When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?
Any day is a great time to visit the islands and wildlife can be observed pretty much all throughout the year. The climate is determined by the currents, which in turn are influenced by trade winds. For those looking for sunny days, the warmest season is from December to May when temperatures vary from 27ºC to 35ºC. From June to November however, temperatures tend to decrease and cool down a bit, dropping to 21ºC.
What’s the water temperature?
December to May: 21ºC to 26ºC
June to November: 18ºC to 24ºC
What airports are there in Ecuador?
Ecuador has two International Airports: Quito (Mariscal Sucre) and Guayaquil (Jose Joaquin de Olmedo). Flights to the Galapagos are considered domestic travel and touch down on the airports in Baltra Island and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Since you’ll be arriving on the Ecuadorian mainland at the beginning of your Galapagos trip, someone from our staff will be there to assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your hotel. Our trained staff will also be sure to check on your flights to the islands (set for the day after your arrival on the Ecuadorian mainland). Once you get to the Galapagos Islands, you will be welcomed by your guide, who will then be sure to take care of you and your personal belongings at the airport.
What is the flight like to the Galapagos?
Leaving from Quito the flights take approximately 2-hours, including one stop in Guayaquil for half an hour to pick up passengers. From there, the last leg of the flight will take about one and a half hours.
Luggage: Only one checked suitcase (44lbs.) and two carry-on bags are allowed. Excess baggage is has a cost of US$ 2 per kilo.
Check-in at the airport is required at least 1.5 hours before departure time.
Passengers checking in for flights to or from the Galapagos Islands are required to show their passport.
You need to show your INGALA entrance permit and your luggage inspection seal prior to being able to check in for your flight.
What are the National Park Regulations?
Entrance Fee to Galapagos National Park is $100 cash, payable at either of the two airports in the Galapagos.
What communication services are there on the islands?
Cell phone reception is available when you are close to populated areas only. At the main ports there are a lot of internet cafes and facilities to make international calls as well.
Should I bring cash?
The local currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Most of the major credit cards are accepted on the mainland and some places on the islands as well. There are some ATM machines affiliated with Cirrus, Maestro, and Banred. Travelers checks are changeable with a service charge. Note that not all islands have an ATM, so it’s highly recommended to bring cash with you just in case.
Should I tip?
Gratuities are at the sole discretion of the passenger, although it is a customary to leave a tip for the guide and the boat crew as well.
GALAPAGOS TRAVEL TIPS
What to bring to Galapagos / Packing List
- Weight limit on the flight is 44 pounds
- Sporting clothes
- Tennis shoes (comfortable and sturdy)
- Sunscreen (at least SPF15 or higher)
- Insect repellent
- Sunglasses (with a neck strap)
- Raincoat with poncho
- All camera equipment (digital camera, memory cards, and battery charger)
- Prescription medication
- All travel documents
- Clothing should be lightweight
- Sport sandals
- Ziploc bags of various sizes
- Small lightweight binoculars (MUST)
Personal First Aid Kit (small amounts in small containers)
- Antibiotic cream (Neosporin)
- Benadryl cream for itchy bites
- Aspirin/ibuprofen, etc
- Dramamine or other motion sickness medication for boat crossings
- Cold-symptom relief tablets, antihistamine, cough drops
- Prescription medicines in their original bottles
- Acidophilus enzyme (available in capsules in health-food stores). This often helps your digestive system get in shape for “new” flora
- Immodium, Lomotil, or similar anti-diarrhea medicine
- Pepto-Bismol tablets and/or liquid (in leak-proof bottle)
- Laxative tablets
- Visine or similar eye drops
- Ear plugs