The best travel tips for the Galapagos Islands
Planning a well-deserved holiday, visiting your family in your home country, or travelling abroad were almost impossible a year and a half ago. Luckily, the world is slowly but surely opening up, and taking a plane to discover new destinations is becoming easier. However, we understand that some of your clients might not feel too excited about the idea of visiting busy cities or beaches just yet. Why not offer them a unique adventure to a magical archipelago where endemic wildlife is in abundance, spaces are open and uncrowded, and almost 100% of the population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19: The Galapagos Islands!
Even though travelling to the Galapagos Islands is easy and accessible, we have put together a small list of recommendations and requirements for you and your clients to keep in mind when planning to visit.
- To enter the islands, travellers (aged 16 and above) need to show their vaccination card or equivalent of which the final dose must have been administered 14 days before travelling and a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before boarding. All travellers aged 2 to 16 do NOT need to be vaccinated to enter the Galapagos Islands. However, they still need to provide the result of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before boarding the flight. The authorities are constantly evaluating and changing the policies for entering the archipelago, so please make sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn , where we keep you up-to-date with the latest news.
Reminder: All travellers should check the COVID-19 requirements for returning home to their country as they might need a PCR or antigen test. We recommend staying an additional night in Quito or Guayaquil upon return from the Galapagos in case such a test needs to be arranged or the requirements change suddenly.
- Since the Galapagos Islands are considered a UNESCO World Heritage, and not to mention unique in the world, an entrance fee is asked to every person who visits the islands. The fee is USD 100 per person (subject to change) and is paid in cash upon arrival.
- Another requirement is a transit control card, which shows that visitors are only travelling for a vacation. The card can be bought at the airport in Guayaquil or Quito at the Galapagos desk. The cost is USD 20 (subject to change) per person.
- Having travel insurance is always an absolute must when going on a holiday. Even though it is not a mandatory regulation for flying to the Galapagos, we highly recommend it as one might never know what can happen during a trip. Health insurance, on the other hand, is a mandatory requirement when visiting the archipelago. So make sure to ask your clients if they have worldwide coverage.
There are few ATMs present on the islands and we, therefore, recommend your clients to take enough cash (USD 20 bills) with them before flying. Bills of USD 100 are not accepted on the Galapagos Islands and bills of USD 50 are not favoured. If necessary, there are ATMs at their disposal at the airport in Baltra and San Cristobal, in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal and Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz. There are no ATMs on the island of Isabela.
Keep in mind that cellular and internet services on the Galapagos Islands are very limited. The only time when your clients will have access to the internet will be at their hotel or the small towns of Puerto Ayora, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and Puerto Villamil. Moreover, there are only a handful of luxury cruise ships that offer an internet connection. Our advice? Forget about staying connected all the time and enjoy all the beauty the islands have to offer!
Make sure to mention to travellers that sunscreen is an absolute must! The Galapagos Islands are located right on the equator so the UV index is high all year round. Turning lobster red instead of getting a sun-kissed tan happens very fast, even on cloudy days. We recommend everyone to use an SPF 50 or higher every day.
What better way to memorize a fantastic trip to the Galapagos Islands than having a bunch of photos and videos of the incredible wildlife and surroundings. We recommend your clients to take their best gear such as a GoPro and a waterproof camera case since they will be spending a lot of time enjoying the underwater world as well. Our guides also make sure to take pictures of the group and the wildlife when on an excursion so make sure that your clients take a separate SD card with them so the guide can share these pictures immediately.
To end this list, we would like to remind everyone that the Galapagos Islands have a very unique and delicate ecosystem and it has therefore been declared a protected area. This means that there are certain rules in place aimed at protecting and preserving the wildlife and the environment for future generations to come. Please remind your clients to do their best to collaborate with this conservation effort when enjoying the beauty of the islands.