Galapagos designed by a Level III Naturalist Guide
Galapagos National Park Rules
1. Because of its unique nature, the plants, animals and rocks should stay on site so that there is no change. Nothing must be taken away from the islands, except photos.
2. Please avoid the introduction of foreign organisms such as animals, seeds, plants and insects as they cause serious problems.
3. Galápagos animals should not be touched or petted for your safety and because they can quickly loose their tameness and change their behaviour.
4. The endemic and native fauna of Galápagos has its natural form for feeding. Therefore, do not give them any type of food because it could harm them.
5. The Galápagos marine birds leave their nests if you disturb or follow them. They will let their eggs or chicks alone on the ground or leave them exposed to the sun.
Therefore you may watch the birds at a distance of no less than two meters.
6. Visitors’ sites at the Galápagos National Park are marked to guarantee your safety. You cannot leave the paths.
7. Garbage of any type interferes with natural processes and takes away the enchantment of the unique island scenery. Do not dispose garbage at visitors’ sites, in the ocean or near the islands.
8. Please avoid purchasing souvenirs made of flora and fauna of the islands, like black coral, marine tortoise shells, sea lion teeth, or shells. This goes against the principles of conservation.
9. Writing names and phrases of any type on rocks, walls, etc. is a sign of bad manners and rudeness and damages the scenery.
10. Fire or smoking within Park areas is not allowed as a fire could start with a match or a cigarette that is not put out completely, and can cause uncontrollable bushfires, death and destruction.
11. Fishing on board of tourist ships is not permitted. Please collaborate with the National Park Service by reporting any transgression to the management of the Galápagos National Park.
12. If you want to camp in the authorized sites or do comercial filming, you have to request a permit from the Galápagos Nacional Park Director. Please contact us at any of our technical offices located in the inhabited islands (San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, and Floreana).
13. If any kind of danger puts on risk the visitor’s safety and that of the National Park, please inform about it to a Park Ranger, Police authorities, Ecuadorian Navy, Air Force or any Municipal Authority.
14. Don’t be embarrassed to show your conservationist attitude. Explain to others the rules of Galápagos National Park and make them follow them.
The time period between December and May is considered the "warm season". During this warmer season, the Galapagos' climate is more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies. Also, the ocean temperature is warmer for swimming and snorkeling.
During this season tourist may observe a big amount of species around the islands or the sea such as: marine iguanas, sea turtle, land iguanas, flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, masked boobies, marine iguanas, albatross, blue-footed boobies, etc. Due to the water conditions snorkeling is the recommended activity during these months.
From June to December the southern trade winds bring the colder Humbolt current north to the Galapagos. This means that the water is cooler, and a layer of high atmosphere mist pervades the island skies. In effect, the highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush, while the sea level islands and shorelines have little precipitation.
Thus, June to December is generally called the "dry season" known for its blue skies and mid-day showers.
During this season tourist may observe a big amount of species around the islands or the sea such as: giant tortoises, Humpback whales, blue- footed boobies, cormorants, oystercatchers, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, masked boobies, swallow tailed gulls, sea lions, lava herons, brown noddies, penguins, etc. Due to the water temperature it is the perfect time for diving.
Diving in Galapagos
The Humboldt Current's influence brings cold waters especially during the mist rainy season (cool weather) from July to December. "El Niño" current may bring warm waters to the Galapagos and will make the surface warmer and rainfall increase (January to June).
The water temperature varies during the year:
January to June: from 70°F (21°C) to 80°F (27°C)
July to December: from 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (23°C)
Galapagos travel tips
No more than 20 Kgs. (44 pounds) of luggage (one suitcase) may be checked on flights to or from the Galapagos Islands. Additional luggage may be stored at your hotel.
These restrictions do not include small carry-on flight bags or camera cases. Currently there are "no international Airlines" that fly directly to the Galapagos Islands.
You must fly to Ecuador first, either to Quito or Guayaquil and from here take a national flight to the Islands. Find Cheap Galapagos Islands Flights here
CLOTHES TO TAKE
For your Galapagos vacations, clothing ranges from informal to very informal.
Essentials Include: proper footwear, shorts, long- and short-sleeve lightweight shirts, bathing suit, a wide-brimmed hat, long pants, and a wind breaker or light jacket for evenings. Be sure to bring sunblock (SPF 30), sunglasses and lots of film.
Most walking ashore is over rocky lava terrain. Therefore tennis shoes, sneakers or walking shoes with rubber soles must be worn. For easy walks like on gravel or sand terrain Tevas or aqua socks are suggested.
Because the country is located right on the equator, sun rays are direct.
Fair-skinned persons should use sun protection at high altitudes and seashore at all times, even if the weather is cloudy, as UV rays penetrate light clouds.
I strongly recommend sun block with SPF30 or higher.
Guests must travel to the Galapagos with their passports.
Names and passport numbers must be delivered one month prior to arrival.
GALAPAGOS NATIONAL PARK ADMISSION FEE
In your Galapagos vacations US$100 per person must be paid upon arrival at the airport in Galapagos (rate is subject to change without notice) to be able to enter to this national park.
See a Gallery of Stunning Galapagos Pictures
110/AC. Electric shavers and hair dryers can be accommodated.
GMT minus 6 hours in the Galapagos Islands. GMT minus 5 hours on mainland Ecuador.
PURCHASES ON BOARD
When planning your Galapagos vacations is good to know that... US dollars or traveler checks may be used on most of the cruise ships in the Islands.
Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) are also accepted specially aboard Santa Cruz Ship or Isabela II deluxe yacht and the all new Yacht la Pinta
All safety and fire prevention measures have been implemented on most of the vessels cruising the Islands, for a comfortable and secure Galapagos vacations. MT ships are all ISMC compliant.
See our Recommended Galapagos Land Tours
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included on every ship cruising the Galapagos. Wine, beer and soft drinks are extra. Bottled water is supplied in each cabin free of charge.
Small backpack (waterproof)
Comfortable walking shoes
Sneakers or rubber soles
Long and Short sleeved shirts
Wet suit (for snorkeling between June - November)
Hat or cap
Biodegradable shampoo please
Camera & camcorder
Any medicine you may be taking
Your Favorite book About the Galapagos Islands:" Galapagos: A Natural History by Michael Jackson. ''