Galapagos Islands Faqs

General Galapagos Information

Click on the question link below to find your answer.

1. What is the best time of year to visit Galapagos?

Galapagos is a great year-round travel destination.

Weather-wise there are 2 seasons:

  • Cool & dry season - July to December with generally overcast conditions and choppier waters. Temperatures between 19 and 25°C, average sea temperature 21°C.
  • Warm & wet season - January to June with sunny skies and occasional heavy showers. Temperatures between 22 and 27°C, average sea temperature 24°C but can dip lower.

In terms of number of visitors, the busiest times of year are July, August, Christmas / New Year, and Easter.

Check out our blog for detailed information about Galapagos weather and wildlife activity each month

2. What should I pack with me for my tour to Galapagos?

Check our Galapagos packing list blog for detailed information, tips, and a printable pdf checklist.

3. Should I take malaria medication at Galapagos?

Galapagos is not categorized as a malarial risk travel destination. Therefore, taking malaria medication is generally not necessary when visiting the Galapagos Islands. The islands have a minimal presence of mosquitoes and a low risk of malaria transmission. However, it's always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider or a travel medicine specialist for personalized medical advice before your trip. They can offer recommendations based on your individual health status, travel itinerary, and any specific concerns you may have.

4. Do I need to be in good physical condition to participate in a tour in Galapagos?

A reasonable level of fitness is recommended, particularly for treks and snorkeling activities. Most island visits entail approximately 2 to 3 hours of gentle walking per day, so it's important for all tourists to be prepared for this level of activity. However, participation in all onboard activities is not mandatory, and passengers are welcome to rest on board if they feel fatigued or prefer to take a break. Cruises prioritize passenger comfort and safety, ensuring that everyone can enjoy their cruise experience at their own pace.

5. How much money should I take on my cruise or land-based program?

You should allow for the following expenses: park entry fee ($200) and INGALA TCT card ($20), tips (depends on how many days you are cruising and on which class of yacht - see Yachts/Cruises FAQ section for more info), drinks from the boat bar and personal expenses/souvenirs.

You can also find an excellent blog about Tipping in Ecuador and the Galapagos here:

6. Will I have access to ATMs connection in Galapagos during my cruise or land based tour?

ATMs are available in town centers such as Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz), Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal), and Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island). However, it's worth noting that occasionally, ATMs may undergo maintenance, so it's advisable to ensure you have sufficient cash on hand in advance of your visit. During your cruise, please look at the itinerary to see when and which locations will the cruise be visiting, to ensure you could get to an ATM. On a land-based tour, as you are staying in one of the towns you will have an ATM nearby of you every day.

7. How is the internet and/or cellphone connection in Galapagos during my cruise or land-based tour?

Regarding internet access, connectivity tends to be reliable when in port if you have an Ecuadorian SIM card. However, access is more likely impossible while at sea. Fortunately, advancements in technology have enabled certain cruises to offer internet access, albeit sometimes at an additional cost. Generally, larger cruises or those falling under the Luxury and Super Deluxe categories are more likely to provide internet services onboard. However, it's recommended to verify this information with your travel advisor beforehand. While on a land-based tour, most hotels offer internet on the islands. Additionally, please be aware that the internet connection may not always be stable or strong.

8. What is a "naturalist" guide?

A guide who has been trained and licensed by the Galapagos National Park Authority to lead tours, and who is specialized in nature and biology. These guides typically speak multiple languages and oftentimes hold advanced university degrees.

9. Are there different levels of guides in Galapagos?

Previously, Galapagos had three distinct levels of licensed naturalist guides, reflecting varying levels of experience and expertise. However, the guide certification system has undergone a change, and these hierarchical distinctions no longer exist. Presently, all guides are mandated to undergo comprehensive training across multiple fields to maintain their licenses. This updated requirement ensures that all guides possess a standardized level of knowledge and competency, enhancing the quality and consistency of visitor experiences throughout the islands.

10. Do all guides speak English?

Indeed, all guides aboard the cruises and tours offered by Happy Gringo are proficient in guiding tours in English. Given that a significant portion of visitors to Ecuador, particularly to Galapagos, are English speakers, tour operators place considerable emphasis on ensuring their guides possess a high level of English proficiency.

It's important for clients to be aware, however, that the proficiency level of English among guides may vary. English is often a second language for these guides, so occasional patience may be required when communicating. Nonetheless, our guides are dedicated to providing informative and engaging experiences, ensuring that language barriers do not detract from the enjoyment of the tour.

11. How do I know whether my cruise, day tour boat or tour will have a good guide?

Most guides in the Galapagos operate as freelancers, often switching between tours frequently. As a result, the quality of guides can vary from week to week, making it challenging to predict the experience with certainty. Happy Gringo does not recommend you book a tour based on the presence of a particular guide, as this information is subject to change. Additionally, cruise operators cannot guarantee the presence of a specific guide on a departure, as unforeseen circumstances or emergencies may necessitate last-minute changes.

It's important to note that all guides undergo rigorous training to earn their guiding badge, and they are proficient in English. Furthermore, they are approved by the Galapagos National Park Service. Happy Gringo only partners with tour operators known for delivering high-quality experiences, ensuring that clients receive exceptional service and guidance throughout their journey.

12. How can I avoid the problem of sea-sickness?

Sometimes the Galapagos seas can be rough and some passengers may feel a little sick aboard. As a very general guideline, Galapagos seas are typically a little rougher in August & Sept, and calmer from January to April.

The easiest solution is to use standard motion-sickness remedies - this is a must for your packing list.

It is also a good idea for passengers without sea legs to opt for more stable vessels, such as larger cruise ships or catamarans. Land Tours are another great option - sleeping each night in the comfort of a bed on terra firma.

Galapagos Islands Cruise FAQ

1. What is a typical day onboard a cruise?

A typical day aboard a Galapagos cruise often follows this schedule:

  • Early start with breakfast served on-board the cruise.
  • Morning island visit lasting 2 to 3 hours, followed by a return to the boat.
  • Rest period before gearing up for a morning snorkeling session.
  • Approximately 1-hour snorkeling session.
  • Lunch served on-board, followed by a brief siesta to avoid the midday sun. Meanwhile, the cruise vessel relocates to its next destination.
  • Afternoon island visit lasting 2 to 3 hours, with another opportunity for snorkeling.
  • Return to the boat for dinner.
  • Evening briefing conducted by the guide outlining the activities planned for the following day.

Typically, the boat navigates overnight to a new island, and traverses the longest distances at night, allowing passengers to wake up to a fresh location. However, it's essential to note that this itinerary is subject to variation and serves as a general outline. Depending on your specific itinerary, there may be variations in the number and timing of snorkeling sessions and island visits. Additionally, please be aware that this schedule does not apply to the first or last day of your cruise.

2. What is the timing of the first and last days?

This is a crucial aspect that all clients should consider to ensure a seamless travel experience:

The schedule of activities during your Galapagos cruise is primarily influenced by the arrival and departure times of flights, irrespective of the airline or specific flight you're on. Upon arrival on day 1, flights typically land in the mid to late morning, allowing for an afternoon activity. Conversely, on the final day, flights depart early to mid-morning, permitting only an early morning island visit. It's advisable to review the itineraries provided by individual cruise operators for a more detailed understanding of your specific cruise. Occasionally, morning visits on departure days may involve a short panga ride or a circumnavigation around an island. Being aware of these timings can help you plan your cruise activities more effectively and minimize any potential disappointment.

3. What is the best possible itinerary?

There really is no "best" itinerary - it all depends on what you most want to see and do during your visit to the islands. Broadly speaking, there are 6 different types of route that cruises take.

Northern Loop: This route typically encompasses islands such as Santiago, Bartolome, Rabida, North Seymour, and occasionally Genovesa. It's renowned for its captivating volcanic landscapes, encounters with penguins on Bartolome, and the abundant wildlife, including the fascinating hammer-head sharks (for divers) off the beaten track in Genovesa. Notably, Genovesa Island is the sole location where all three types of boobies—red, blue, and Nazca—can be observed. Northern Loop itineraries typically span 4 or 5 days.

Southern Loop: Encompassing islands like San Cristobal, Española, Floreana, and Santa Fe, the South Loop is celebrated for its diverse wildlife. Particularly, Española island is a perennial favorite among clients. Southern Loop cruises typically last 4 or 5 days.

Western Loop: Increasingly popular, the West Loop allows for exploration of the west side of Isabela and Fernandina islands, accessible only by cruise. Offering breathtaking volcanic landscapes, abundant wildlife viewing opportunities, and excellent snorkeling conditions due to colder waters, the Western Loop is typically covered in 6 to 8-day cruises, with some exceptions condensed into 5 days.

Santa Cruz: Most itineraries include essential stops at Santa Cruz, featuring visits to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the renowned tortoise reserve in the highlands. These sites are consistently enjoyed by our clients, with Santa Cruz boasting additional remarkable visiting sites.

Complete Loop: Combining all routes, this comprehensive 15-day, 14-night itinerary provides a thorough exploration of Galapagos' wildlife and landscapes, covering the majority of visiting sites for cruise passengers. It offers an unparalleled overview of the archipelago's natural wonders without repeating visiting points.

Darwin and Wolf: Exclusive to specialist dive yachts, Darwin and Wolf islands boast some of the world's premier dive sites. This area is renowned among divers for its extraordinary underwater biodiversity.

Typically, cruises amalgamate two or more of the aforementioned loops to craft full 8-day or longer itineraries, except for Darwin and Wolf (reserved for diving) and the Complete Loop, which covers all of the islands.

You can find more information about the islands in the following blog:

4. What is a "joined" itinerary and why do boats do this?

It's crucial to understand that each Galapagos cruise boasts a unique itinerary, with very few exceptions. While the shortest itineraries span for 4 days and 3 nights, each cruise operates differently. However, by combining their various itineraries, cruises can offer extended 15-day, 14-night trips. This practice is necessitated by the patents held by each cruise, as mandated by the Galapagos National Park. These patents dictate that a cruise cannot revisit the same location within a 15-day period, prompting cruises to adapt their itineraries accordingly and coordinate with port and airport schedules.

As a result, you'll find a variety of itinerary combinations offered by different cruises. Some may feature two 4-day itineraries and two 5-day itineraries, forming a complete 15-day journey. Others may include one 5-day itinerary and two 6-day itineraries, totaling 15 days. Additional combinations may involve a mix of 5-day, 6-day, and 8-day itineraries, tailored to accommodate various travel durations.

It's worth noting that the last day of one itinerary often serves as the first day of another, which influences the calculation of trip duration. Despite concerns about returning to a port or airport to drop off departing passengers and pick up new ones, this process typically occurs in the late morning when passengers are resting after their morning activities. Consequently, the overall cruise experience remains largely unaffected by these logistical transitions.

In essence, the flexibility and adaptability of Galapagos cruise itineraries ensure that travelers can tailor their trips to suit their desired duration and preferences seamlessly.

5. What happens if our boat is forced to change itinerary?

Galapagos cruise itineraries are subject to potential changes, primarily stemming from adjustments to national park regulations or mechanical issues with the boat.

Regarding changes due to national park regulations, the primary objective of the Galapagos National Park is to safeguard the islands and their delicate ecosystems. Consequently, itinerary adjustments may occur if the presence of humans in a specific area could potentially impact the local wildlife. While such occurrences are rare, the vast majority of Galapagos cruises operate smoothly on a daily basis without disruption.

In the event of a necessary itinerary alteration, cruise operators typically implement minor modifications that have minimal impact on the overall trip experience. However, in rare cases where a cruise is significantly affected, Happy Gringo is committed to advocating for our clients. This may involve registering a complaint with the boat owner (if responsible for the change) or assisting in preparing necessary paperwork for a personal insurance claim, should the change be beyond the control of the boat owner.

6. What if there is a technical issue and boat cannot continue or has to change itinerary

If there is a technical issue with the boat that prevents it from continuing the planned itinerary, or if changes are required due to unforeseen circumstances, such as mechanical issues, Galapagos cruise operators typically have contingency plans in place. In such situations, passengers may be offered alternatives or compensations to mitigate any inconvenience caused. Cruise operators often negotiate with passengers to find suitable solutions, which may include adjusting the itinerary to visit alternative sites or providing refunds or credits for future travel. Additionally, passengers may be asked to sign acknowledgment of the change and agreement to the proposed alternative. Depending on the magnitude of the change or technical issue, cruise operators may also offer financial compensation to affected passengers. Happy Gringo is dedicated to ensuring the satisfaction and well-being of our clients, and we will work diligently to advocate for their best interests and provide support throughout any unforeseen circumstances encountered during their Galapagos cruise experience.

7. What is the difference between wet and dry landings?

The difference between wet and dry landings lies in the method of disembarkation during island excursions. In a wet landing scenario, the small landing craft, known as a panga, will bring passengers close to the shore, stopping at the beach where the water is shallow enough for passengers to step out into (typically up to the knees). However, this process can be complicated for many individuals, particularly those with balance issues, as they must navigate stepping into the sea amidst the movement of the boat and waves. While the water may not be deep, the instability caused by the boat's motion can pose challenges.

On the other hand, in a dry landing, the panga is able to approach a small dock or stable area where passengers can disembark directly onto the island. However, it's important to note that even dry landings may not always be entirely stable. As passengers step off the panga onto the island, they may encounter rocky or uneven terrain, especially if the area is affected by waves or tides. This uneven footing, combined with the movement of the panga influenced by waves, can still present challenges for some passengers, albeit different from those encountered during wet landings.

Ultimately, both wet and dry landings have their considerations and potential challenges, and it's important for passengers to be aware of these differences and to take necessary precautions, especially if they have mobility or balance concerns as well as bringing the adequate footwear.

8. Which different classes of boat are available and what is the meaning of each one?

We categorize cruises into four distinct classes:

It's important to recognize that each agency employs its own classification system for yachts. What sets our system apart is our unique selection of category names, chosen for their ability to accurately depict the characteristics of each boat. Unlike traditional classifications, we not only consider on-board services but also factor in past client recommendations and feedback. This approach ensures that our system is both unbiased and highly informative, offering a comprehensive overview of each yacht.

Additionally, while the following parameters serve as general guidelines for each category, it's essential to note that exceptions may exist. These parameters provide a general understanding of each category, but individual variations may occur.

In the Standard category, you'll find rustic and cozy cruises with a longstanding presence in the Galapagos. While cabins may offer limited space, each includes a private bathroom. Accommodations often feature bunk beds and are primarily located on the lower deck. Passenger-to-crew ratios are lower, and snorkeling gear and wetsuits typically incur an additional cost.

Comfortable cruises offer a step up from the Standard category, with slightly larger vessels and more spacious cabins. Cabins may feature bunk beds, twin beds, matrimonial beds, or a combination thereof. They are situated across different decks, and the crew-to-passenger ratio is higher. Snorkeling gear is generally provided, but wetsuits come at an extra cost.

In the Luxury category, you'll encounter modern vessels, including luxury yachts or mega catamarans. Cabins are notably more spacious, often offering twin beds, matrimonial beds, or convertible configurations, with some featuring private balconies. Snorkeling gear is typically included, and in some cases, wetsuits are provided as well. Some of these cruises may offer a hot tub onboard for passengers.

Super Deluxe cruises represent the newest and most luxurious offerings in the Galapagos, boasting top-tier service quality. With a crew ratio close to one per client, these cruises prioritize personalized attention. Cabins often feature private balconies and ample space, with many offering convertible twin or matrimonial beds. Most include snorkeling gear and wetsuits as part of the package. Most of these cruises also have a hot tub onboard.

Don't overlook the detailed cabin information available on our website for each cruise. This will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the cabin options offered by each cruise.

9. What types of cabins are available on yachts?

In terms of configuration, the most common option is a double cabin, offering either a double or twin bed arrangement. There are a few yachts that offer single and/or triple cabins. For family travel, there are a few options with interconnected double cabins. If you require something besides a double cabin, please let us know so we can make appropriate recommendations.

Each boat has different deck layouts; with lower, main, and upper deck cabins available. The more comfortable boats also offer larger suites. If there is a specific cabin that you prefer, please let us know and we will do our best to reserve it for you.

10. I'm travelling alone - do I have to share a room with a stranger or pay a single supplement?

You have the flexibility to choose between two options. If you're open to sharing your cabin with another traveler, there's no additional charge beyond the regular prices listed on our website. While Standard cruises typically do not guarantee same-gender roommates, most Comfortable and Luxury cruises ensure that you share the cabin with another passenger of the same gender. However, some luxury cruises and all Super Deluxe cruises do not offer the option to share cabins.

Alternatively, if you prefer to have the cabin to yourself, you can opt to pay a single supplement. The cost varies by cruise, so please inquire with us for specific details. Generally, expect to pay an additional fee ranging between 60% and 100%.

But what if the cruise is unable to find a passenger for you to share? In such cases, you will have the cabin to yourself at no extra charge. However, please note that having a roommate or not, is something you can confirm only when you're onboard.

11. What on-board services do the yachts offer?

All meals, snacks, and non-bottled beverages are provided on every boat. Each boat will have clean drinking water available to fill your water bottles. Some boats provide bottles, but bring your own reusable bottle just in case. Expect your cabin to be tidied up regularly. The boat crews are incredibly friendly and are always very client-centric. If there is something you need, just ask, and the crew will do their best!

12. When is the best time to book my Galapagos cruise?

Galapagos cruise availability is limited year-round, so we highly recommend planning well in advance. Previously, Galapagos had distinct high and low seasons, with peak times during July, August, Christmas, Easter, and New Year's holidays. However, due to its increasing popularity, travelers now visit throughout the year. For peak holiday periods like Christmas, Easter, and New Year's Eve, it's advisable to plan your trip well in advance, as spaces can fill up almost a year ahead.

If you envision your Galapagos trip as a dream vacation and desire a wide selection of yachts to choose from, we suggest contacting us between 3 and 12 months prior to your travel date. This allows us to tailor the perfect itinerary based on your preferences for dates and accommodations. Throughout the year, there are also enticing deals on cruises that we're delighted to share with you and if you book with a year in advance, some of them even offer an early bird rate which is cheaper than the cost for next year, as most cruises increase prices on a yearly basis.

However, if you're more flexible with your cruise choice and travel dates and are seeking a bargain, contacting us two months or less before your intended travel date may yield late deals. While this approach may lead to snagging an incredible last-minute deal, it also carries greater risk. You might find limited cruise options available or discover that your preferred itinerary is not available for your desired dates.

Ultimately, the timing of when to book depends on your personal preferences and risk tolerance. While we can't guarantee late price deals or yacht availability, particularly for popular choices, we typically recommend booking in advance, especially if you have your heart set on a specific yacht or itinerary.

13. Can I just head out to Galapagos and book there?

It is indeed possible to arrange this, and there are agencies based in Puerto Ayora that can assist you. However, it's essential to maintain extreme flexibility in your travel plans as you may need to wait in port until suitable cruise spaces become available. This wait could last anywhere from just one day to over a week. Additionally, keep in mind that Galapagos encompasses various towns and airports, so some cruises may commence and conclude in different locations. Thus, depending on your air tickets, thorough planning ahead is necessary.

In recent years, many cruises have offered last-minute availability with ample time to spare. Consequently, going directly to Galapagos often does not guarantee a better rate, payment options may be limited, and there is the real possibility that you will not find any cruise options.

14. What amenities and services are included/excluded in a cruise?

A cruise's inclusions and exclusions can vary depending on the yacht, so it's advisable to review the details provided on each Happy Gringo webpage for the vessels you're interested in. However, here's a general overview of what is typically included and excluded on most cruises:


  • Accommodation in single, twin, or triple cabins according to your preference
  • Three meals per day from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on the final day
  • All excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • English-speaking naturalist guide
  • Drinking water, tea, and coffee
  • Pickup and drop-off at the airport in Galapagos


  • Airfare to/from mainland Ecuador
  • National park entrance fee
  • Transit control card
  • Tips for the guide and crew
  • Drinks from the onboard bar
  • Other personal expenses
  • 12% VAT tax on the cruise rate (currently not applicable to foreign tourists)

Please note that each cruise may have its own policy regarding snorkeling equipment and wetsuits, so be sure to check the individual boat pages for more detailed information.

Also, some cruise allows you to prepay your National Park Entry Fee, as well as your Transit Control card or wetsuit in advance, so ask your travel advisor about this option.

15. I have seen a fuel surcharge in some cruises. What is it?

A fuel surcharge, which was years ago, in some cruise cases, charged separately but is now often included in most cruise prices, covers the cost of fuel used during the trip. While most cruises incorporate this fee into their overall pricing structure, it's important to review each cruise's specific inclusions and exclusions on our website. Generally, if fuel prices experience a significant increase, cruise operators reserve the right to pass on this additional cost to clients. However, in practice, such surcharges are rare, especially for minor fluctuations in fuel prices. Nonetheless, it's always advisable to confirm the terms and conditions of your cruise booking to ensure clarity regarding any potential surcharges.

16. Is the drinking water aboard a cruise safe to drink?

Yes. A large dispenser of potable water is provided to refill bottles whenever you are thirsty.

17. How much do drinks cost at the yacht bar?

Prices for beverages vary depending on the yacht. Generally, beer and soft drinks range from approximately $2 to $3, while wine and cocktails tend to be slightly pricier, ranging from $5 to $15. Some cruises offer menus upon request, so if you'd like to know the details in advance, feel free to ask your travel advisor for more information.

18. Can I take my own food/drink aboard?

The Galapagos National Park imposes strict regulations on what visitors can bring into the islands. Before boarding your flight, all luggage undergoes screening. Any prohibited items, such as fruits or vegetables, are typically confiscated upon discovery. Only sealed, packaged foods like chocolate bars are permitted into the National Park, and it's important to properly dispose of wrappers after use.

In terms of beverages, many yachts have policies against bringing your own alcoholic drinks aboard and may charge an uncorking fee. This restriction primarily applies to consumption in social areas. However, if you prefer to enjoy a drink in the privacy of your room, most crews are unlikely to take notice or raise objections.

19. What type of food is typically provided on a cruise?

Cruise meals typically offer a diverse selection, including an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with poultry, fish, and seafood. You can also anticipate a variety of rice, pasta, and potato dishes, complemented by both typical Ecuadorian dishes and international cuisine.

The meal format can vary depending on the cruise. Some may offer buffet-style dining, while others provide served dishes or a combination of both for different meals. While sustainability is a priority for Galapagos cruises, ensuring passengers are well-fed is equally important, especially considering the energy expended during the day's activities.

20. Can a cruise cater for special food requests?

Absolutely, Happy Gringo understands the importance of accommodating various dietary preferences and allergies. When booking your cruise, it's essential to inform us in advance of any specific dietary requirements or restrictions you may have, such as vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free, or allergies to certain ingredients.

Rest assured that we communicate this information diligently to the boat operator, ensuring that the cruise chef is adequately prepared to cater to your needs. However, it's always a good idea to double-check with the crew once you're onboard to confirm that they are aware of your dietary requirements. While rare, mistakes can happen, and it's better to address any concerns proactively.

Fortunately, chefs in the Galapagos are known for their adaptability and creativity when it comes to meeting dietary needs. They are accustomed to accommodating various preferences and are often willing to customize dishes to suit individual requirements.

21. How do I meet the guide/yacht in Galapagos?

Navigating the logistics of meeting your tour group for your Galapagos cruise is straightforward, whether you're arriving from mainland Ecuador on the day of departure or have already been in Galapagos for a few days.

For travelers arriving on the day of the cruise, the process is seamless. Upon landing at the airport in Galapagos, you'll find your guide waiting for you in the arrivals area just after picking your luggage, easily identifiable by a sign bearing the name of your yacht. Simply keep an eye out for your guide, and they'll lead you to the next steps.

If you opt to arrive in Galapagos days before, we'll provide clear instructions on where and how to meet your tour group. Depending on the location of your yacht, you may meet your group directly at the docks or return to the airport for the rendezvous. Our team ensures that you have all the information you need well in advance, ensuring a smooth start to your Galapagos adventure.

22. Do yachts have electricity points aboard?

Yes, all Galapagos cruises have electric outlets in each room. Usually the boats have US-style 2-prong 110V electricity points in each cabin.

23. Can children/babies travel on a cruise?

Each cruise operates under its own policy regarding children and babies, including the minimum age at which they accept passengers. While some cruises may welcome young families, others may not accommodate children or infants at all. Therefore, if you plan to travel with your family, particularly with young children or babies, it's essential to consult with your travel advisor. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your family's needs and preferences, ensuring you find a yacht that suits your requirements and allows for an enjoyable experience for all passengers. It is important to note that most yachts have a minimum age requirement of 6 years old, although there are some exceptions.

24. What happens in the case of a passenger becoming sick or having an accident during my cruise?

In the event of mild sickness, such as a stomach bug or sea-sickness, passengers can opt to rest in their cabin while the rest of the group continues with cruise activities.

However, if a passenger experiences serious illness or an accident, it may necessitate a return to port for hospital treatment, potentially impacting the cruise schedule for other passengers. While such occurrences are rare, all cruises have protocols in place to handle emergencies. It's important to note that in such cases, neither the boat operator nor Happy Gringo can offer refunds to other passengers for missed activities, as these situations are beyond their control. Nevertheless, the boat operator will strive to minimize disruptions to the cruise itinerary, and Happy Gringo can assist with any necessary paperwork for travel insurance claims related to lost activities.

For this reason, Happy Gringo strongly recommends that passengers travel with both health and trip insurance to cover any additional costs incurred due to unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, carrying a basic first-aid kit is advisable for addressing minor medical issues while on board.

25. Do all yachts hold safety certification?

Yes, all Galapagos yachts are required to hold valid safety certificates in accordance with Ecuadorian laws and regulations. These certifications ensure that the vessels meet stringent safety standards to protect passengers and crew during their voyage. Additionally, once on board, passengers can expect a thorough safety briefing conducted by the crew, which may include information on emergency procedures, life jacket usage, and assembly points in the event of an evacuation. In some cases, safety drills may also be conducted to familiarize passengers with emergency protocols.

Furthermore, throughout the duration of the cruise, guides and crew members adhere to strict safety procedures to ensure the well-being of everyone on board. This includes implementing safety measures during both dry and wet landings, where passengers disembark onto the islands. Guides and crew members are trained to prioritize passenger safety at all times, providing assistance and guidance to ensure a smooth and secure experience during excursions ashore. By maintaining a proactive approach to safety and adhering to established protocols, Galapagos yachts uphold the highest standards of safety for their passengers and crew alike.

26. Do all cruise yachts carry kayaks, and when they do, how and where can they be used?

Not all cruise yachts are equipped with kayaks onboard, although this activity has gained popularity in recent years, prompting more vessels to offer them. Typically, cruises in the Standard category may not include kayaks, while some in the Comfortable category may have a few available, and the majority of Luxury and Super Deluxe category cruises are likely to provide them. Kayaks are available for single or double occupancy and can only be used at specific sites approved by the Galapagos National Park, typically in lieu of a snorkeling session. In instances where passengers wish to divide into groups for snorkeling and kayaking, and the cruise only has one guide available, the guide will accompany one group while the captain or a crew member accompanies the other group, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. It does not cost extra to do this activity.

27. Do cruises have laundry services onboard?

No, cruises in the Galapagos do not typically offer onboard laundry services. Most flights to the Galapagos include generous luggage allowances, providing passengers with ample space for clothing and personal items for the duration of their itinerary, which typically lasts up to 8 days. However, for longer stays in the islands, it may be possible to access laundry facilities while visiting Santa Cruz or San Cristobal during tours. This service would typically incur an additional cost, allowing passengers to refresh their clothing as needed during their extended stay in the Galapagos.

Galapagos Land Tours FAQ

1. What is best, a Galapagos Cruise or a Land Based Tour?

That is a great question. Traditionally, a Galapagos Cruise has been the primary means of experiencing the Galapagos Islands and encountering its diverse wildlife. However, in recent years, the tourism sector in the islands has expanded significantly, leading to enhancements in infrastructure and service quality. The emergence of more hotels has notably improved the overall standard of services available. Consequently, choosing between a cruise and a land-based stay is now more about personal preference and which option aligns better with your needs. To assist in making an informed decision, we offer an extensive blog providing comprehensive information on both options. Feel free to explore the blog to find all the details you require to make the choice that suits you best. And remember, if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to reach out to your travel advisor for assistance.

You can find a more detailed information here:

2. Should I book my flights to Galapagos before booking the land-based tour?

We highly advise consulting one of our travel agents before booking your Galapagos flights. It's essential to coordinate with our agents to ensure your flight aligns appropriately. Therefore, we recommend discussing your options with us first to ensure your flights align seamlessly with your chosen trip.

3. Are there destinations that are only possible to visit while on a Land Based Tour?

Embark on a journey of discovery through the Galapagos Islands, where Land Based tours unveil a treasure trove of exclusive destinations that rival those of cruises. Picture-perfect locales like Kicker Rock in San Cristobal, famed for its unrivaled snorkeling, and the tranquil El Junco lagoon, alongside the pristine beauty of Puerto Chino, all set against San Cristobal's captivating backdrop, await your exploration. Moreover, landmarks such as Tintoreras, the Wetlands, the Tortoise Breeding Center, the storied Wall of Tears, the enchanting Concha de Perla, and the mesmerizing Los Tuneles in the Isabela area promise immersive experiences into the islands' natural wonders.

Santa Cruz boasts its own array of treasures, from the striking Las Grietas and the idyllic Garrapatero beach to the secluded Alemanes beach and the breathtaking Tortuga Bay, each offering moments destined to be etched into memory. Additionally, the exclusive Day tour to Pinzon Island from Santa Cruz unveils hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Of all the islands, Isabela stands out with its myriad of unique sites catering to both cruise and land-based explorations. Select visits, like trekking the awe-inspiring Sierra Negra Volcano in Isabela, gazing upon Pitt Point in San Cristobal, exploring Lobos island, ascending Tijeretas Hill, or immersing yourself in the quaint charm of Puerto Velasco Ibarra in Floreana, are accessible through both tour types, yet more easily done on land tours.

Moreover, destinations like Floreana and Española islands offer distinct experiences, whether by Land Tours or cruises, adding an extra layer of intrigue to your Galapagos adventure. Whether you opt for the serenity of a cruise or the immersive nature of a land-based tour, each promises an unforgettable odyssey brimming with unparalleled natural beauty and mesmerizing encounters with wildlife.

4. What is the distinction between the different categories that you offer in land packages?

Happy Gringo offers a diverse range of land packages tailored to meet varying preferences and budgets. Our packages are categorized into four main tiers: Backpacker, Standard, Comfortable, and Luxury, each reflecting different levels of accommodation quality and amenities.

At the heart of these packages lies the choice of accommodations, with higher-tier options offering enhanced amenities and comforts. Notably, our Backpacker category stands out for its focus on cost-effectiveness, with fewer included transfers to allow passengers the flexibility to make their own arrangements and further reduce expenses.

Rest assured, all the hotels we partner with have consistently received positive feedback from our clients, ensuring a high standard of satisfaction throughout your stay.

Furthermore, we understand that preferences can vary, and therefore, we offer the flexibility to mix and match categories to create a personalized experience. If you desire a blend of different tiers, simply inform your travel advisor, and we'll tailor the package accordingly.

For those seeking the epitome of luxury, we also offer an exclusive Super Deluxe category. While not publicly listed, this option grants access to the most opulent hotels in the islands, promising an unparalleled level of indulgence and sophistication.

5. Can I select the uninhabited island I want to visit from Santa Cruz?

While we strive to accommodate your preferences, tours to islands like North Seymour, Bartolome, Plazas, Santa Fe, or Pinzon adhere to the regulated schedules set by the Galapagos National Park. These schedules are followed by day tour boats on a weekly basis. While Happy Gringo endeavors to align with your desired choice, we cannot guarantee it with absolute certainty, as availability may vary day by day. Occasionally, a boat scheduled for a specific tour may cancel closer to the departure date due to insufficient passengers, resulting in a reassignment to another tour. Rest assured, we communicate any changes in advance. Remember, each of the islands offers remarkable wildlife and landscapes, ensuring a fulfilling Galapagos journey regardless of the specific itinerary.

6. How does transportation between islands like Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Isabela operate?

The primary mode of transportation between these islands is by speedboat, which departs twice daily. One early in the morning, typically around 6-7 am, and another in the afternoon, around 2-3 pm, with the journey lasting approximately 2.5 hours. Notably, there are no direct speedboats from San Cristobal to Isabela, with Santa Cruz serving as the central hub for inter-island travel. The established routes include San Cristobal to Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz to San Cristobal, Santa Cruz to Isabela, and Isabela to Santa Cruz.

However, it's important to consider that speedboat travel can be quite rough and physically demanding, making it advisable not to take two journeys on the same day. It's recommended to allow at least a day in between transports, ensuring a more comfortable experience. Staying a minimum of two nights upon arrival on an island is also suggested to mitigate any strain on the body.

Alternatively, for those looking to avoid the choppy seas or prone to seasickness, inter-island flights are available. These flights typically accommodate small aircraft with seating for 6 to 8 passengers and significantly reduce travel time to just 20-30 minutes. Flight departures generally occur closer to midday, though timing may vary based on weather conditions and other factors.

If opting for this mode of transport, it's essential to inform your travel advisor, though be mindful that the cost is higher. Additionally, there are strict limitations on luggage, allowing only up to 8kg per person. For travelers with larger baggage, the option of transporting it via speedboat is available, albeit at an additional cost. This includes arrangements for handling the luggage at both ends of the journey, resulting in added logistical considerations and expenses. Hence, while flights offer expedited travel, it's important to weigh the associated logistics and costs.

7. What are Water Taxis, and how much do they cost?

Water taxis serve as a crucial means of transportation to reach day tour boats and cruises that are docked beyond the reach of regular boats due to limits and restrictions. Essentially, they provide a convenient connection between the dock and your intended vessel. Unlike other services, water taxis cannot be prepaid; payment is made directly to the driver upon usage. Typically, the cost ranges from $0.50 to $1.00 per person. Additionally, it's important to note that you'll also need to pay for the return trip to get from the boat back to the dock.

8. Is it possible to prepay for everything in a Land Based Tour?

While many services can be prepaid in advance, certain fees present logistical challenges for inclusion. For instance, transportation to Puerto Ayora from day tour boat docks typically involves taking a water taxi, costing between $0.50 to $1.00 per person, payable directly to the driver as it is a public transport service. Additionally, entrance fees to the Galapagos National Park are paid on-site to the relevant entities.

Regarding tips, they are discretionary and based on individual passenger satisfaction with the tour experience. While not obligatory, tips are appreciated and reflect each passenger's assessment of the service.

Furthermore, while breakfast and some lunches are typically included, we've discovered through passenger feedback that leaving meal options open tends to be preferable. This flexibility accommodates various dietary requirements, allergies, and individual preferences, allowing passengers the freedom to choose where and when to dine, or even opt to skip a meal. Thus, while it is feasible to include most meals, retaining this flexibility is often advantageous.

These instances represent just a few examples of items not covered in the prepaid package. However, for a comprehensive understanding and tailored planning of your trip, your travel advisor is readily available to assist and provide guidance. Feel free to consult with them for a personalized itinerary that meets your needs and preferences seamlessly.

9. As a solo traveler, should I consider paying a single supplement? Are there group tours available for me to join?

In the Galapagos, most tours operate on a shared basis, meaning even solo travelers will typically join tours with other passengers. This shared arrangement is common due to the capacity of boats, which can accommodate up to 16 passengers on navigable tours to other islands or destinations like Kicker Rock.

While group tours are the norm, there are exceptions for private transportation and tours to locations without shared options, such as the Highlands or Galapaguera. As these private transfers and tours costs are not divided among multiple passengers it does add up to the total of the troul, therefore that “single supplement”. This includes private transfers, guides, and accommodation in a single room.

Although single supplements may increase the overall cost for solo travelers, working closely with your Travel Advisor allows for budget customization. You can tailor your itinerary to fit your preferences and budget, perhaps by forgoing certain transfers or activities that can be independently managed. Your Travel Advisor is dedicated to crafting a personalized experience that aligns with your needs and budgetary considerations, ensuring a rewarding solo adventure in the Galapagos.

10. On which islands is it possible to stay overnight in a hotel?

Visitors have the option to stay overnight in hotels on Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Isabela Islands, all of which offer a variety of Galapagos hotel accommodations. Additionally, Floreana Island provides basic lodging options.

Accommodations span across various categories, catering to different preferences and budgets, ranging from Backpacker-style accommodations to Luxury establishments. There are also options available in the Standard and Comfortable categories, ensuring there's something suitable for every traveler's needs.

For personalized recommendations or assistance with arranging your accommodations while staying on the islands, don't hesitate to reach out to your travel advisor.

You can find more information in the following blog:

11. Are there activities for me to do on my own while on a land-based tour, or activities to do after my prearranged tours?

Yes, one of the primary advantages of a land-based tour is the freedom it affords you to pursue activities at your own pace. Whether you opt to immerse yourself in local culture, relax on a beach, or explore the towns, the choice is entirely yours.

While most locations in the Galapagos Islands are part of the National Park and require a certified guide for exploration, towns are exceptions, allowing you to move around freely. Additionally, there are select sites within the islands that you can visit without a guide.

Given the breadth of possibilities, we recommend perusing our comprehensive blogs, which are categorized by the three main islands. This will help you tailor your experiences based on your accommodation location and the time you have available for exploration.

Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora, Galapagos - Places to Visit & Things To Do (

San Cristobal Island: Best Places to Visit At Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Galapagos (

Isabela Island: How to spend a free day in Puerto Villamil, Galapagos (

12. Is it safe to drink tap water and how hygienic is the food in the Galapagos?

It's crucial to note that tap water in the Galapagos Islands can be unsafe for consumption. It is strongly advised against using tap water for any purpose, including brushing teeth. Many hotels provide complimentary bottled water for guests, and it's recommended to rely on these sources for drinking and hygiene needs.

As for food hygiene, while many restaurants in the Galapagos maintain high standards, it's essential to exercise caution, especially when dining in establishments that may not adhere to strict hygiene practices. Opting for well-reviewed and reputable eateries can minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. Additionally, practicing standard food safety precautions, such as ensuring food is thoroughly cooked and avoiding raw or undercooked items, can further reduce any potential health risks.

Galapagos National Park FAQ

1. What is a TCT, GNP, or all the entry fees to Galapagos?

 A TCT is a Tarjeta de Control de Transito or Transit Control Card in english, and it is a fee paid to the Ingala institution which is a department from the Ecuadorian Government who administers the Galapagos.

The GNP is the Galapagos National Park and there is a fee paid to them and other institutions when entering the Galapagos Islands as a non resident.

There is also an Isabela island entry fee as well, but only payable when entering Isabela island the first time. The cost of this entry fee is of $10 per person.

When returning back to Santa Cruz from Isabela or San Cristobal on a Land Tour, there is a municipal fee of $1.00 per person as well.

2. How much is the national park entrance fee? Where do I pay it and the TCT card?

As of August 2024, the price for the Galapagos entry fees are as follows:

The cost is US$200 per person to enter the national park.

At time of writing there are discounts for children under 12 years old ($100), and foreigners currently living in Ecuador with cedula ($30) but this too is subject to change, if you have any doubts please ask your travel advisor.

This is paid in cash upon arrival at the airport in Galapagos as you pass through immigration.

There is also a $20 fee paid at your departure airport in Ecuador. This is a Galapagos immigration fee known as INGALA or TCT.

3. Where does my money towards entrance fees go?

The $200 national park fee is divided between a number of parties involved in both managing and preserving the islands. It is divided as follows: Galapagos National Park 40%, Galapagos municipal council 20%, Provincial government 10%, INEFAN 10%, Marine Reserve 5%, INGALA 5%, Provincial inspection system 5%, Ecuadorian navy 5%.

The transit control card goes to INGALA, the institution that controls migration to the islands.

4. What are the visitor guidelines of the national park?

The Galapagos National Park area is carefully protected in order to preserve the unique ecosystem that exists at the islands. Your naturalist guide should explain these rules to you, and Happy Gringo request that all of our customers take them seriously and aim to leave no trace of their visit to the islands behind.

  • No plant, animal or other natural objects (including shells, bones, pieces of wood) should be removed or disturbed.
  • Do not transport any live material to the islands, or from island to island.
  • Do not take any food to the uninhabited islands.
  • Do not touch or handle the animals.
  • Do not feed the animals.
  • Do not startle or chase any animal from its nesting spot.
  • Stay within the marked paths and designated visitor areas.
  • Do not leave any litter on the islands or throw litter from your boat.
  • Do not deface the rocks.
  • Do not buy souvenirs made of plants or animals.
  • Do not visit the islands unless accompanied by a licensed national park guide.
  • Think about the effect that your visit is having on the islands and try to minimize any negative impact.
  • If you see other tourists disobeying any of these rules then report it immediately to your guide.

If all visitors follow these rules then the islands can be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Galapagos Snorkeling & Diving FAQ

1. Is snorkeling and diving in Galapagos the same?

Snorkeling and diving are both popular activities in the Galapagos Islands, offering unique opportunities to explore the underwater world, but there are some key differences between the two:

Equipment and Depth:

Snorkeling typically involves swimming on the surface of the water while wearing a mask, snorkel, and fins. It allows participants to observe marine life from above and usually takes place in shallower waters.

Diving requires more specialized equipment, including a wetsuit, buoyancy control device (BCD), regulator, and tank. Divers descend below the surface to explore deeper reefs and encounter marine species up close.

Experience Level:

Snorkeling is generally more accessible to a wider range of people, including children and non-swimmers. It requires minimal training and can be enjoyed by beginners.

You can find more information about snorkeling with kids in question 5.

Diving typically requires certification and training to ensure safety underwater. While there are options for beginner divers, more advanced dives may be available for certified divers.

Duration and Experience:

Snorkeling excursions are usually shorter in duration and may be included as part of a broader itinerary, allowing participants to combine snorkeling with other activities such as island visits or wildlife watching.

Diving trips often involve longer durations underwater, with multiple dives scheduled throughout the day. Divers have the opportunity to explore specific dive sites in more detail and experience the unique underwater landscapes of the Galapagos but diving tours do not combine other activities with diving.

Overall, both snorkeling and diving offer unforgettable experiences in the Galapagos, allowing participants to witness the incredible biodiversity and underwater ecosystems of this iconic destination. The choice between snorkeling and diving depends on individual preferences, comfort level in the water, and desired level of immersion in the marine environment.

More information can also be found:

2. What dive options are available at Galapagos?

There are 2 dive options:

Specialist Dive Boat: These are dedicated dive cruises designed specifically for diving enthusiasts. Operating as live-aboard vessels, they venture to remote and renowned dive sites such as islands Darwin and Wolf, which are considered specialist dive areas due to their exceptional marine biodiversity. Typically, these dive boats offer 8-day, 7-night itineraries, providing ample time for multiple dives and exploration of the underwater wonders of the Galapagos. It's important to note that these specialist dive boats exclusively focus on diving experiences and do not offer shorter or longer itineraries.

Dive Day Tours: Alternatively, visitors can opt for dive day tours, which can be arranged from Santa Cruz or San Cristobal. These day tours offer the flexibility for land-based dives and can be booked as standalone excursions or as part of comprehensive dive packages. They provide opportunities for divers to explore specific dive sites around the islands, offering unique perspectives of the Galapagos' underwater ecosystems and marine life.

For diving you can find more information on the following blog:

3. At which islands is it possible to dive?

Almost every island at Galapagos has dive sites. It is best to review our diving webpage to decide which sites are most suitable for you based upon the dive difficulty of the site and the wildlife that it is possible to see there. When not diving from a live-aboard yacht, there are fewer sites that will be accessible.

If you are planning to dive, it is important to add a provision for this within your travel insurance policy, as its considered an adventure sport and is not normally included with standard policies.

4. I am not a strong swimmer, can I snorkel with a life jacket? Is a cruise still a good fit for me?

Not being a strong swimmer should not deter you from enjoying the wonders of snorkeling during a Galapagos cruise. Most importantly, participation in activities such as snorkeling is entirely optional, and passengers are free to choose whether to partake or remain on the boat during these excursions. Additionally, life jackets are provided on every boat, allowing passengers to snorkel comfortably and safely, even if they are not confident swimmers. These life jackets provide buoyancy and support, making snorkeling accessible to individuals of all swimming abilities. Furthermore, during snorkeling excursions, passengers are transported from the cruise to the snorkeling site via a panga ride. Those who prefer not to snorkel can opt to stay aboard the panga, where they can still enjoy the sights and potentially spot marine species that appear near the surface. With life jackets readily available and the option to observe from the panga, a Galapagos cruise remains an excellent choice for travelers of all swimming abilities.

5. Is it possible for kids to snorkel in the Galapagos?

Yes, children can indeed snorkel in the Galapagos Islands. For those who are not strong swimmers, there are alternative options such as staying on the panga (a small boat used for transportation) or floating with a life jacket while still enjoying the stunning marine life. However, it's crucial to emphasize that safety should always come first. Parents should assess their child's swimming abilities and comfort level in the water before deciding to snorkel. Additionally, it's advisable to consult with a travel advisor, as some cruises may have specific age restrictions or guidelines regarding snorkeling activities for children.

6. Are dive sites suitable for both inexperienced and experienced divers?

Diving sites in the Galapagos offer diverse experiences tailored to different skill levels. Some sites feature strong currents and are best suited for experienced divers, while others offer calmer conditions suitable for novices. Additionally, certain advanced dive sites may have prerequisites in terms of the number of previous dives required for safety reasons.

Before booking any diving excursion, it's crucial to consult with your travel advisor, who can provide insights into the specific requirements and conditions of each dive site. Typically, cruises in the Galapagos mandate a minimum of 50 logged dives, although some may require more, taking into account the recency of these dives. Conversely, diving day tours from Santa Cruz or San Cristobal often only necessitate a PADI Advanced Open Water certification, without the need for a specific number of logged dives. However, certain sites like Gordon Rocks may stipulate a minimum of approximately 20-25 logged dives, with consideration given to their recency.

7. Is all dive equipment included?

For diving day tours and land packages in the Galapagos, everything you need will typically be provided. While you're welcome to bring your own equipment if you prefer, it's not necessary.

Dive cruises in the Galapagos usually include essential gear such as tanks, weights, and belts. However, the specifics can vary between cruises. Typically, you'll need to bring your own personal equipment, but the option to rent additional items on board is often available. This can include BCDs, regulators, dive computers, wetsuits, and various accessories like lanterns, gloves, masks, boots, hoods, and fins. It's important to clarify with your travel advisor what's included in your chosen diving cruise, as the offerings can differ between operators.

8. What information do you need from me in advance to my programmed diving activities?

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Shoe size
  • Wetsuit size (if known)
  • PADI licence number
  • Dive experience (number of dives previously made)

9. How often is there opportunity to snorkel on a typical tour?

During a typical cruise, there's usually at least one opportunity to snorkel each day, and in some cases, you may even have two sessions in a single day. However, this can vary depending on your location and itinerary. It's important to note that snorkeling activities are typically not scheduled on the first and last days of your cruise. On average, snorkeling sessions last for about an hour.

For land-based tours, there are dedicated snorkeling excursions available. Additionally, some full-day tours combine trekking activities with snorkeling opportunities, offering a diverse exploration experience.

10. Is use of snorkeling equipment included in my cruise or land-based tour?

The provision of snorkeling equipment varies depending on the boat you're booked on. Some boats include equipment in their package, while others may charge a small rental fee. You can find detailed information about each boat's policy regarding snorkeling equipment on their respective pages on the Happy Gringo website.

As a general guideline, standard cruises typically charge extra for both snorkeling equipment and wetsuits. Comfortable cruises usually include snorkeling equipment but may charge an additional fee for wetsuits. In luxury and super deluxe cruises, the policy is similar to Comfortable cruises, although some may include wetsuits as well.

For land-based tours, short wetsuits are usually included, but it's advisable to confirm with your travel advisor to ensure clarity on the inclusions and exclusions of your tour. Snorkeling equipment is typically included in all land-based tours. It should be mentioned that the equipment included on a land-based tour is only for pre-arranged tours if you want equipment outside of tours to snorkel on sites such as a beach or places where a guide is not needed, you can go to a rental shop and rent it for the day.

11. What is the standard of the snorkeling equipment provided?

The quality of snorkeling equipment provided typically varies from boat to boat. While it may not always be the latest or most modern gear, it is maintained in safe working condition and deemed suitable for use. Cruise and tour operators conduct regular checks to ensure the equipment's safety and functionality. Passengers have the option to bring their own snorkel gear if they prefer.

12. Is a wetsuit really necessary?

When it comes to diving, a wetsuit is an essential piece of equipment to ensure comfort and safety underwater.

For snorkeling, the necessity of a wetsuit varies from person to person, contingent upon individual tolerance to cold temperatures. Factors such as geographical location and seasonal changes also play a significant role. In regions like the western islands, where water temperatures tend to be cooler, wearing a wetsuit, especially during the cold season (July to December), is often recommended to ward off the chill. Conversely, in the eastern islands where waters are warmer, particularly during the warm season (January to June), a wetsuit may not be necessary for many individuals. Our Galapagos weather blog provides detailed insights into water temperatures throughout the year, aiding in better preparation.

Wetsuits are readily available for rent from most yachts and tour operators, typically incurring an additional fee. Rental prices typically range from $10 to $15 per day per person for short wetsuits (short sleeves), while long wetsuits (long sleeves) may cost between $15 to $25 per person per day.