Galapagos Travel Tips: What You Need to Know Before Visiting


Visiting Galapagos can be a dream come true! And a bucket-list trip comes with great expectations that need to be fulfilled. Some people picture Galapagos being inhabited by wild creatures and completely desolate. Well, to tell you the truth, it’s much more inhabited than you might think! And stunningly beautiful in every possible way. The islands are full of majesty and mystery in every corner.

Chesca Moreno

To help you navigate through your itinerary, we’ve put a list of tips you need to know, and you probably haven’t heard about so far, so that your journey sails smoothly. Feel free to check it out and learn more.

Galapagos is in the Middle of the Ocean

Well, almost! The Galapagos Islands are part of the country of Ecuador and are around 901 kilometers far from the land. The islands extend to the Pacific Ocean and it takes around two hours to fly there from Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

Most US cities do not have a direct connection with Galapagos, so you’ll need to plan your flights accordingly. You’ll need to fly twice, depending on which city you depart from. Or you can take a Galapagos cruise and explore most of the islands.

There are great Galapagos cruise deals that offer extraordinary opportunities for sailing to this distant destination and exploring it on your own. You’d get to see where Charles Darwin got the inspiration for his theory about “The Evolution of Species” and learn more about wildlife.

All Islands are Volcanic

The Galapagos archipelago is the home of 6 smaller and 13 major islands. A couple of the smaller islands are not inhabited at all by people and only the wildlife is the only resident there.

Krisma Rodriguez

More than 25,000 people live on these islands and half of them are situated on Santa Cruz Island. All of the islands were formed 4 million years ago and are descendants of volcanic activities. And some of them have active volcanoes to this day.

Tourists who visit Galapagos usually see two or three of the islands, however, if you take a cruising tour, your chances of exploring more are greater.

Endangered Species

Many of the species inhabiting the Galapagos are currently endangered due to their killings for meat or shells. For example, the Giant Tortoise which is the main symbol of the islands, among the Komodo Dragon, has been endangered for centuries.

A couple of bird species are also on this endangered animal list. Sixteen of these birds can be found only in Galapagos and some of them are completely extinct.


Additionally, you’d get to see the Galapagos land iguana, sea lion, fur seal, and marine iguana that can be seen only here. Hammerhead sharks, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and flamingos are some of the exotic animals you can enjoy watching.

How to Get to Galapagos?

Among the most useful information you can find before visiting Galapagos is how to get there. The first step would be to travel to Ecuador which is located in South America, then fly to Galapagos or take a cruise.

Before you set off on the trip, you need to make sure that all of your documents are in order. Your passport needs to be valid at least 6 months before departure. Additionally, your entry needs to be regulated, either with a visa-on-arrival or securing it beforehand.

Galapagos is a protected area, so the rules when arriving at Guayaquil or Quito are quite strict. You need to pay $20 for the Transit Control Card which must be kept throughout the journey and shown on departure.

When you arrive in Galapagos, a fee of $100 needs to be paid to the National Park. This is an entry fee and must be paid, no exceptions here!

Islands Expedition

An alternative for traveling to Galapagos is to travel via a cruise. You can schedule your itinerary based on the cruise route and visit most of the amenities for that day of cruising. You can even do island hopping and visit the islands that are not habited.

Since you’ll want to spend most of your time exploring Galapagos, you can stay an extra couple of days to enjoy some of the water sports, explore the sea life via snorkeling and scuba diving, or just enjoy the beach.

Galapagos is a unique place and a one-of-a-lifetime opportunity for nature lovers. It’s exceptional in every possible way.

Learn More!

Before booking your trip, inform yourself about the itinerary of the cruise, the number of passengers, what’s included in the deal, etc.

It’s a good idea to shop around and compare prices for different deals so you can choose the one that fits your needs. And most importantly, enjoy your trip!