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Frecuently Asked Questions

Please find below answers to frequently asked questions about cruises in the Galapagos Islands.
We hope that you found the answer to your question but if you couldn’t, don't worry. If you did not get the answers to your questions please do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly assist. Contact Us

Most Common Questions



When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands can be visited during any time of the year. The warmest season is from December to May (80°Fs to low 90°Fs (27ºC to 32ºC)). From June to November temperatures vary from low 70°Fs to high 80°Fs (21ºC to 26ºC). There is always an amazing amount of wildlife to be seen.

What should I bring?

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellant
  • Small backpack
  • Hat (preferably with a brim)
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • T-shirts
  • Long and Short shirts
  • Wind breaker / light raincoat
     
  • Bathing suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sneakers with rubber soles
  • Camera and binoculars
  • Extra film, memory cards, discs
  • Spare batteries
  • Any medicine you may be taking
  • Insurance documentation
  • Passport
  • Money (US$ cash & travelers checks)
We have wetsuits (specially for months from June to November) and snorkeling equipment on board, though some guests sometimes prefer to bring their own to ensure the perfect fit. Use of snorkeling equipment is complimentary.

What IS included in the tour-price?

Price includesALL of the following:
  • Top quality bilingual local guide throughout the cruise
  • All meals on board
  • Purified Water & Tee & Coffee
  • Welcome cocktail & Bye-Bye cocktail
  • Free airport assistance - Mainland Ecuador (Quito)
  • Free airport assistance - Galapagos Islands
  • Free transfers between boat and airport
  • Free 24 hour helpline for personal assistance
  • Free Local flight confirmation and reconfirmation service

What is NOT included in the tour-price?

Unless specifically stated in promotions prices do not include:
  • Airfare from Quito or Guayaquil to Galapagos and return
  • Entrance to galapagos National Park ($100 per person)
  • TCT / Ingala ($10 per person)
  • Isabela Island Fee (20$)
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Wetsuit (2 or 3 mm)
  • Diving, Surfing, Camping, Fishing, Horse ridding, Mountain Bike, Kayak
  • Alcoholic drinks as: cocktails, rum, whisky, vodka, beer, etc)
  • Transfer mainland and Airport departure tax 25$
  • Personal items and Cancellation/medical or insurance.
  • Tipp's - Gratuities

Can I combine my Galapagos Cruise with other tours?

The majority of visitors take the opportunity to combine their Galapagos cruise with other tours such as diving, camping, surfing or fishing.
As part of our service we provide FREE TRIP ADVICE & PLANNING.
This may be a dayly tours, an extra hotel night, or even during your adventure trip in the Galapagos Islands. Please see the Free Trip Planning

Can we use traveler checks to pay the Galapagos National Park fee?

A. No, the park fee can only be paid with USD cash.

Is snorkeling and diving equipment provided on the ships?

It depends on the boat, most boats provide snorkeling equipment which you can rent at a low fee.

What are the flight fares from/to Quito or Guayaquil?

Please click here for fares, high and low season.

What is the difference between economic, tourist and tourist superior boats?

Economic and tourist class boats are quite basic without biology guides (but with guides category 2). The cabins do not have air conditioning or hot water. Some tourist superior boats have biology guides and they have hot water and air conditioning.

Will the navigation be mostly during the day or during the night?

Most of the boat navigate during the night and spend the day on the islands.

How many hours per day do we spent on the different islands?

You will normally visit two differents Places per day and spend 3 to 4 hours on each one.

How is the climate the month we will travel?

Please click here for weather information.

How long have you been organizing trips to the Galapagos Islands?

We have been operating for 7 years now and have had hundreds of clients going to Galapagos.

Which is the difference between Naturalist I, II and III?

Most of naturalist 3 level guides are biologists.

What sort of food can I expect on the boat ?

We always receive favorable reports on the food on the boats. The better the boat the better the food and expect high quality on the food on the bigger boats.

How much luggage can I take on the flight to Galapagos?

You can bring 20 kg, 44 pounds. (Kg, pounds)

What languages do the guides speak?

It depends on the category of the boat. On the bigger boats and the first class and luxury boats expect the guide to speak English, French and German in addition to Spanish. On the other boats, most of the guides are bilingual Spanish/English.

Is there any recommended time of the year to visit Galapagos?

Galapagos is good to visit all year round but there is more sun and warmer water from December to May.

Is there any special tax when leaving Ecuador?

The international departure tax is US$ 25 if you are leaving Ecuador from Guayaquil. The tax is US$ 40.80 if you are leaving Ecuador from Quito. This tax does not apply for domestic flights within Ecuador.

Who is going to pick me up?

Your guide will meet you immediately after you have paid the fee and take you to the boat. Please note that the Galapagos National Park fee, population control card and the International Airport Departure tax are ONLY payable in cash.

Duration of Trip (recommended)

The majority of cruises in Galapagos are for 8 days. We would normally recommend the 8 day cruise so that you can include all the very best Galapagos has to offer. However, our 5 day itineraries have been carefully organized to include excellent visitor sites.

Electricity

On the catamaran and generally throughout Ecuador 110V AC.

Health

Daily trips to the islands involve getting in and out of small boats known as pangas, requiring some physical effort and balance. Daily nature walks may include walking on irregular ground including boulders. Briefings will be given by your guide in advance of the landings to better help you determine levels of difficulty.
Trip members should be in reasonably good health and physical condition to fully enjoy a cruise in the Galapagos Islands. If a passenger suffers from any medical condition that might impact their travel experience they should consult with their doctor before traveling to ensure that they are capable of undertaking the trip. In addition, passengers should advise us of their condition and associated medical needs prior to travel.

Helpline

We have 24 hour helpline for personal assistance for your entire time in Switzerlan & Ecuador.

Entrance Fee

The Islands are part of the Ecuadorian National Parks system. There is an entrance fee of US$ 100 for adults and $50 for children under 12. The fee is collected on arrival in the airport in the Galapagos Islands and is ONLY PAYABLE in cash. Credit card or travelers checks are not accepted.


Flights to / from Galapagos

All Galapagos tours start with a flight from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Islands. The flight from Guayaquil to Galapagos takes approximately 1.5 hours. The flight from Quito stops at Guayaquil and then flies on to the Islands. The total travel time from Quito to the islands is approximately 2.5 hours. Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you directly to the boat.

Flight confirmations

There is NOT a requirement to confirm domestic flights (this includes flights from Quito/ Guayaquil to & from the Galapagos Islands).

Food

We always receive great reviews about the food on board. There is a varied menu onboard, including international and local cuisines, designed to accommodate a variety of dietary needs including vegetarians. There is always a choice and at least one vegetarian option. If you have any special dietary needs please let us know in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements. All meals on board are included in the cruise price.

Insurance

We strongly recommend passengers to buy trip cancellation insurance. In addition, we also recommend the following insurances: life, international medicine, baggage loss and baggage delay, loss of personal belongings lost or stolen personal objects during the length of the trip.

Internet

In the main ports on Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal islands there are plenty of internet cafes. Your itinerary will include some time in at least one of these ports to use these facilities if you wish. None of the boats offer onboard internet service.

Language

All our tours are conducted in English. As a minimum our guides speak English and Spanish fluently. We can arrange tours and guides in most languages. Simply ask your trip advisor for further information.

Landings

The shores of the islands, and the access to visitor sites, can have rocky surfaces or beaches. Landings may be dry or wet.
Dry landings are easily performed, as you will find a flat rocky surface for proper docking with the outing boats or sometimes a real pier as a landing place. When a beach is the only way of accessing a visitor site, it is performed as a wet landing. These are also quite simple since you just remove your shoes and socks, proceed to the front of the dinghy (or panga), and while swinging your legs out, you gently slide off the side of the panga, and will not wet yourself any higher than knee level. Afterwards, dry your feet, put your shoes on, and you will be ready to go. At any landing, please, follow the instructions of the staff in charge.

Money

The local currency in The Galapagos Islands and throughout Ecuador is US dollars. On the Islands, most major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners etc) are widely accepted except in smaller stores.
There are Banco del Pacifico branches on the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. Both have ATM machines that accept MasterCard, Visa and cards affiliated with the Cirrus, Maestro, Banred and ATM system. It is also possible to change travelers checks but this is more difficult and a there is a service charge.
On board the Catamaran, we accept US $ cash, US $ travelers checks.

Seasickness / Sickness

By global standards the seas around Galapagos are considered to be calm however passengers can be affected by seasickness. The Valkiria is a Catamaran and one of the larger 16 passenger vessels operating in the islands making her more stable and thus reducing the chance of motion sickness. If you do suffer from motion sickness then you should try to avoid the months when the seas are generally the roughest (August and September) and plan your trip for the months when the seas are generally the calmest (January to April). There are also various sea sickness medications and aids readily available from pharmacist and other suppliers. Please contact us

Shopping

When we are in Port there will be an opportunity to browse some of the shops to purchase local crafts and souvenirs.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is not allowed within the Galapagos National Park or within enclosed areas of the boat. Smoking is permitted on deck though we ask our guests to be considerate of other passengers who may be within the vicinity.

Snorkeling & Wetsuits

Snorkelling equipment and wetsuit is complimentary all year round. However, some guests sometimes prefer to bring their own to ensure the perfect fit. Please advise your size in advance (XS, S,M,L, XL).

Time Zone

The Galapagos Islands are GMT -6 hours and do not change their clocks for Daylight Savings (because they are on the equator). This means that in the summer months they are the same time as Mountain Daylight Time but in the winter months they are the same time as Central Standard Time.

Tipping / Gratuities

In Galapagos, it is customary to leave a gratuity for the guide and crew separately. Gratuities are at the sole discretion of the passengers and should be based on the level of service received.

Transfers on the Galapagos Islands

All transfers from the airport on the islands to the boat are included in your cruise. Our guide will greet you at the airport and escort you to the boat where your captain and cruise manager will welcome you aboard. 

Communications / Telephone

There is full phone and cellular phone communication in the Galapagos. In the main ports on Santa Cruz, Floreana and San Cristobal islands there are plenty of internet cafes etc to make international calls. Your itinerary will include some time in at least one of these ports to use these facilities if you wish.

Water

On board we use reverse osmosis to produce fresh water. The water from the taps is perfectly safe to drink but to be 100% safe we recommend that our guests only drink the bottled water which is complimentary.

Water Temperature

December to May: 70ºF to 80ºF (21ºC to 26ºC) June to November<: 65ºF to 75ºF (18ºC to 24ºC)

Galapagos National Park & Marine Reserve

The Galapagos National Park protects 97% of the Islands´ land mass. In addition, the Galapagos Marine Reserve protects a further 138,000 square km of sea surrounding the Islands. The Park’s mission is to protect, conserve and manage the Islands ecosystems and its biological diversity for the benefit of humanity, local populations, science and education. We strictly adhere to the rules of the Galapagos National Park. All our cruise itineraries are approved annually by the National Park. All our passengers are always accompanied by a fully qualified Galapagos National Park guide.

Climate

The Galapagos Islands: are isolated so the climate is determined almost entirely by the ocean currents, which in turn are influenced by trade winds that push the currents. In general, December to May are the warmest months with temperatures of 80ºF to 90ºF (26ºC to 35ºC). June to November is cooler 70ºF to 80ºF (20ºC to 26ºC).

Air-conditioning

There is air-conditoning throughout the boat. Air-conditioning can be adjusted global.

Airport Assistance

You can have somebody from Galadventure Agency at the airport to assist you checking your flight to the islands. Once you arrive in the Galapagos, our guide and a member of the crew will greet you at the airport. The crew member will take care of your luggage and your guide will take you to the boat where your captain  will welcome you aboard.

Baggage

There is a luggage allowance of one piece of 44lbs (20 kilos) plus 2 small carry-ons on flights to and from Galapagos. Any additional pieces can be left at your hotel desk on mainland. Excess baggage is charged at 2$  per kilo.

Customs / introduction of new species

To prevent the introduction of new species to the islands you are not allowed to take items such as fruit, flowers and seeds. Your luggage may be x-rayed and inspected to detect these items.

Documents Required

According to Ecuadorian Immigration regulations, every foreign passenger entering the Country must have a passport with a time validity of at least 6 months from the day of arrival to Ecuador. Most Western European and North American passport holders do not require a visa to enter Ecuador. However please contact your nearest Ecuadorian embassy for the latest visa requirements.

* Please note that the Galapagos National Park fee, population control card and the International Airport Departure tax are ONLY payable in cash.

* Taxes are subject to change without previous notice.