What to Expect from a 4 Day Galapagos Tour? A Complete Guide with Pictures
4 day galapagos tour

What to Expect from a 4 Day Galapagos Tour? A complete guide with pictures

Traveling though South America and you only got a few days for a Galapagos trip? Or is it that you are short on budget but still feel like going for a short Galapagos tour? Either way, it might be a good idea to know what you can expect when jumping on a short trip to Galapagos. After all, Galapagos is not a cheap option and a 4 Day Galapagos Tour might feel like too short.

So, here’s a day to day guide on what you can expect in a standard Galapagos 4 day trip. Do take in mind that this post describes an escorted land tour (not a cruise). This post describes the most landmarks and the daily activities. Take a look, there might be a thing or two you want to modify or leave aside. You be the judge!

By the way, this 4 day tour explores landmarks in two islands: Santa Curz and Isabela Island while lodging in hotels.


Day 1 – Arrive in Baltra Airport, take a yacht to Isabela Island and catch sight of the Flamingos Lagoon

Yep, this day is mostly traveling and setting in. A guide will wait for you after landing at Baltra Airport and you will catch a ferry and a bus to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz Island. After lunch, you will take a two hour ride aboard a motor yacht to Isabela Island. I recommend eating light, the ride can get shaky. Once in Isabela, a guide will take you to the Flamingos Lagoon in Isabela, a short but lovely view of the flamingos at the evening.  


4 Day Galapagos Tour Day 1 Baltra
4 Day Galapagos Tour Day 1 Baltra


Day 2 –   Take an awesome hike to Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico

This day is mostly walking … and some snorkeling.  You will get up early to prepare you box lunch. The car ride into the highlands takes 45 min. The hike in Volcan Sierra Negra has a moderate to strenuous level and the spot is awesome. With a sunny day, the view is lovely, you will reach the world’s second largest crater, Volcan Chico.  The view is one to remember , the whole caldera is  7.2 x 9.3 km in dimension and you can see the black floor still displaying lava trails. The hike also allows a great view of Elizabeth Bay from the desert-like terrain which follows the crater. The hike is somewhat tough, so if you are not much into hiking long distances and high temperatures and feel more eager to see marine wildlife, I would recommend modifying your itinerary for a Day Trip to Cabo Rosa (Los Tuneles).


4 Day Galapagos Tour Day2
Sierra Negra Volcano Crater during a hike in a 4 Day Galapagos Tour


Day 3 – Back to Santa Cruz to finally meet the Giant Tortoises.

This day is a blend of natural history and lots of tortoises. In the morning you will visit famous Charles Darwin Station and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center. The recently remodeled research area is a quite beautiful natural museum. Featuring pictograms with the Natural history of the Galapagos, Charles Darwin visit to the Galapagos. Lonesome George’s preserved body is also a major thing in the station. The station holds giant tortoise species from the most important islands in Galapagos. The afternoon trip takes you to el Chato Highlands, a place to spot Giant Tortoise in their natural state. You can catch sight of them feeding or just chilling in the mud. They are amazing to watch up close and there’s a chance of great photos up there. The are some natural-made lava tunnels in the highlands definitely worth exploring.



Day 4 – Make a last visit to los Gemelos and catch your flight

 Since flights from Galapagos back to the continent (Quito or Guayquil) only depart from morning till midday, this day requires an early breakfast before heading to North Seymour Airport in Baltra. You get to do a last visit to Los Gemelos if timing allows it, so I would highly recommend to get a late departure flight (around mid-day will do). This spot is awesome to watch and it can be a bit chilly, since it is located in the highlands of Santa Cuz. Get your camera ready, the giant eroded rocks make a great farewell picture. 


So, yep this is basically what you can expect to see in a standard 4 Days Galapagos Trip. If you have the chance to stay a bit longer, I would say the best thing to do is to extend it for a 5-day Galapagos Trip, you can relax a bit more. But if time is a mayor constraint during your trip, this tour feels pretty thorough. And if you feel like making a few modifications, you can always ask for a more personalized trip. If you have got few time or money, this trip will work wonderfuly.  

To get the most of your short Galapagos tirp, it might be a good idea to get info on the weather and things required to maximize your trip. Here are a few articles you might find useful:

>> Best time to visit Galapagos: Weather and Seasons
>> New requirements to enter Galapagos Islands

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Nature Galapagos & Ecuador


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