FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where are the Galapagos Islands?
A: The Galapagos or the “Enchanted Islands” are an archipelago located 600 miles (972 km.) west of the pacific Ecuadorian coast. They lie directly on the equator line.
Q: What is the climate like?
A: As the Galapagos Islands lie directly on the equator, you can expect it to be warm for most of the year. The hottest season is generally from January to April with average temperatures ranging from a low of 70º F to a high of 84º F (22º C – 31º C).
It is during this period that you may expect afternoon thundershowers. From April to December is considered the “cool” (and dry) season with average temperatures ranging from a low of 68º F to a high of 82º F (19º C – 27º C). During this time of year you may encounter “garua” (Drizzle) early in the morning and in the highlands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands.
Q: How do we get there?
A: There are daily flights from all over the world to Quito and Guayaquil and then you have to take a Galapagos flight connection to Baltra or San Cristobal islands.
Q: Can you arrange our air tickets to Ecuador?
A: We do arrange international flights from all over the world to Quito and Guayaquil, and the Galapagos flight connection.
Q: How much luggage can I take on the flight to Galapagos? (Kg, pounds)?
A: Maximum capacity allowed on Galapagos flights is 23Kg checked bag maximum dimension of 158 cm (62 linear inches), 10 Kg hand bag and a maximum combined linear measurement (length + width + height) that does not exceed 115 centimeters (45 inches).
Q: What is the currency in Ecuador and Galapagos?
A: Our prices are in American dollars which is the local currency in Ecuador and Galapagos, but we can accept payments in other currencies, for detail information contact us.
Q: When do we have to pay?
A: We required a minimum of 20% deposit at the time you decide to confirm your reservation and the balance is due 60 days before departure. If you are buying last minute deals you need to pay 100% when confirming.
Q: What form of payment do you accept?
A: We accept payments by Paypal. Payment may also be made by electronic bank transfer (wire).
Q: What is included in the rates for the ship?
A: Three onboard daily meals buffet style, all the transfers in Galapagos, visits to Galapagos National Park with English speaking guide, snorkeling equipment, water, coffee, tea, available onboard permanently.
Q: What is not included in the rate for the yachts and ships?
A: Air ticket to Galapagos, Galapagos National Park entrance fee 100 USD, Ingala Transit Card fee 20 USD, alcoholic and soft beverages, wetsuite and personal expenses.
Q: Can you make hotel and other tour reservations for us in Ecuador?
A: Yes, we can assist you with hotels and tours throughout Ecuador and others destination in South America. We can also tailor made your itinerary to fit all your requirements that will make the most of the time you have available and at a price you can afford.
Q: How do we receive our vouchers and tickets for the Galapagos?
A: We will e-mail a travel voucher and tickets for the flight to Galapagos, we can also deliver your air tickets, service voucher and any additional documentation to your hotel in Ecuador.
Q: What level of Naturalist Guide will be onboard the boat and do they speak English?
A: A the cruise, you will have a naturalist guide level III. There are three levels of certified naturalist guides: I, II and III. The most important differentiation between the levels is experience being level III the one with most experience.
Q: How much should we tip the guide and crew?
A: This is a very sensitive matter for us,we prefer that our guests reward our crew based on their performance.
Q: Will there be time for snorkeling?
A: There is plenty of time for snorkeling for those who are interested.
Q: Is there a rental charge for snorkeling equipment?
A: There are no charges, snorkeling gear is included (tube, mask, fins).
Q: Is a wet-suit necessary for snorkeling?
A: No, a wet-suit is not obligatory, but you can rent a wet-suit for $35 dollars for 5 days cruise and $45 dollars for 7 days cruise.
Q: Will we have to exchange any money before we travel to Ecuador or once in the country?
A: Not if you have US dollars. Ecuador has adopted the US dollar as its official currency since 1999.
Q: What are the entry requirements to Ecuador?
A: A valid passport, with at least six months remaining before expiration, is required to enter Ecuador. Visas are not currently required for visitors from most of the countries in the world including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Europe.
It is the passenger’s responsibility to check with local immigration offices or the Ecuadorian consulate prior to traveling to determine if a visa is necessary.
Q: Are any Immunizations required to enter Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands?
A: Currently no vaccination is required for visitors to Ecuador and Galapagos.
Q: What is the time zone?
A: Ecuador is in the Eastern time zone (GMT-5 in the mainland). Galapagos is one hour behind mainland Ecuador.
Q: what is the Local Currency?
A: In 1999, Ecuador implemented the US Dollar as monetary unit.
Q: What is the Language spoken?
A: Spanish if the official language of Ecuador including the Galapagos however English is well spoken in the country. On the vessel our guide and Captain speak English.
Q: What should I know about electricity?
A: 110/AC 60 cycle (same as in the USA) with some 220 outlets on the social areas.
Q: What is the Transit Control card?
A: All visitors to Galapagos are required to purchase a “Tarjeta de Control de Transito” or TCT card for $20.00. This amount has to be paid in cash prior to departure to Galapagos Islands from Quito or Guayaquil.
Q: How much is the Galapagos National Park entrance fee?
A: All visitors to Galapagos are required to pay 100 USD in Cash as a entrance fee at arrival to Galapagos airport.
Q: How can I pay for purchases/rents on board?
A: Payment on board accepted is Cash only
Q: Is there a departure Tax (Ecuador)?
A: This is now included in your international flight ticket.
Q: Are there medical facilities on board?
A: The yacht carries first aid kits and the Captain and guides are trained in basic First Aid procedures. All yachts have radio contact with the mainland for any medical emergencies.
Q: Will I have telephone connection on Galapagos Islands?
A: Most telecommunication providers have signal in some areas of the Central Islands of the Galapagos and passengers can use their mobile/cellular phones that are activated for international callings on days when the yachts are close to port (most central islands).
Q: What is the smoking policy?
A: Smoking is prohibited in enclosed areas aboard the vessels and on the Islands. Smoking is only allowed on the outside decks in designated areas.
Q: Will drinking water be charged?
A: Bottled water is provided in your cabin and is free of charge. Filtered drinking water is provided during meal times. We do not recommend you drink water from the tap in your cabin. Water bottles can be refilled from the water container located in the bar area.
Q: Should I worry about motion sickness?
A: Due to strong currents, there will be moderate movements of the vessel while navigating. Most passengers are not affected. However, if you are likely to get seasickness, we suggest you bring some type of medication to prevent motion sickness.
Q: What are the physical limitations to visit Galapagos?
A: The majority of Galapagos require passengers to be healthy, active and reasonably fit. Passengers need to be able to walk a few hours a day unassisted to fully enjoy Galapagos. The 2 land excursions require moderate activity and the walks are at a leisurely pace. for detail information contact us.
Q: How are the Island visits like?
A: The vessel anchors offshore at two visitor sites or Islands during your cruise. Passengers are ferried to the landing point in zodiac style inflatable landing craft. The landings are either wet (where one must step into water anywhere from your ankles to your knees and wade to shore) or dry (where one steps from the panga directly to the volcanic rock or dock).
Q: What are the essentials to PACK to Galapagos?
A: Travel Documents (Passport, etc) – All foreigners are required to travel with their valid and original passport.
Day Pack – it most likely includes extra clothing and other necessities during daily island visits (e.g., sunblock/sun cream, camera, glasses,etc).
Comfortable walking shoes(or boots) with good traction – Itineraries could include walking on sharp, hot volcanic lava or hiking on rocky trails.
Teva style sandals – good for hiking on beaches. Keep in mind that several of the landing are “wet landings”
Swimming (bathing) suit – for swimming and/or snorkeling.
Light to medium fleece jacket – It can be anything from windy, wet, misty to cool at times, especially in the late evening.
Shorts–Quick-dry are recommended.
T-shirts –will be used frequently.
Hat or cap – for protection from the sun.
Sunglasses – preferably polarized.