Safety and security in Galapagos is a matter of keeping alert while enjoying the natural beauty and the immense diversity and abundant wildlife seen at every vantage point.
The archipelago is an enchanting place, and the impulse to throw caution to the wind is sometimes matched with an urge to turn off the sharp instincts needed when traveling. A few tips for keeping safe and returning from a once in a lifetime trip with everything in one piece.
For many, the dream of visiting the Galapagos Islands eclipses common sense. The Galapagos Islands aren’t a cheap place to travel. This being the case, many boats offer discount rates that put the trip within arm’s length of backpackers and budget travelers.
While this is often seen as a bonus when traveling in Ecuador -in the Galapagos, the cheaper the trip can often result in expensive problems afterward.
To avoid theft, faulty equipment, and even mid-journey breakdowns, take some time to do your research and ask our experts for advice on the best way to travel within your budget. Reputable boats are vetted for their staff, services, and safety-many have an open door policy where none of the cabins are locked. For more information on reputable Galapagos cruises visit the Happy Gringo website.
Know Your Limits and Remember Your Health Insurance
Exploring the islands is an exciting, active adventure. Both cruises and island tours make multiple stops at uninhabited islands each day- giving travelers the chance to mingle with sea lions, marvel at blue-footed boobies, and master the art of hiking on rugged, and sometimes slippery volcanic landscapes. Be proactive during these trips-make sure you have the right gear, are ready for the heat and sun, let your guide know if the hike is getting to be a bit much, and take it easy if worn out by the previous day’s activities.
The medical facilities in the Galapagos are basic, and in case of serious injury, an airlift is necessary to the mainland. Check with your insurance company to see if this service is included in your policy, and pay for a supplement if needed to ensure that you are covered in the small chance of a major incident.
The Archipelago is almost too perfect in ways- there is little worry about walking around with cameras around your neck, boats and land hotels seldom lock their doors or even have locks to use, and the peaceful facades of the inhabited islands offers freedom not often found elsewhere.
To emphasize that crime is not considered an issue here oversimplifies things a bit. Use caution when leaving your valuables in unlocked spaces-bring a small bag with a lock, stash money and important documents in hiding places, and follow your instincts when out away from the crowds. While not typically a problem, keeping your eye on your bags when out for a fun lunch or night out is a good habit to stick with.
The Galapagos Islands are a destination that draws hundreds of thousands of people each year. For the majority, the trip passes without incident and sets a different standard for future adventures.