ABOUT GALAPAGOS


ABOUT ECUADOR IN GENERAL


Please make sure your passport is valid for 6 months.

No visa is necessary for U.S. citizens or citizens of most other countries. There are exceptions for some Asian, Central American and European countries. Please check your individual situation with your travel agent, tour operator or local Consulate. We advise you make copies of all your important documents (visa, passport, credit cards, air tickets, etc.). In case they are lost, it will make replacement much easier.

 

UPON ARRIVAL

Upon arrival you will go through customs and immigration. Be sure your entrance papers are officially stamped showing the number of days allowed for your stay in the country: and you will be given a copy of these papers. Keep them in a safe place, as you will need them to leave the country.

If they are lost you must phone our office immediately. At least 72 hours notice prior to your departure from the country is needed to process the necessary replacement paperwork.

If you require assistance with your luggage at the airport, there are porters who can help you. Standard gratuity is US$1 per bag. If you are taking a taxi to your hotel, we suggest you to make sure that it has a taximeter running. If the taxi does not have a taximeter, you should arrange the price before getting in the vehicle. Most of the hotels in Quito and Guayaquil are located in the city, so the price should not be more than 5 US dollars. The rate also depends on the hour.
For your security, use only taxis bearing the logo of the Airport taxi cooperative. Likewise, use your hotel's taxi cooperative for transport in the cities. Alternatively, you can arrange transfer service with your hotel reservation.

We recommend eating lightly the first day (if arrival city is Quito). Due to altitude you might suffer some digestive problems, as well as light dizziness or headaches.

CUSTOMS


According to Ecuadorian laws, any person that enters the country temporarily is exempt from the payment of any customs duty. This means that you should not pay any taxes or duties for your luggage, new or used articles that you will use during your trip, and portable items such as photo cameras, video cameras, laptops, radios and CD players.

Aside from the limitations set by each airline, there are no specific customs restrictions concerning the number of pieces of luggage or maximum weight you are allowed to bring into the country.   


TIME ZONE

Ecuador is in the Eastern Standard Time zone. Daylight savings time is not observed. Galapagos is one hour behind Ecuador's continental time. GMT-6 in the Galapagos Islands. GMT-5 in mainland Ecuador.


LANGUAGE

The official language is Spanish, English is spoken by most personnel with whom you will deal if you have contracted services through an agency or operator. Even so, English is widely understood in hotels, restaurants and shops you will visit. It is advisable, if you are the adventurous type, to carry a small Spanish phrase book with you.


CURRENCY

The currency is the US Dollar.


ELECTRICITY

110 volts, 60 cycles AC

 

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Please be sure to reconfirm your international flight 48 hours before departure.   


HEALTH

As for every trip you take abroad, general good health is required. If you are under medication, be sure to bring enough for the entire length of your trip. If you should become ill during your stay, we can provide for you names of English speaking physicians or telephone of your Consulate or Embassy for advice.   

No immunizations are required for your trip to Ecuador, however, for travel to the rainforest prevention against malaria & yellow fever may be considered. Please consider the following recommendations:

1. Do not drink tap water

2. Avoid ice in your beverages while traveling in Ecuador (Consult with your guide).

3. You can use ice on board the yachts in Galapagos and in main hotels & restaurants.

4. Always drink bottled water and soft drinks.

5. Try to avoid eating raw vegetables and salads or any raw foods while traveling in the continent. Always prefer cooked food.

6. If you wear prescription glasses, it is advisable to bring an extra pair.

7. Always use sunscreen lotion even on cloudy days.

 

 

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

 

GALAPAGOS FLIGHTS

In order to check in with the airline you first have to go to SESA / SICGAL office, in the national departures building, to have your luggage inspected for prohibited products.

Then you have to visit the "Consejo de Gobierno de Galapagos" office , in the national departures building, to buy the transit control card (US $10 per person) and complete it as it will be required upon arrival in the islands.

Both of these authorities are on the main concourse next to the airline counters.

And finally you go to the airline (TAME, AEROGAL or LAN). For flights to the Galapagos islands there are strict weight restrictions. You are permitted two pieces of check in luggage (preferably soft sided) weighing no more than 20 Kg (44 pounds). You are permitted one carry on. There is a charge for excess luggage.

 

UPON ARRIVAL / ENTRANCE FEE

The Galapagos National Park of US$ 100 (US$ 50 for children under 12) is paid at Baltra airport. Please be sure to carry the above amounts in cash. No credit cards are accepted.

 

CLIMATE (AVERAGE TEMPERATURES)

The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate regulated by the cold Humboldt current and the warm El Nino current. Weather varies during the year. From December until May: temperatures range from low 80°s to low 90°s (with possibilities of rain). From June to September temperatures vary from low 60°'s to high 70°'s. This is the garua season (mist in the mornings). From October until December temperatures range from 70°s to 80°' (dry season).


MARINE CURRENTS

The Galapagos Islands waters have the Humboldt Current's influence that brings cold waters especially during the mist rainy season (cool weather) from July to December. The warm season is during the months of January to June. The southeast trade winds become weaker and the water from the Panama Basin remains warm. During this season there is more of a tropical climate with some occasional rains. The intermittent "El Niño" current may cause a much greater flow of warm waters coming from the west, making the surface warmer and rainfall increase.

 

AVERAGE WATER TEMPERATURE

January-June: 70°F-80°F (20C-26C)
July - December: 65°F - 75°F (18C- 23C)


VISIBILITY

Average visibility is from 8 to 10 meters (25ft to 35ft); on good visibility days it can reach approximately 18 meters (60ft).


SEA CONDITIONS

From July to December the sea is choppy, strong surge, brisk breezes but no storms. Sailing time is longer ( by 30 - 40 minutes aprox.) when comparing to clam season sailing time. Anti-seasickness medication is recommended.

From December to June the sea is calm with gentle breeze; sailing is easier.


GALAPAGOS NATIONAL PARK, RULES AND REGULATIONS, LAND VISITS

Galapagos National Park rules are very strict and a way to keep the Islands intact for your enjoyment and that of future generations. You might think some of those rules excessive, but have in mind, that only in this way this unique archipelago will last for years to come. As one of the rules of the National Park, a naturalist guide will be with you at all times. He or she will tell you what you can and what you cannot do while visiting the islands. Please obey their instructions on this respect. The most important rules are the following:

1. Always follow the marked trail and never leave it.
2. Do not touch the animals.
3. Do not take souvenirs from the islands.
4. Do not get too close to animals.
5. Do not litter.
6. Do not smoke on the islands.
7. Do not take food to the islands.

8. Clean your shoes' soles before disembarking in the islands. You may have carried some seeds endemic to one island and would not want to introduce them to another.
9. Always stay together with your group.

 

HEALTH / MEDICAL / DIET

Good general health is required for your travel to Galapagos. You will take long walks in hot weather. We advise you to start to get into shape by bicycling, walking or swimming as this will help you to enjoy your trip. If you take medication regularly, we advise you to take enough for the length of your trip. Please advise us if you have any medical condition, which may require attention, so we can be prepared should an emergency arise. No immunizations are necessary to travel to the Galapagos. If you are vegetarian, allergic to any food or under a special diet, please let your travel agent, tour operator or us know in advance, so we can comply with your requirements.


WHAT TO BRING

It is not necessary to carry much to the Galapagos, pack light and pack smart. Lightweight fast drying cotton is recommended.

 

  • Cotton pants
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • A windbreaker or light sweater for evening or early morning
  • Hat: preferably that cover the ears
  • Lots of sunscreen lotion
  • Good walking shoes
  • Tevas or sandals
  • Sunglasses (with strap)
  • An extra pair of prescription glasses (if needed)
  • Small backpack to carry on land visits (for your camera and water)
  • Plastic bag to keep your camera or photographic equipment dry
  • Plenty of film
  • Snorkeling gear (not essential)
  • Medications (anything you might be using while your cruise)
  • Anti-seasickness scopolamine Transderm Scop patch or motion sickness tablets (if you are prone to sea sickness) Inquire-with your physician.
  • Books to read (we encourage paperback exchange)
  • Wet suit or skin for snorkeling (not essential)
  • Binoculars
  • If you wear glasses, it is a good idea to bring contact lenses for diving and snorkeling
  • Insect repellent
  • Wasps are not terribly common, but if you are specifically allergic to wasp stings, bring your own antidote
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    ADDITIONAL RECCOMMENDATION

    As the sun in the equatorial latitude is quite strong, we suggest you wear sunscreen at all times. Make sure you protect your head, face, arms and legs while you are on the sun deck or during the visits to the islands. The guides will guide you appropriately with all water activities.


    Address: Avenue Charles Darwin - Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz - Galapagos, Ecuador
    Phones: Office: (593-5) 2-526497    Cell: (593) 97024031
    E-mail:info@scubaiguana.com