Tourism activities allowed at each visitor site
The Galapagos National park authority has classified each visitor site. The GNP has determined what activities are allowed on each Island to minimize the impact on wildlife and maximize each visitors experience, the below chart will help you decide what Island and activities match your interest.
|Activities by Island||Walk Hike||Snorkel||Scuba Dive||Bird Watch||Bike Ride||Sea Kayak||Sun and Beach||Horse
Dining & Discos
|Santa Fe Island||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Santa Cruz Island||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|San Cristobal Island||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|South Plazas Island
|Tower or Genovesa Island
|Daphne Major Island
The Galapagos islands are a bird watcher’s dream — especially if you’re set on seeing and identifying all 13 Darwin Finches (endemic to the islands), the Waved Albatross, the Flightless Cormorant and countless other jewels of the islands. Bring your highest magnifying binoculars and best camera lenses.
What better way to get up close and personal to Blue Footed Boobies, sea lions and more than with an adventure sea kayak? Rent them from The Red Mangrove Inn if staying at Puerto Ayora or ask for a cruise boat that carries them.
Listed as one of the top diving spots in the world, diving in The Galapagos is an adventure come true. Whale Sharks, White Tips, Hammerheads, Garden Eels, Sea Lions, whales, schools of colorful fish, corals, and crystal clear water characterize a typical adventure day diving in the islands. Go with the best — Scuba Iguana will send you with top Galapagos adventure divers to the best diving spots around the Galapagos islands. For more advanced divers, Scuba Iguana also does adventure live aboard charters to Darwin and Wolf (there you’ll dive to great depths to see the most mystifying animals of the oceans!).
For those of you not ready to emerge themselves 30 meters in the sea, snorkeling in the Galapagos islands is an amazing adventure activity. You’ll see everything from sharks and turtles to penguins and boobies flopping around the water. You can spend hours in the water enjoying the show!
Few to no places are open to free hiking in the Galapagos, though you can find a few adventure trails in San Cristobal and Santa Cruz. We recommend, though, for all hikes, to go with a Galapagos adventure guide. The Galapagos guides can point out the fascinating details of the islands, turning a beautiful activity hike into an encyclopedic experience. Take good walking shoes, lots of water, and don’t wander off! It’s easier to get lost on these islands than you think.
If you want to just relax and go to the beach, try out Turtle Bay on Santa Cruz island. There are few places a Galapagos adventure tourist can go on his own, and this is one. The beach is magnificent — it has fine, white sand. It’s terrible for snorkeling because of the wind and waves, but it’s great for surfing, body boarding, and catching rays.
A few of the Galapagos islands, Santa Cruz in particular, have many clubs to cater to the adventure tourist. There you can get an icey (though pricey) beer and enjoy the Galapagos island atmosphere after an 8-day adventure boat tour. For poetry, live music, and an enchanted evening, we highly recommend Casa del Lago. The owner, Elena, is a Galapagos artist of exceptional taste and invites the most talented musicians, artists, poets, singers, and orators to share their art in her outdoor pub.