Central & South America Spotlight

Galapagos Itinerary: the best islands, beaches and places to visit

The Galapagos Islands remain one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos.

The Galapagos Islands remain one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos. An exclusively protected national treasure located in the Pacific Ocean, it forms part of the Republic of Ecuador. Complete with wildlife, beaches and cultural significance, there is so much to soak up while on a trip here.

The islands limit the number of people that can visit at a time, so you won’t need to beat the crowd, as is the custom with other popular natural sightings. Instead, the Galapagos promise a peaceful, special destination for those after a wildlife adventure. 

Below are four of our favourite attractions and places of interest on the Galapagos Islands. Get ready to take your time, bask in the ambience, enjoy local delicacies, comb the quiet beaches, and document your itineraries for folks back home.

Wondering why the Galapagos Islands are called that? Here’s the story behind the Galapagos Islands name.

Rizknas on Pexels/CC0 Public Domain

Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz

The first place you’ll want to check out is Puerto Ayora, located on Santa Cruz Island. Located just in the middle of the Galapagos, Santa Cruz is a basis point for all-around exploration. Taking a trip down its southern shoreline, you will find the majestic Puerto Ayora.

This is a great place for tourists to relax after a long day of taking in the sights. Thankfully, it is home to an assortment of shops, restaurants, lodgings, and convenience spots, not to mention its impressive nightlife. 

Another feature worthy of note is Puerto Ayora’s ease of navigation. You can get around very easily on foot, and if you are thinking of exploring further, you can hail a cab or rent a bike from one of many bike shops. If you want to venture further, you can take a trip on one of the Galapagos cruise ships. The fun is endless.

Pixabay on Pexels/CC0 Public Domain

Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz

Also on Santa Cruz Island is Tortuga Bay. Located just southwest of Puerto Ayora, Tortuga Bay offers a lot of side attractions in addition to being one of the most enchanting and most talked about beaches in the Galapagos. The itinerary here is simply incredible, complete with major stops and landmark sites; you could almost get lost trying to take in all the sights.

Tortuga Bay offers visitors and tourists two ways to get to the site. You can arrive via foot on a 2km path that connects directly to its sprawling beach. Alternatively, you could come in by sea, boarding one of the island’s sea taxis from the pier at Puerto Ayora. Whichever option you choose, brace yourself for all the fun Tortuga Bay offers.

Post Office Bay, Floreana Island

Your next port of call should be Floreana Island. Here, you will find outstanding beaches, unique caves, and beautiful landscapes. But the most intriguing feature of this island is its historical landmark, the Post Office Bay, which long ago served as the mail stop point for British sailors who passed through the islands.

Even to this day, Post Office Bay is open for all and sundry to feast their eyes on historical preserves. Here, you can sift through interesting letters and postcards by people who have visited the island. You can even write your own card to leave for tourists of the future to discover.

Rabida Beach, Rabida Island

Rabida Island plays host to one of the most magnificent beaches. You’ll be drawn in by its stretches of red sand on Rabida Beach, which has become a tourist delight. Known for its assortment of wildlife as well as its rusty hues, the beach appears from the horizon like an illusion.

The red colour is the result of years of rock rust that has completely transformed the beach’s soil. Travellers are welcomed by sea lions sunbathing in the heat of the day – one of the major draws of the beach.

Aside from the otherworldly Rabida Beach, the saline blue lagoon offers the chance to see flamingos strutting away, heralding the exotic wildlife make-up of this extraordinary Island.

Get packing for a trip to the Galapagos

That’s about it for the best places to visit while on a trip to the Galapagos Islands. We’ve selected just four, but there are dozens more to delight travellers to this part of the world and guarantee a getaway of a lifetime. 

More information

For more on the Galapagos Islands, check out our guide to the wildlife of the archipelago.