1. When is the best time of the year to go to Galapagos?
Absolutely the most frequently asked question. Darwin said it all: Considering that these islands are placed directly under the equator, the climate is far from being excessively hot; this seems chiefly caused by the singularly low temperature of the surrounding water, brought here by the great southern polar current. Excepting during one short season, very little rain falls, and even then it is irregular. CHARLES DARWIN, 1845
From month to month there are some differences in what you can see in the islands, however, the differences in the experience itself are small, for example, from April to December you can see the waved albatrosses but not many sea turtles, the rainy season (December to May) is when land birds are mating and in the Dry season (June to November) sea birds have their mating season. The average year-round temperature is 24°C
2. What should I bring in my trip?
» 2 pairs of Sandals, Teva style or flip flops ,one for short walks on the islands and one for on board use, often is not allowed to wear shoes indoors but clean sandals are ok.
» One pair of running shoes and one pair of hiking boots.
» 2 different bathing suits so one can dry while using the other .
» Sarong or big towel for avoiding sun while out on deck if wanted 2 light t-shirts for snorkelling, lycra is recommended to avoid sunburn as well as at least.
» One lightweight t-shirts for walks on the islands, one per day of cruise minimum.
» 2 pairs of long light pants for either avoiding sunburn or for windy nights.
» 1 hut , any sort of hut to avoid sunburn as much as possible .
» Backpack or rucksack, waterproof if possible, for carrying water, cameras , etc during walks or visits.
Strong sun block lotion minimum 20 SPF Aloe or any after sunbathing lotion.
» Sunglasses , prescription glasses and or contact lenses for snorkelling .
» Light rain Jacket or umbrella as well as windbreaker. Refillable water bottle.
» Sea sickness pills as well as a basic first aid kit, vitamins and or personal medicine. Reading material if wanted Galapagos guidebook, magazines, etc.
» For regular cameras minimum one roll of film per day, for digital cameras we recommend minimum 300mb card.
» Snorkelling is a common activity, we recommend 1 underwater disposable camera per every 2 days of cruise.
» Credit cards and ATM cards are often not taken in Galapagos so we recommend to bring some US dollars cash or travellers checks.
3. Traveling Alone?
No problem, there are two ways you can visit the islands alone, since we operate our own boats we are in charge of the cabins assignment, actually half of our guests are couples and the other half are singles, if you are willing to share a double cabin we will guarantee that the other person in your cabin if of your same gender, if you are not willing to share please contact us for more information and prices.
4. Do I need a passport or visa to go to Ecuador and Galapagos?
A passport is required, most North American and European countries citizens do not require a visa in advance ,this is issued on arrival for a maximum of 3 months. Your travel agency can advise you of any visa requirements for your particular country when travelling to Ecuador.
5. Are vaccinations required?
To visit the Galapagos Islands there are no vaccinations neither required nor recommended. If you are anyway planning to spend more time in Ecuador, especially in the rain forest or Amazon area, vaccinations and immunizations strongly recommended. Since this varies from time to time please consult with your local health office (or the Institute for Tropical Diseases) several weeks before your trip.
6. How are the Flights to the Galapagos Islands?
The flight time depends you departing city, this Flights to the Galapagos leave from Quito making a stop in Guayaquil so you don't have to necessarily board in Quito to get from Quito to Guayaquil takes about thirty minutes and about one and a half hours from Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands. All flights leave from 7am to 11am in the morning and return between 1pm and 5pm.
7. How about luggage restrictions on the airplanes?
Only one suitcase 20kg and one carry-on piece are allowed on the plane.
8. What currency do we use in Galapagos and Ecuador?
Since the year 2000 the Ecuadorian government adopted the US Dollar as the national currency so if you already live in a country where you use them you can just bring them alone, otherwise make sure you exchange money before arrival.
9. How are the communications facilities on board and on the islands?
During your Galapagos cruise regardless of the extent, you most likely will visit one of the inhabited islands, most likely Puerto Ayora which is the largest town in the Galapagos, there you can find many internet cafes as well as phone booths to make international calls, and while you are onboard you will be able to receive urgent messages immediately.
10. Can we smoke on the Islands or on the boat?
One of the main rules for visitors to the Galapagos is that it is not allowed to smoke on the islands. On the boats, however, you can smoke on deck but not in the inside social areas, for sure not in the cabins.
11. What is the electricity on the boat?
The Aida Maria, Eden, Rumba and Guantanamera have 110v outlets in all the cabins and bathrooms, please keep in mind that the sockets are the American type(flat - not round) so you might want to bring an adaptor if you have different shaped sockets in your country.
12. Is there a dress code on the boats?
No dress code is applied on board our Galapagos yachts. The only requirement for lunch and dinner is to wear shoes or sandals.
13. What are the payment policies?
Once you have decided to book a cruise 30% deposit is required and after that you will receive a time limit for making the full payment, we will send you the details for making a wire or internet payment to our bank account.
14. What is included in the price?
Double accommodation with private bathrooms (or single if requested) ,All meals on board ,Guided visit to the islands with English speaking guides ,bottled pure drinking water , coffee and tea at the bar any time, transportation in the islands, direct support from our office.
Round trip tickets to Galapagos US$ 520,00 per person (subject to change without prior notice) ,Galapagos entrance fee US$ 100.00 for per person ,children under 12 years US$ 50.00 as well as students with valid international student ID, tips and personal expenses, and US$20,00 INGALA fee.