far north of the archipelago. Our detailed destination and activity reports tell you what to expect during each amazing adventure in the Galapagos.

Our Santa Cruz Island Travel Guide includes what to do and where to sleep on this main tourist hub island.

Our post about boat trips around Santa Cruz Island includes Cerro Dragon, Bachas Beach, Bahia Ballena, and Black Turtle Cove.

blue-footed booby South Plaza Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

A blue-footed booby on South Plaza Island in the Galapagos.

Our post about highlights from North Seymour, South Plaza, and Daphne Islands includes slumbering sea lions and the elaborate mating dance of the blue-footed booby.

Our San Cristóbal Island Travel Guide includes what to do and where to sleep on the other main tourist hub in the Galapagos.

Our post about boat trips around San Cristóbal Island includes visiting Cerro Brujo, Punta Pitt, and Kicker Rock.

Our post about Santa Fe Island includes enormous land iguanas, a lovely little hike, and snorkeling with Galapagos sea lions.

Our post about Genovesa Island includes Prince Philip’s Steps, a festival of nesting boobies and frigatebirds, and even a few rare short-eared owls.

marine iguana Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

Galapagos marine iguanas dominate on Fernandina Island.

Our post about Fernandina Island includes thousands of marine iguanas plus some amorous flightless cormorants.

Our post about Isabela Island includes the giant tortoises of Bahia Urbina, kayaking in Tagus Cove, exploring Elizabeth Bay, and spectacular snorkeling around Punta Vincente Roca.

Our post about Santiago Island and nearby sites includes the iconic view from Bartolome Island and the lava art of Sullivan Bay plus James Bay and Puerto Egas.

galapagos flamingo

Galapagos flamingos favor a few spots in the Galapagos, including parts of Floreana Island.

Our post about Floreana Island includes pink flamingos, green sand, and snorkeling over a submerged crater.

Our post about Española Island includes a visit to the only waved albatross nesting ground in the world.

And for a dose of hardcore adventure, check out our post about SCUBA diving in the Galapagos Islands around Wolf Island and Darwin Island in the far north of the archipelago.

spotted eagle ray Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

Your photo gear will earn its keep in the Galapagos Islands, on land and underwater.

Photography in the Galapagos Islands

Trip photos are important, especially when they’re taken in a dream destination like the Galapagos. Here’s how to nail your Galapagos Islands photography.

Our post about how to take the best photos in the Galapagos covers everything from choosing cameras and lenses to underwater photography, necessary accessories, and a great money-saving solution (with additional savings just for readers of our travel blog).

And if you’re looking for a little bit of photo inspiration, check out our photo essay of favorite Galapagos wildlife shots and our photo essay of favorite Galapagos landscape and sunset shots.

Galapagos tortoise

Just one of the friendly faces travelers encounter in the Galapagos Islands.

Our freelance travel stories about the Galapagos Islands

Get additional insights and inspiration about going to the Galapagos in the freelance travel stories we’ve reported and written about traveling to the Galapagos Islands, including:

How to Travel to the Galapagos Islands published by Travel + Leisure

How to Cruise Through the Galapagos published by Travel + Leisure

28 Important Facts about Galapagos National Park published by Travel + Leisure

12 Animals You May See in the Galapagos Islands published by Travel + Leisure

Galapagos Islands Dive Boat Luxury published by Luxe Beat

Going Greener in the Galapagos published by The Toronto Sun

Cruising the Galapagos with Grace Kelly published by

This is the Most Luxurious New Way to Tour the Galapagos Islands published by Bravo Jet Set

Pikaia Lodge luxury hotel review published by Luxury Latin America

The Dance of Blue-Footed Boobies published by Discover Silversea

Here’s more about travel in Ecuador

Here’s more about Island Travel in the Americas

Here’s more about Galapagos Travel

Here’s more about Adventure Travel in the Americas


Series Navigation:<< Santa Cruz Island Travel Guide – Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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