The Galapagos Islands are among the world’s most unique and fragile destination. As such, traveling here can be a little different than other places. The wildlife is very relaxed around humans, but remember that this is not a petting zoo. Do no litter or attempt to touch any of the animals you encounter. Visitors to the Galapagos often have a lot of questions. G Adventures have attempted to answer just a few of the more common ones:
What’s this “National Park fee” all about?
The Galapagos National Park Services levies a cash-only fee of US $100 per person upon arrival at the airport in the Galapagos. This fee is used to protect and preserve the islands and their inhabitants for future generations.
When should I visit the Galapagos?
Anytime! January – May is considered the “warm” season, with afternoon temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F) and calm warm seas. This is also the “wet” season. and while the water is nice for snorkeling, the marine life is less plentiful. That said, this is also nesting season for turtles and mating season for land birds and sea lions – in March and April, you’ll see plenty of newborn pups crawling around the beaches. June-December is the “cool” season, although average afternoon temperatures are only about 5°C cooler. While it is often overcast at this time of year, it doesn’t rain as much. The rough seas and cold water bring plankton to the area, which attracts fish and sea birds. The cool season is ideal for snorkeling, spotting albatross and penguins.
How do we get to the islands?
Your domestic flights to the islands and back are included in the cost of the trip. All Galapagos tours depart from and return to Quito. The flight takes about 2.5 hours.
Are there luggage restriction?
Yes. Cabin size and weight limits on internal flights are strictly enforced, so any unnecessary items should be stored at your Quito hotel’s storage room. Each traveler will be provided with a special 15kg-duffle bag upon arrival to give you an idea of how much you should pack for the Galapagos.
What voltage does the ship use?
Our boats use North American-style 110V electrical outlets with two flat-blade prongs. If you plan to bring a digital camera or video recorder, we suggest packing an extra battery.
What sort of gear do we need to swim?
While masks, snorkels and fins are available on board free-of-charge, you may want to bring your own snorkeling gear to ensure proper fitting. Swimming towels are provided so you don’t need to bring your own. Some boats offer wetsuits for rental which are particularly useful for colder water months between July and September.
When dos the ship travel?
The bulk of the ship movements are made at night, maximizing your time on the islands and with their wildlife. Some short sailing trips are undertaken during the day, but for the most part the ship stays anchored until nightfall. We usually do two landings a day for roughly four hours each.
Are their medical facilities onboard?
There are basic first -aid kit onboard to attend to minor ailments and scrapes, but the boat is not equipped or serious medical conditions. Passengers are required to obtain medical insurance that includes coverage for emergency evacuation. The waters around the Galapagos are generally calm, but they can get a tad rough between July and September. If you are prone to seasickness, consult your physician prior to departure to discuss what methods will work best for you.
What is the difference between a 6-,7-, and 10-day Galapagos tour?
The longer the trip, the more islands you’ll visit. Please note that approximately three days of each tour are spent in Quito and getting in and out of the islands themselves.
What are the guides like?
G Adventures employ expert naturalist guides on each boat, with the exception of our Deluxe level catamaran (G8), which employs certified Level III naturalist guides – the highest level attainable. Your guides will host an information seminar each night on your ship’s lounge to discuss the next day’s itinerary, explain how to respect the delicate balance of life in the region, and identify the flora and fauna you may encounter. Have a question about the zoological, geological or human history of the islands? Just ask!
Whom should I tip? And how much?
The staff and crew work very hard and appreciate gratuities. In fairness to all, tips are collected at the end of the voyage and distributed amongst the crew members and guide. The amount you tip is up to you, but we suggest something along the lines of US$8-$10 per passenger per day.
What will we eat or drink?
Onboard meals are nutritious and plentiful, and the menu often includes seafood, beef, salads, soups, deserts and warm drinks. You will be served three square meals each day in the boat’s dinning room while saying. Special dietary considerations can be accommodated, but please notify us at the time of booking. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and purified drinking water are available on board and each traveler will be provided with a refillable water bottle. The bar sells juice, soft drinks, wine, beer and a basic selection of liquor on a “chit” system and your bar tab will be presented to you for settlement prior to disembarking.
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