How much time should I spend in Galapagos?

Table of Contents

The best amount of time when you’re visiting the Galapagos Islands is 5 days, minimum. However, the longer you stay to enjoy most of what Galapagos has to offer, the greater the amount of time you’ll have to experience a wider variety of magical moments. Such moments will hinge on the immensely iconic wildlife, gorgeous visitor sites, and the numerous activities through which you can experience the archipelago!

Simultaneous Activities Aboard Santa Cruz Ii Galapagos Cruise.

Things you should consider when you’re deciding on how much time you’ll want to spend in Galapagos

Keep these two very important things in mind when traveling to Galapagos: 

  • You lose half a day flying in.  
  • Flying out involves leaving early in the morning, meaning you lose almost a whole day. 

In short, you lose 1.5 days just traveling into and out of Galapagos 

The third and fourth things to consider:

  • What exactly do I want to see while I’m in the Galapagos? Animals? Any visitor sites in particular?
  • And how do I want to experience all these? Via kayaking, snorkeling, glass-bottom boat, etc.?

By giving yourself 5 days as the bare minimum recommended amount of time for visiting Galapagos, you open the door to having a full 3.5 days to relish a decent amount of what the archipelago has to offer.  

This minimum amount of time is best used by embarking on a cruise-based tour of GalapagosYacht Isabela II’s Central and Southern Galapagos Islands Itinerary perfectly fall in line with this minimum time frame. If you’re looking to really make the most out of what Galapagos Islands has to offer (which you’ll definitely want to, after reading what’s below!), then our 7-day Northern Galapagos Islands Itinerary is perfect for you! 

Sea Lion Galapagos Beach

The Pros of Staying for the Bare Minimum (or longer) 

Let’s face it, for most of us, a visit to Galapagos is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It makes perfect sense to fill this journey with as much as you can, given however much time you have available. The benefits of having 5 or more days in Galapagos include:  

  • Getting to check off a greater amount from the BIG15 list of iconic species, possibly all 15 of them! 
  • Having a multitude of “postcard” worthy pictures to take home, not to mention NatGeo-level photographs of the unique and iconic species of Galapagos.  
  • Getting an excellent sense of relaxed and warm island life 
  • Having a greater time to partake in the countless activities that are available in Galapagos. 

Marine Iguana Blue Footed Booby Galapagos Islands

The Cons of Spending Less Time in Galapagos

Anything less than 5 days, and it’s almost absurd to come this far!  

Don’t forget that:  

  • The Galapagos National Park has an entrance fee of $100 for international visitors. 
  • They also charge an extra $20 for the Transit Control Card.  

Having anything less than 5 days in Galapagos means you fall under the true 3.5 days that you’ll actually have in the archipelago (after you consider travel time). This means you’ll have less time to calmly enjoy and pick between the numerous activities available. This also means you’ll effectively start to spend more time traveling to Galapagos than actually exploring it!

If you happen to find yourself in this conundrum, then we highly recommend saving the Galapagos Islands for another moment when you have more time.

Giant Tortoise Reserve Galapagos

Updated:June 22, 2023

Published:March 19, 2018


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person