A look into the safe corridor to get tourists to the Galapagos
The Ecuadorian government and the Ministry of Tourism have decided to slowly let the tourism sector operate again with the necessary protocols in place. A very important and recent one is the permit that can be issued to qualifying tour operators, allowing their passengers to travel from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands without having to comply fully with the 14-days mandatory preventive isolation period currently in place for all international arrivals.
At Andean Travel Company we are happy to start planning adventures in Ecuador and show all the beauty this country has to offer. We have implemented many changes to our operation, such as taking care of issuing this permit, thereby ensuring that travelers have the most seamless and worry-free holidays possible.
Before traveling to mainland Ecuador
Before boarding their international flight, all passengers will have to sign a document agreeing to present the negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival, taken no longer than 7 days before this date.
After arriving, all passengers will be asked to sign a Special Immigration Form agreeing to obey the protocols established by the authorities. Lastly, a Traveler Health Form will need to be signed before disembarking the flight, which will be given to the Ministry of Public Health.
In order to avoid the 14-day mandatory quarantine still in place in continental Ecuador, tourists will also need to show the permit for safe-passage (laissez-passer) previously sent by us.
Requirements for traveling from the mainland to the Galapagos
Once in mainland Ecuador, a second PCR test is required before taking their flight to the Galapagos Islands (taken a maximum of 4 days before the traveling date). ATC is able to provide this service to guarantee a safe and convenient process; our certified partner can take the samples at the passengers’ place of accommodation and deliver the results after 24 hours (2-3 nights in Quito or Guayaquil are recommended!). This ensures the minimum downtime possible, as all passengers will have to remain at their hotels until the results are received.
Once all this is obtained, passengers can safely go to Quito or Guayaquil airport in order to travel to the Galapagos. The required documentation for this is:
- Permit for safe-passage (laissez-passer) issued by a local registered tour operator.
- PCR-negative test results obtained from a local laboratory.
- Return flight from the Galapagos*
- Health Insurance.
* Flight dates must match the safe-passage dates. Clients booking services independently will need to request an additional permit for safe-passage directly to the establishment where they are staying, or to the different businesses where services have been booked. ATC will be happy to assist with any required additional services in the islands, such as transfers, accommodation, tours etc.
Once in the Galapagos, authorities will monitor the passengers’ vitals once more and disinfect their luggage again before allowing passengers to move towards the main towns of Puerto Ayora, San Cristobal, or directly to their cruise. Click here for more information about our safety protocols onboard all our cruises, and here for our protocols in place for all mainland tours.
Finally, we are happy to share with you some pictures of our first group that arrived safely in the Galapagos this past Monday (3 August), and who are currently enjoying a diving cruise in one of our expeditions boats (Aqua), this is one of the very first groups to visit the islands again after so many months without tourists around! For sure an even more unique experience than usual.
We will upload more pictures and tell you more about their experience once they have finished their cruise next week.
We look forward to receiving your passengers soon as well, and taking care of everything needed for them to enjoy their holidays…