Every one of the Galapagos' official visitor sites has something unique to offer.
You will be able to experience the best wildlife in the Galapagos - sea lions, marine iguanas, lava lizards, endemic birds - on the majority of islands, so don't worry about missing a particular island or other.
Here are a few of the most popular spots.
Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has a high point of 114 metres, with stunning views of volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea.
There is very little vegetation on this island, but the island has two breath-taking beaches where marine turtles live as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.
Champion Islet's waters transform into an aquarium teeming with life during September and October, when the water temperatures drop.
Sea plants thrive here, which brings the marine creatures and in turn the sea birds.
Sea lions, especially the curious juveniles often zip past and around the awkward humans in fins and masks - it's a great snorkelling spot.
Española is the southernmost island of the archipelago, home to the famed waved albatross, a child-sized bird with an eight-foot wingspan.
According to the Galapagos Conservancy, every year the entire world's population of adult Waved Albatrosses returns to Española during the nesting season from April to December.
Fernandina is the Galapagos' youngest and westernmost island, best known for its not-infrequent volcanic eruptions, the most recent of which was in 2009.
Fernandina is situated at the locus of the "hot spot" that created, and is still creating and shaping, the Galapagos.
Step across lava flows and around the huge population of land iguanas here and you will gain a great understanding of the geological origins of the Galapagos.
Floreana is home to the Galapagos' famous barrel-cum-mailbox at Post Office Bay.
For centuries, those visiting the famous Ecuadorian isles relied on the unspoken duty of fellow pirates and whalers to get letters to an intended destination.
A mariner would leave a dispatch, then pick through the stack for missives he could personally deliver (travel schedule allowing).
The tradition continues today; cruise passengers visiting the site can leave and take postcards from a (modern) barrel.
This is a favourite island for birdwatchers: red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow-crowned and black-crowned lava herons and yellow warblers can all be seen in the area.
Isabela Island (Albemarle)
Named after Queen Isabela, this island is the largest of all of the Galapagos Islands, with 4,640 square kilometres of land area.
Shaped like a seahorse, Isabela Island was formed out of six large volcanoes.
Isabela also houses Puerto Villamil, one of the largest settlements in the Galapagos.
Isabela is also home to many endemic species, including the Galapagos tortoise.
North Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders.
There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds.
Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges.
Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing.
Rabida Island (Jervis)
Rabida makes a bold statement when you arrive at its iron-rich red beach.
Just inland is a brackish lagoon where visitors frequently see flamingos, heads plunged underwater to spoon up crustaceans and algae with their bowl-like beaks.
San Cristobal (Chatham)
San Cristobal is named after St. Christopher, the patron saint of sea voyagers, but its other name, Chatham Island, comes from the name of an English earl.
This island’s area is 558 square kilometres, and was the first island Charles Darwin visited in 1835.
San Cristobal is rich not only in wildlife but also abundant in vegetation and trees and is also where Laguna El Junco (the largest lake of the Galapagos) is located.
The capital of the province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, can also be found here.
As one of the main islands of Galapagos, San Cristobal is the only other island which has an airport, along with Baltra
Santa Cruz Island (Indefatigable)
This island features the Galapagos' most populous "city," Puerto Ayora, and is the island chain's main tourism hub.
The island offers visitors the only chance to experience the Galapagos' interior highlands, one of a few places to spot giant tortoises in their natural habitat.
The Charles Darwin Research Center, a visit to which is included on every cruise, is also located there.
Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat)
This is a small islet (1 sq. km) located just off the south-eastern tip of Santiago Island.
It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side.
On the west you can see lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, which is why coral heads are found on the lava.
This is an excellent place to visit for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows.
This is a great place to see sea lion colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.
South Plaza Island
South Plaza encompasses less than one-tenth of a mile in area and is one of the Galapagos' smallest visitor sites.
But the tiny island, which was formed by volcanic uplift, makes a powerful impression with its colour-changing ground vegetation, sea birds and colony of Galapagos land iguanas.
A comical sight here are the male iguanas which can often be seen standing guard in front of a cactus tree, waiting patiently to provide a hungry female with a piece of prickly fruit.