In order to help make the best of your Galapagos Trip, we at Zenith have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions from our travelers. If your question isn't listed on this list, please feel free to contact us using the Live Chat, officie, phone or contact forms available throughout our site. We'll be happy to assist you.
How can I arrive to the Galapagos?
Visitors may arrive to Baltra or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno airports in the islands by plane, taking off from the Guayaquil or Quito airport in the mainland. No other airports offer flights to the islands.
It is also possible to reach the Galapagos Marine Reserve and National Park via a private yacht. However, this rarely occurs and can be extremely expensive.
Are there luggage restrictions on the airplanes?
Only one (1) checked suitcase (45lbs., 20kg) and one carry-on bag are allowed. Thankfully bathing suits and shorts don't weigh that much!
What are the Galapagos National Park fee and the "other fee"?
It is currently $100 per person to enter the Galapagos National Park (www.galapagos.org), and the Migration Control Card INGALA (which helps to regulate immigration to the islands) is $20 per person.
Why are the Galapagos National Park related fees separate?
The INGALA Migration Control Card fee helps fund the proper human population control to and from the islands. Where as the National Park fee helps fund the research and conservation of the archipelago, and help preserve it for future generations to enjoy the beauty that is unique to this part of the world.
What time zone are the Galapagos Islands in?
UCT (GMT) -6 Hours. Time on the Ecuadorian mainland is -5 UCT (GMT)
When is the best time to visit Galapagos?
Because the islands are situated along the Equator, it makes no difference what time of the year you visit. We just suggest planning your adventure around what you want to do and see:
- The warm season goes from December to May with an average temperature of 30°C (86°F). The seas are also calmer and warmer during these months. The Galapagos cool season starts in June and wraps up in November. The average temperature is 25°C (81°F) and is typically overcast and very occasional rain.The seas are rougher at this point, especially from July through September. However, the Humboldt Current brings colder water that is rich in plankton, which means more marine life is present to behold. Blue footed boobies also mate during this season.
- If you're an avid snorkeler, then we sugest visiting during January through March, when underwater visibility is at its best. This is also the mating season for land birds and sea lions, and nesting season for Sea Turtles.
- If flowers and lush vegetation are your thing, then visit the islands from February through April, when the island is in full bloom. March and April are great months to get up-close-and-personal with sea lion pups.
Are the animals on one island the same as another, even if the same species?
One of the most amazing discoveries by Charles Darwin at the Galapagos Archipelago was how each species evolved to adapt to its environment. So even if an island has finches, they may have some different traits, compared to the finches on another island. This is one of the main reasons tourists and researchers come back to Galapagos and visit as many islands as they can. In some cases, there will be a new evolution within just a few years between visits. It could be said that the islands may seem similar on a surface level view, yet once you look closely, they are so very different from each other.
Are there any immunizations required / recommended?
For the Galapagos Islands there are no required or recommended immunizations. If you, however, intend to spend more time in Ecuador, especially in the jungle, immunization is highly recommended. As this changes from time to time, please check with your local health office (or the Institute for Tropical Diseases) preferably a few weeks in advance of your trip.
Will I have access to ATMs and/or Internet during my cruise?
There are ATMs and Internet cafes at both Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Is.) and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Is.). If your cruise yacht is visiting these islands, it may be possible to make a brief visit to use the Internet and bank machines but there is no guarantee. It is best to start your trip fully prepared, and if you do get the chance to use the Internet during the cruise it will be an added bonus.
Internet service is limited on cruisesbecause the main focus is to enjoy Nature and the beauty that surrounds you during this trip.
What transport is available between islands if I am not on a cruise?
The most cost-effective and realiable form of transport between the islands are the speedboat ferries. There are ferries that run every day between Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isablea Islands - check local information in Galapagos for up-to-date timetables.
There are also occasional small aircraft flights that operate between the main islands with EMETEBE airline. Again, it is best to check local information in Galapagos for up-to-date timetables.
To visit islands other than these main 3, it is possible to organize da-tours with agencies based in Puerto Ayora.
On which islands is it possible to stay overnight in a hotel?
Islands Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabella all offer a good range of hotel accommodations.
I have additional questions. Who can answer them?
For most questions, our Zenith agents and operators will be able to help you directly. If necessary, they'll provide you with the contact of the entity that'll be able to answer your question. You may start by filling out the contact forms on our site with your inquiry, or contact us directly at our main office, provided phone numbers or live-chat tool.
We look forward to hearing from you.