The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Galapagos Islands on a Small Cruise

The Galápagos Islands are a haven for travelers who appreciate nature and enjoy spending their vacations birdwatching and exploring the environment. This unique island chain fueled Charles Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” since here you can find species not found elsewhere in the world. This post covers the ins and outs of traveling to the Galapagos. 

Galapagos Islands by Land or Cruise?

While looking through the Galapagos cruise deals, you’ll also come across many overland sightseeing offers in addition to cruises. However, in my opinion, several factors give cruises an edge over land-based tours. 

Cruises reach the remotest regions of the archipelago while traveling, providing passengers with lots of comfort and security. Besides, it is also much easier to explore the different islands simultaneously and view the incredible land and sea creatures from the cruise ships. Therefore, they are more time-efficient and convenient than traveling by land.

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When Should You Visit Galapagos?

You can visit the Galapagos Islands during any season. However, there are hotter and colder seasons. The most desirable season is from December to May, while the high season lasts from June to August. The destination can be explored year-round, depending on your preferred activities, giving you a choice between the two seasons.

If you want to witness the wildlife procreate, it’s ideal to visit during their mating season. The time when gigantic turtles hatch eggs is between December and January, while blue-footed boobie mating season happens in May, providing you with a unique look at their remarkable romance dance.

How Long Should You Stay On A Galapagos Visit?

How long you stay on the island depends on your budget and the list of must-do activities you have planned. The majority of people spend between 4 to 10 days. But many activities could keep you around for longer!

Finally, to enjoy your stay, you need to pay attention to the rules of the land and ask questions if you’re unsure about some things; this will help ensure your safety, and finally – don’t forget to create incredible memories!

Which Galapagos Island to Visit

There are 13 main islands and six minor islands in the Galapagos chain. Some are home to bird species and animals that also live on other islands, while others are endemic, meaning you can’t find them elsewhere but on that one little island.

North Seymour

A bird watcher’s paradise, North Seymour is an island that shelters frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies whose mating dance is amazing to observe. It’s uninhabited and likewise home to many land iguanas, sea lions, and marine iguanas living on the coast’s edge.

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Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a great jumping board for starting your journey to the rest of the Galapagos Islands. You can see the famous gigantic Galapagos turtles in their natural habitat in El Chato Hold and the beautiful beaches of Tortuga Bay, Bachas, and Garrapatero.


Fernandina is a volcanic island, with its last eruption recorded around 2009. It lies on the western side of the archipelago and is home to mangroves and prickly trailblazer plants that grow on its soil-less grounds. You’ll likewise see the most significant and darkest marine iguanas. However, please beware of the island’s crawling racer snakes when they wash onto the shore, as even though they are not venomous, they can still bite you to defend themselves. 


Bartolomé is most famous for its strangely molded Zenith Rock framed by a disintegrated Toba cone. It is home to a small community of penguins, sea lions, and marine birds. 

It’s one of the shortest islands due to the Zenith Rock, but it boasts mind-blowing scenery, pristine waters, and magnificent beaches dipping into the ocean.


Seahorse-shaped Isabela is the biggest island in the archipelago, home to various animal species like pink flamingos, penguins, gigantic turtles, and sea lions. Besides the fauna, here you can also see the Sierra Negra Fountain of liquid magma – the world’s second-greatest active pit. If you’re planning to explore both the volcanoes and natural life on Isabela, you’ll have to spend at least two days. 

Wildlife Spotting 

As you can see, the Galapagos Islands are worth visiting for many reasons, including the beaches, warm climate, and the sheer joy of just exploring the islands. However, if you are an animal enthusiast, visiting the Galapagos will have a special meaning to you, as you can broaden your knowledge of the diverse animal species that exist in the world and, more specifically, get a first-hand experience with endemic animals that live only in these areas such as the Galápagos fur seal.

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To Conclude

A visit to the Galapagos Islands is one of the most rewarding adventures on the planet for curious travelers and those who favor nature over happy hour. When it comes to choosing a strategy for visiting the remote chain, consider the added advantages of planning a cruise in the region, primarily a more optimized itinerary that makes the most of your time.