5 Reasons to Take Your Family to the Galápagos Islands

Wildlife, adventure, cruises and beautiful islands
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Written by
Lily Bunker

Published on: September 29th, 2017

Last modified: March 21st, 2024

The Galapagos Islands are among the best places on earth for an unforgettable family vacation. This remote and intriguing archipelago offers something for all ages, from one-of-a-kind wildlife and landscapes to exhilarating outdoor activities and excursions.

We recommend taking a family trip to the Galapagos in the warmer season from December to May. These months offer lovely weather, sunny skies and calmer seas, although other times of the year also have their own perks.

You can combine a luxury cruise – which allows you to see more of the islands and streamlines your experience – with a stay at one of the Galápagos’ fantastic family-friendly resorts. Either way, everyone in your family will remember this trip for years to come.

1. Encounter incredible animals

Arguably the biggest draw of the Galápagos Islands is their stunning diversity of wildlife. This is a dream come true for any animal-loving kid – or adult, for that matter. Depending on the island, you’ll be able to spot penguins and dolphins, swim with sea lions and turtles, or get up close and personal with giant tortoises. Everywhere you look, there’s a fascinating new species to discover.

Close up of a sea lion in Galapagos Islands

To learn more about the famous Galápagos tortoises, head to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here kids can get to know these ancient reptiles, who live for over a hundred years and can weigh more than 200 kilograms. An equally iconic species is the tiny Galápagos penguin, which you can easily spot in the wild; they like to perch on rocks near the shore.

2. Experience the islands by sea and by land

We suggest spending at least part of your trip aboard a luxury Galápagos cruise. This way you can hop between islands, visit all the best beaches and go on excursions with expert nature guides. Some of our favourite cruises are even designed with families in mind. For example, the spectacular La Pinta yacht offers specialised programmes for families on certain dates, as well as connecting guest rooms.

For the perfect family trip, you can also spend a few days on land at one of the archipelago’s exquisite hotels. Santa Cruz island’s Galápagos Safari Camp is especially good for children, with a three-bedroom family suite and plenty of activities available. And Finch Bay is the perfect option if you’re ready for some rest and relaxation, with its idyllic beach and pool area.


Galapagos Cruises

Our favourite family cruises on the Galapagos Islands

3. Embark on exciting adventures

No trip to the Galápagos is complete without a little bit – or a lot – of adventure. Depending on what your family feels comfortable with, you can do anything from bird watching to climbing an active volcano. And then of course there are the endless water-based activities; explore the ocean with snorkels or scuba tanks, or stay above the surface with sea kayaks or stand-up paddleboards.

The great thing about visiting the Galápagos with kids is that many of the best experiences here also happen to be educational. There’s so much to learn about, from biology and biodiversity to history and geology. This is a place that has attracted scientists from around the world for centuries – but it’s just as exciting for amateur scientists and young explorers.

Galapagos Hotels

Our favourite family friendly hotels on the Galapagos Islands

4. Explore otherworldly environments

The Galápagos are volcanic islands, which means they’re filled with a dazzling variety of landscapes and microclimates. As you move around within and between islands, you’ll get to see a mind-blowing array of natural wonders, from pristine coastline to staggering peaks. In other words, there’s an environment here for everyone. 

If you’re looking for postcard-worthy beaches, we suggest visiting the main islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. Here you’ll find peaceful stretches of sand, not to mention the intriguing world of marine wildlife that awaits below the surface of the sea. Intrepid travellers of all ages can also ascend the Sierra Negra volcano, where you’ll be able to peer into a massive crater filled with old lava flows and billowing smoke.


5. Expand your trip to Ecuador and Peru

One of the best things about the Galápagos is that you can easily combine them with a trip to nearby countries. Ecuador is the jumping-off point for most trips to the islands, which makes it easy to tack on a few days there to either end of your itinerary. You can enjoy the vibrant cultural hub of Quito, or journey beyond the cities to see ancient ruins and remote villages.  

Peru also makes for a perfect combination with the Galápagos. This country is bursting with culture and history, not to mention can’t-miss landmarks like the famed Machu Picchu. After delving deep into this unique destination, you can immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the islands – the best of both worlds for an unbeatable family vacation.


Our Team's Favourite Trips to The Galapagos

All of our trips are completely personalised. Here are a few examples of what we might suggest.

Talk to one of our expert travel designers and start planning your perfect family vacation to the Galapagos.