Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do I get to the Galapagos Islands?
Q: How long is the flight to the Galapagos Islands from Ecuador?
A: It can take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half to arrive to the Galapagos, depending on where in Ecuador you fly from. Flights to the Galapagos are available from the capital city, Quito, to the city of Guayaquil, and last about half an hour, then you can fly from Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands, which tends to be an hour-and-a-half-long flight. If you prefer to fly directly to Guayaquil, rather than routing through Quito, there are also a number of international flights available that allow you to do so.
Q: Do I need a visa to travel to Ecuador?
A: Citizens of the United States, Canada and most European countries do not need to request a visa before travelling to Ecuador. You should have at least six (6) months of validity remaining on your passport after your travel dates and Ecuador requires travelers to have health insurance from their home country in order to enter. Check with your home country’s state department or the Ecuadorian embassy in your home country for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Q: Are there any luggage restrictions for travel to the Galapagos?
A: Travelers are limited to one checked suitcase of 44lbs/20kg and one carryon bag. Be sure to pack light and check our advice on “What to Bring” for an idea of what are the essentials for Galapagos travel.
When should I go to the islands and what should I bring?
Q: What time of year is the best to visit the Galapagos Islands?
A: The climate in the Galapagos is phenomenal year-round, so in terms of weather, there is no “best time.” There are, however, seasons which might lend themselves better to the types of activities that you are looking to do. For information about these times and other factors, check out our advice about “When to Go” and decide what time of year is best for your Galapagos travel.
Q: What should I bring with me to the Galapagos Islands?
A: We recommend bringing lightweight clothing and swimsuits. Since the Galapagos Islands are situated near the Equator, it’s also essential to bring sunscreen and a hat to protect from the strong sun. Good footwear is another key item that we recommend bringing to the Galapagos.
Q: Is there anything that I cannot bring to the islands?
A: You may not bring most single-use plastics to the island, nor are you allowed to bring things that might disrupt the fragile Galapagos ecosystem, such as fruits, vegetables or plants.
Are there any pre-departure precautions that I should take?
Q: Are there any vaccinations that are required or recommended for me before I go?
A: There are no required or recommended immunizations for travel to the Galapagos Islands. If you plan to travel in other parts of Ecuador, particularly in jungle regions, there are immunizations that are very highly recommended. For the most up-to-date information, speak with your healthcare provider or your state department a few weeks prior to travelling, since vaccination recommendations are subject to change.
Q: Should I exchange money before I go to Ecuador?
A: Exchanging money is not necessary if you have US dollars because Ecuador adopted the US dollar as their official currency in 2000, thus the official currency on the Galapagos is also the US dollar. You will, however, want to be sure that you have plenty of cash with you. You should also double-check to make sure that the cash you bring is in good condition, since damaged bills might not be accepted.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards. We also accept payments via Union Pay, PayPal and Zelle and wire transfers from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia to our business bank accounts. If you’re unsure if we will accept your form of payment, just reach out and we can help figure out how best to work out payment.
Q: What is the National Park Entrance Fee and how do I pay it?
A: The National Park Entrance Fee is a one-time fee of $100 (subject to change). You will pay the fee in cash on the day that you first enter the Galapagos Islands National Park.
What will my time on the boat and on the islands be like?
Q: Will I have internet access or phone service?
A: You will be able to make calls from Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), which is a common stop on many trip itineraries. There will also be internet access at that time. Some boats have Wi-Fi, but that is on a boat-by-boat basis.
Q: Is there a dress code on board?
A: Most boats require the usage of shoes or sandals during lunch and dinner. Some cruises ask that you wear long pants during meals.
Q: Is there the option for a single or triple suite?
A: Most cruises assign double cabins to all passengers. There is the option to pay a single supplement if you’re travelling by yourself. Triple cabins can also be arranged on request, subject to availability and the accommodations available on the ship of your choice.
Q: Is smoking allowed on the islands or on board the ship?
A: Smoking is not allowed on the Galapagos Islands. We also ask that you please refrain from smoking in the cabins. Smoking is allowed on the deck of smaller boats, and on larger (cruise) ships, there will be designated smoking areas.
Can I stay in Ecuador longer?
Q: Can I extend my trip before and/or after my Galapagos cruise?
A: You can, and we highly recommend our travelers to do so. Just let us know if you’re considering doing so and we can help you plan for an extension.