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Destination Galapagos, and the questions are a lot.
A list of useful F.A.Q about the Galapagos Islands, from general questions up to questions about transportation and life in the islands.
If you don’t find what you are looking for, comments to the post!

galapagos shark

galapagos shark

Before traveling to the Galapagos

How can you get to the Galapagos?

The only way to get there is by plane via the Galapagos Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil), the airlines flying to the Islands are:  Aerogal, Lan and Tame.
For foreigners the flight costs about $430 (round trip) and there is no seasonality.
Online, sometimes, you can find great deals with Aerogal, about $350 if you fly from Guayaquil. A site that offers good rates generally is Kayak.com. The only company that offers discounted rates for tourists is Aerogal but does not allow (yet) the online booking, you must then rely on air travel booking sites like Orbitz, and paying a commission.

I found a flight on LAN for $200 round trip, can I buy it?

No you can’t. This rate is for residents of the islands. The risk is arriving at the airport and pay a fine of $165.

How long can I stay in the Galapagos?

The maximum time allowed is three months per year. Once the 3 months expire 3 you can’t get back to the islands for 1 year.

What is the best time to go to the Galapagos?

You can actually go to the Galapagos whenever you like during the year. Despite this, there are periods of high and low season.
From December till May the temperatures rise and the water is warmer, then you won’t need wetsuite.
From June until November temperatures drop and thus also that of water, in many cases you need to wear a wetsuit when swimming. On the other hand in the cold and garua season you can see more animals than the warm period.

What should I bring?

A trip to the Galapagos whatever you discover a cruise or an island hopping doesn’t require much but some are of vital importance:

  • sneakers or hiking boots, you will walk a lot of lava rock
  • swimsuite
  • sportswear and from the sea
  • waterproofRegards to medicines products over all pills for seasickness are important, the Galaapgos are in the middle of the ocean and the sea can be rough, so a pill for seasickness could avoid you to get sick on the boat.

How long does it stay in the Galapagos?

Obviously depends on your budget and the time you have. Between 8 and 12 days are good enough to discover the archipelago.

What islands shouldn’t I miss?

Each island has unique characteristics and it’s difficult to say which is more beautiful or which one you shouldn’t miss. We recommend Bartolome Island, Seymour, Plazas and Santa Fe if you only have 5 days, If you have more, then also San Cristobal and Isabela. These islands offer a fairly comprehensive biodiversity of the archipelago.

There is internet in the Galapagos?

I know you can imagine landing on deserted islands in the archipelago but has a fairly large town, Puerto Ayora, as well as the main port of the archipelago, and 3 smaller. The 3 islands (Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana) are inhabited and offer everything, including the Internet. Virtually all the hotels, hostels and restaurants offer wifi. Easy to find also internet cafe.

Cost of living in the Galapagos and tours

It is true that the Galapagos are more expensive than the rest of Ecuador?

Yes they are, compared to the prices of Quito or other areas of the country life on the islands is more expensive. But the charming place is worth the surplus.

Why are the Galapagos Islands so expensive?

This is a question that many people do, maybe all.
The reason why the islands are that expensive is because it’s a National Park and it’s protected.
The only real and effective way that you have to protect the fauna and flora that make them inaccessible, or rather expensive.

It is true that the only way to appreciate the beauty of the Galapagos Islands is on a cruise?

Not really, you can discover the islands also in a different way!
The cruise actually is not the best way to contribute to the development of a local tourism entrepreneurship. Instead sleeping in hotels and hostel of the islanders, having breakfast at the local bar and enjoy the fresh fish in the restaurants, buy local crafts, use buses, taxis, boats and other means of transport of the various local cooperatives, and especially buy daily tours or micro-packages by agencies of the place is the most direct way to get in touch with the indigenous population and contribute to local development.

Can I visit the Galapagos independently?

Yes, but you wouldn’t see that much. The islands are protected, the 97% of the area is inaccessible to the independent traveler.
The islands are not a place of sea, or by bucket and spade, with bars on the beach (there are no bars nor facilities equipped with umbrellas and deckchairs), na sports (fishing is prohibited), trekking independently or camping.
There are no resorts with pool games and entertainment.
If we want to do everything by yourself without agencies or organized boats, the answer is simple: no, you can’t  visited Galapagos Islands independently.

Galapagos Flora & Fauna

Is it true that, because of their volcanic nature, the islands are devoid of white sand beaches?

If we stop thinking that the Caribbean under the Equator there are beaches that every western tourist dreams (at least once in his life), there is a big error of judgment. The archipelago is rich in white sandy beaches and crystal clear sea that does not fear any comparison with the playas of Jamaica or other havens in Central America.

Is it true that it is possible to approach the animals that live on the islands?

Nowhere else in the world the animals of sky, land, sea and especially to have developed such a great confidence with humans.
To tell the truth, not always the relationship between humans and animals has been so brotherly, but with the creation of the Natural Park and Marine Reserve rinonosciuto animals is a place of absolute privilege. Isabel Island there are crosses in which humans are asked to slow down to allow passage to the iguanas.

Is it true that you can swim with a giant turtle or play with the sea lions?

Yes, you do not need to be particularly lucky in the Galapagos to experience a unique feeling in condivedere the sea with the famous giant tortugas or with very nice sea lions. On land their movements seem awkward and clumsy, but when they fall into the water take on a surprising agility and speed only.

True, about animals, Galapagos sharks are harmless?

Yes, not only the iguanas, but also timburones (so called sharks of these islands) do not pose a danger to humans. After the first, understandable fear, you can swim with this harmless species of sharks, which do not have sharp teeth.

It is true that you can even see the penguins?

Yes, the islands still lives a colony of penguins endemic. It is around 800 specimens that may be encountered in some places that the guides know well. After …, are the smallest species in the world

It is true that in the Galapagos you get a tan even when the sky is completely covered in clouds?

Yes, regardless of the weather conditions, the sunscreen is the first measure of protection that every tourist should consider if you want to avoid annoying redness.
The location of the islands just below the equator means that the sun has a high intensity and rappresente the most pericolono enemy you’ll ever meet in these latitudes.

It is true that the Galapagos Islands the sun rises early and the night comes earlier than in other countries?

Yes, and this is due once again to the geographical location. In the islands the people wake up early in the morning, because at 18 already the sun sets. The tours depart daily from 7 to 8, while the return is hardly ever done after 17.30.

Money and security in the Galapagos

It is true that we must take a good amount of dollars?
Yes, it is much better to land on the islands with sufficient dollars in your pocket for your stay, even better if in small sizes 10 and 20. In many places it is not (yet) possible to pay by debit or credit card and debit cards.

It is true that the islands are safe?

Unlike other locations in Ecuador, the Galapagos Archipelago is a very safe place. The petty crime does not exist, the people are very respectful of the things and people. Even for women is a peaceful destination.

There are ATMs on drill Galapagos?

In Santa Cruz and San Cristobal there are many banks and ATMs, but sometimes it does not allow you to withdraw or make other withdraw $ 100 (with associated costs of commission). It should therefore always have cash with you. Isabela Island has neither the bank nor ATM, before arriving on the island is best to have sufficient dollars to pay their own costs.

Can I change Euro to the Galapagos?

Yes you can but the change is not good (currently changing 1:1) therefore preferable to change dollars in Ecuador or take to the bank,

Do I have to tip?

And ‘rule to tip the crew of the boats, whether cruising or day tours, and guides.

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