& Galapagos

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Galapagos practical


As in most vacation destinations, the busiest season on Galapagos is also July, August and the Christmas period. During Easter week (Semana Santa), there is quite a bit of internal Ecuadorian tourism. Many cruise lines charge different rates for high and low seasons.
Also check below for the climate of the Galapagos Islands.


From January to May, it is warm but usually rains more. Nevertheless, the number of rainy days during that period is still very limited. Moreover, rain showers are usually short-lived.
From June through December, it is drier but cooler.
The islands lie in a cold Gulf Stream that descends westward from the southeastern Pacific Ocean at the level of the equator. Therefore, water temperatures sometimes drop to 20?C between July and September.
Below is a climate table for the Galapagos Islands.

* Wind force (note: this is not the Beaufort scale)
7=moderate breeze
10=possible damage

** Sea Wave:
4=reasonable waves
10=imminent danger


During the cruise you will be permanently accompanied by an English-speaking guide licensed to guide on the Galapagos. The quality and expertise of the guides is constantly evaluated by the shipping companies. One may say that the quality of the guide is more or less parallel to the quality of a cruise ship. Cruise ships with an excellent reputation pay their employees a higher salary which means that you can expect a good guide. On budget boats you will generally find budget guides as well.


Every foreign visitor to Galapagos pays 100 USD entrance National Park upon arrival at the airport (50 USD for children under 12). As of 01/08/2024, this amount increases to 200 USD and 100 USD for children under 12. In addition, everyone pays 20 USD for a Migration Card (locally called Ingala Card).
This cost is usually not included in the price of cruises. The National Park entrance fee can only be paid locally. We can purchase the Ingala Migration Card in advance for you. This way you avoid (sometimes long) queues and loss of time. Keep your receipt with you throughout your stay on Galapagos.


About a dozen flights go to Galapagos daily. Almost all depart from Quito and fly via Guayaquil to Baltra (Santa Cruz) or San Cristobal. A cruise always departs from 1 of these 2 islands. There are no flights to Galapagos from Cuenca or Manta. There are 3 companies that provide the flights: Latam, Equair and Avianca. A plane ticket to Galapagos is almost always booked together with the cruise. So the shipowner of the ship you book determines which airline/flight you fly with. This makes sense because a ship must be able to pick up its passengers together at the airport. If you book your own ticket and that ticket differs from the flight that the ship’s reason chose, the shipowner can usually charge a surcharge. The flights Quito – Galapagos – Quito and Quito – Galapagos – Guayaquil cost around 550 USD per person. The flights Guayaquil – Galapagos – Guayaquil cost around 525 USD per person. These prices include airport taxes and fees. There is a 30% discount for children under the age of 12. Beware: there are other taxes to pay (see above – National Park). Prices for Ecuadorians are much lower than those for foreign tourists, which sometimes leads to confusion.


On Galapagos, Spanish is the official language. But all nature guides speak English. The higher the price range of the cruise ship, the better the knowledge of English. On some larger ships you will find French-speaking and German-speaking guides.


For info on money, phone connections, security, languages, Ecuador embassy, info on Ecuador, vaccines and other medical info see the page Practical info on Ecuador

How to book a cruise?

It is best to book a Galapagos cruise as far in advance as possible: there is quite a demand for some ships and the best cabins on a ship go away first. If you would like to book a cruise please send us the following information:

  • How many people are you traveling with and how old are they
  • what are the planned dates (or period) of your trip
  • the desired duration of the cruise: how many days your cruise may last
  • do you have a preference for a certain type of ship; do you want a big or a small ship, a catamaran, a sailing ship
    Take a look at our offer
  • do you want a ship from luxury class, from first class, superior class or tourist class
  • Do you have any special requirements in terms of fauna and flora
  • Do you have any special requirements in terms of activities (snorkeling, diving, …)
  • Would you like to extend your stay with several days of hotel in Galapagos
  • Couple a visit to Galapagos with a visit to the mainland

We will check the availability of the ship(s) of your choice and create a customized program around it. A few days after your request we will send you a detailed travel proposal.

Avoid this mistake!

Are you coming to Ecuador exclusively to visit Galapagos? Then it is best to fly directly to Guayaquil – so not to Quito. You sleep one night not far from the airport and fly on to Galapagos the next day as early as possible, where the guide of the cruise ship is waiting for you and takes you to the ship. The return trip is identical but in reverse order. If you want to visit both the mainland and Galapagos, it is best to fly into Quito and then make the journey overland from north to south through the Andes Mountains and then fly from Guayaquil to Galapagos. That way you save money and avoid double routes! More info on Galapagos ship offerings, hotels or about the islands and their flora and fauna can be found below.