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Several nature shows, including BBC Earth and National Geographic, give the illusion that the Galapagos Islands are non-tourist destinations.

All you see are impressive wildlife, marine life, and landscapes from these volcano-formed islands.

On the other hand, these shows don’t show the small towns and cities in the Galapagos Islands.

Can You Visit the Galapagos Islands?

Absolutely yes, you can go to the Galapagos Islands for a vacation.

In order to visit the Galapagos Islands, you need to fly into the airport at Baltra (GPS) or San Cristobal (SCY) from Guayaquil (GYE) or Quito (UIO) in mainland Ecuador. There is no other way to go to the Galapagos as a tourist other than flying.

San Cristobal, Isabela, Santa Cruz, and Floreana are all islands inhabited in the Galapagos. Foreigners can stay in hotels or hostels on these islands.

The most popular and recommended places to spend a few nights in are:

  • Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz
  • Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal
  • Puerto Villamil on Isabela

The Galapagos Islands is a national park, and many sites are only accessible through a regulated tour agency. In addition, many sites are pretty far from town, and the best way to see the Galapagos is with a cruise.

Day tours are also possible, but they won’t go to the more remote locations like the western side of Isabela or Fernandina Island. Cruises can be quite expensive, so read how to visit the Galapagos on a budget.

Which Galapagos Islands Can You Visit?

There are several islands you can visit in the Galapagos, and most of them have visitor (land) sites. Here is a list of them:

  • Baltra (aka South Seymour, mainly for the airport)
  • Bartolome
  • Darwin (only dive)
  • Espanola
  • Fernandina
  • Floreana
  • Genovesa
  • Isabela
  • Marchena
  • North Seymour
  • Pinta
  • Pinzon
  • Rabida
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza
  • Wolf (only dive)

The Galapagos is the greatest place on Earth to me. I hope you’ll get the chance to visit the enchanted islands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone visit the Galapagos Islands?

Yes, anyone can go to the Galapagos Islands as long as they have a passport and the proper documentation or visa to enter Ecuador. A return flight ticket exiting Ecuador is also required. There is also a $20 fee for the TCT (transit control card) and $100 for the Galapagos National Park fee.

Can you visit the Galapagos without a tour?

Yes, you can visit the Galapagos without a tour or cruise. Many backpackers choose to visit the Galapagos without a tour to save costs and extend their vacation.

Can you travel to the Galapagos Islands now?

Yes, you can currently travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos. However, the situation with the pandemic and COVID have the entry rules changing.