Basic things you need to know before going to the Galapagos Islands

  • Documents to get in the Galapagos Islands: Every foreigner entering Ecuador must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the day of arrival in the country Time Zone: Ecuador main land is GMT -5 (USA Central Standard time) same time as USA during Spring and Summer months. In Galapagos the time is GMT –6 (one hour less than on Ecuador’s main land).
  • Direct Flies to Galapagos: No. the only way to get to the Galapagos Islands is to fly from Quito the capital and Guayaquil the main and biggest cities in Ecuador.
  • Flying Time to the Galapagos islands: Guayaquil to Galapagos Islands 1.5 hours, and Quito – Guayaquil 0.5 hours
  • Are there telephone and internet connections available in the Galapagos Islands?: Yes, only in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) and Puerto Baquerizo (San Cristóbal Island)
  • How many tourists visit Galapagos Island every year? It is estimated that between 80,000 to 100,000 visitors arrive to the Galapagos Islands per year
  • What are the fees to enter Galapagos Islands Park? Foreign Tourists non-residents of Ecuador over 12 years of age. $100 Foreign Tourists non-residents of Ecuador under 12 years of age. $50 Foreign Tourists non-residents of Ecuador over 12 years of age. Nationals of one of the countries participating in the Andean Community of Nations or Mercosur. $50 Foreign Tourists non-residents of Ecuador under 12 years of age. Nationals of one of the countries participating in the Andean Community of Nations or Mercosur. $25 National Tourists or Foreign Residents of Ecuador over 12 years of age $6 National Tourists or Foreign Residents of Ecuador under 12 years of age $3 Tourists non-resident foreign students registered at one of the National Universities of Ecuador. $25 The park permit is submitted to National Park Officials at the point of entry (normally at the Baltra or San Cristobal airport), where it is processed and recorded. It is imperative to retain the permit and have it available at the time of entrance. Persons not having a permit for any reason, including misplaced permits, will be required to purchase a new permit to enter the National Park.
  • Where all this money goes?: 40% Galapagos National Park; 20% Galapagos Municipalities; 10% Galapagos Provincial Government; 10% Galapagos National Institute (INGALA); 5% Galapagos Marine Reserve; 5% Galapagos Provincial Inspection and Quarantine System; 5% INEFAN (National Park Service); and 5% Ecuadorian Navy. In total these fees assist in the protection and conservation of the Galapagos Islands
  • Banks and ATM machines in the Galapagos Islands: There is only one bank, Banco de Pacifico in Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz island and other branch in Puerto Baquerizo in San Cristobal island. Here you can cash international checks in American dollars. The ATM machines accept only MasterCard and Cirrus, the amount cannot be more than $300 operates.
  • Credit Card Payments: Mainly the big hotels will take credit cards, maybe some small ones can but you will be charged extra for the transaction, in addition to the 12% sales tax that applies in Ecuador.
  • What is the weather in the Galapagos Islands?: The warmest months are usually January to May with February and March hot and humid, but also mostly green(24 to 26 Celcius 75 to 79 Fahrenheit). June to December is not as warm because it is windy, which is considered cool season (22 to 23 Celcius 71.6 to 73.4 Fahrenheit). The average year-round temperature is 75°F ( 24°C ).
  • Electrical current and outlets: As the rest of the country, in the Galapagos Islands including yachts operate on 110 volts with 60 cycle current. The outlets are the same as in North America.
  • What do I need for snorkeling: For the warm months just your bathing suit, for the cold months a 2mm shorty will help you to remain warm in cold waters during June thru December.
  • I love snorkeling:
    the mayority of us love snorkeling and almost all tour packages include some time for this activity,  that usually includes the snorkeling gear. Some travelers for personal hygiene bring their own gear.?
  • Ther are some environmental restrictions and protection laws:
    To preserve the fragile environment of the Galapagos land and marine ecosystems, please follow carefully to the instructions of your tour guide.   You will asked not to take any food to the islands, or remove anything including little rocks, to not touch neither feed the animals, always remain in the trails, and to never throw litter.
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