Is There A Rainy Season In The Galapagos
The rains in the Galápagos fall only during the rainy season . Drizzles on the islands usually occur in the afternoon hours and tend to last less than half an hour. It is important to mention that the rain will NOT be a problem for the visitors, since all the activities can be done during the drizzle and the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees. A good thing about the rain: most of the coastal plants “Revive” in the rainy season, showing green shoots and flowers immediately after the first rains.
Best Time To Cruise Puerto Ayora
The best time to visit Puerto Ayora is any time at all! Though visitors will want to plan ahead, depending on their interests, most Puerto Ayora attractions, wildlife encounters and adventure activities can be enjoyed year round.
Puerto Ayora in January to March is the best time to go snorkeling at Tortuga Bay, given that this period offers the best water visibility and warmest water temperatures.
Note, however, that from January to April the sun is very intense, so the walk to Tortuga Bay or Las Grietas should be done with plenty of water and sunblock.
What Type Of Trip Should I Take
Exploring the islands on a small yacht is the classic way to see the Galapagos. You travel from island to island and site to site on board the boat, disembarking multiple times a day to explore on foot and go snorkeling.
On a typical day on any cruise, you wake up early in the morning for a quick breakfast and then go out a site on an island for about 2 to 4 hours. Youll explore on foot and/or go snorkeling. Then youll return to the boat for a little down time and lunch. During this time, the boat will travel to either a different island, or a different site on the same island. Then you go on your next excursion in the afternoon. Similar to the morning, it will last for a few hours, and youll go on foot and/or snorkeling. In addition to the two main excursions of the day, its also likely you will go kayaking or stand up paddle boarding, or take the small zodiacs out to explore the shoreline. These excursions are usually shorter, but still worthwhile. In the evening, youll have dinner, a briefing for the next day, and down time. At night, the boat will travel to a different site for the next days adventures.;
Yachts range in size from 10 100 passengers, although a majority hold 16 passengers as this is the maximum number of visitors who can tour anywhere within the Park with one naturalist.
Pros of a cruise:
Cons of a cruise:
NOTE ON GALAPAGOS CRUISE ITINERARIES
Multisport or Active Adventure Trip
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Who Should Go Is The Galapagos For Everybody
The Galapagos Islands are for nature lovers who wish to see, interact with, and learn about the incredible and unique plant and animal species and unique and diverse landscapes of this archipelago. The Galapagos is not for people seeking a beach vacation where they will be served drinks with umbrellas in them while relaxing around the pool or on the beach.;
Traveling with kids in the Galapagos is an amazing experience for all. I dont recommend taking really young kids, say younger than 4, however, and found with my own kids that the 8 year old was able to pay attention to the naturalist on walks, while the 6 year old got bored and just wanted to walk around. Going with the kids is definitely a different experience for the adults too, as you may not get to hear everything the naturalist says, but you will get to experience the joy and wonder of wildlife encounters through the eyes of your children. Greg Findley, Detour Founder and CEO
Best Time To Cruise Galapagos
Due to its proximity to the equator, the Galapagos Islands see very little rainfall and there is no set best time to visit the Galapagos Islands to see wildlife. The area has 2 main seasons; the warm wet season from late December to June, or the cool dry season from July to early December, which means there are amazing Galapagos itineraries year-round. Galapagos in January – May is the time when green sea turtles, marine and land iguanas start nesting, whereas June marks the start of when California Sea Lions start breeding, and August for Fur Seals to start breeding and tortoises in Santa Cruz island to lay eggs in the wild. Nutrient-rich waters brought in by the strong Humboldt current in August offer excellent opportunities to snorkel with sea-lion pups. Dolphin and whale spotting is very common in September & November on the crossing to Fernandina Island, and December marks the start of the warm season in the Galapagos and offers many wildlife encounters. Many wildlife species breed and nest year-round, such as the red-footed and masked boobies, flightless cormorants, penguins and greater flamingoes.
With the Galapagos Islands being hugely popular, its recommended to plan ahead for your Galapagos trip as spaces can fill up fast.
Galapagos Day Tour Prices & Best Tours To Take
Below are the most common day tours youll find offered on each of the main islands and the associated lowest price offered, updated for 2019 prices:
Isla Isabela Day Tour Prices & Advice
- Tintoreras half-day tour: $45
- Sierra Negra half-day volcano hike $35
- Tuneles : $100
The Tunnels day tour is Isabelas most expensive for a reason. Its pretty incredible. The unique environment of the otherworldly sea tunnels is such an interesting sight to see. Yet standing on those rocks reveal blue-footed boobies atop the surface as sharks swim below. The nearby snorkeling spot further reveals some sharks, turtles, seahorses, and possibly penguins for those who are lucky. If only doing a single tour on Isabela, this is one to splash the cash.
See video below to get some idea of what the Tunnels day tour is like.
;Yet with Isabelas other two main tours being less than $50, these are both worth pursuing too. The half-day snorkeling tour of Tintoreras boasts an environment with some of most turtles we encountered in the Galapagos. Trekking the Sierra Negra volcano can prove to be an invigorating diversion away from the many oceanic activities. And its a deal well-worth pursuing at $35.
Isla San Cristobal Day Tour Prices & Advice
- Kicker Rock snorkeling day tour: $90
- San Cristobal 360 Tour : $135
Isla Santa Cruz Day Tour Prices & Advice
- Isla Pinzon: $100
- Diving: Seymour/Daphne $150
- Diving: Gordon Rocks $180
Where Are The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, right on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. This location makes them very isolated. This is part of their appeal and one of the reasons why some Galapagos wildlife is endemic. Many animals are found only here and nowhere else in the world. But this also makes it tricky for travelers to get to the Galapagos.
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Adventure Cruises In Puerto Ayora
Many visitors on Puerto Ayora cruises may be surprised to find an urban center in the midst of the largely untouched wilds of the Galapagos. The largest and most populous city in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora features hotels, shopping, and restaurants to rival most coastal towns of mainland Ecuador. As such, adventure cruises to Puerto Ayora often serve as a welcome break from the hiking and snorkeling that punctuate the rest of the cruise itinerary. Just an hour from the airport of Isla Baltra, the city is the site of the popular Charles Darwin Research Station as well as the launching point for many small ship cruises of the Galapagos.
How Long Does It Take To Get From Mainland Ecuador To The Galapagos Islands
The flight from Guayaquil to Baltra is one and a half hours. From Quito, the flight is about two and half hours due to a short stopover in Guayaquil to pick up more passengers.;
There are two airports in the Galapagos Islands: Seymour Airport on Baltra Island, and San Cristóbal Airport on its namesakes island. Most flights arrive in Baltra and it will take just over an hour to drive from Baltra to your hotel or loading dock.;
Because of the cost and time that it takes to get from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands, its best to opt for moretime on the islands than less. With most people having about a week to travel, 5 days in the Galapagos Islands is the ideal amount of time that also considers international and domestic flights.
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How To Get To Galapagos
The only way for travelers to get to the Galapagos Islands is by air. Travelers must fly from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos. It is not possible to cruise from mainland and there is no road or ferry service.
Is There A Limit On How Many Days You Can Stay In Galapagos
In order to enter the Galapagos Islands youll need to pay the Galapagos entrance fee. But, McGowan shared, You only need to pay the Galapagos fee one time, upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands at the airport. The fee is the same for a passenger doing a 5 day cruise or a 15 day cruise. maximum amount of time would be until your Ecuador tourist visa expires.;
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Key Points To Consider:
- Flying from Quito to Galapagos takes around two and a half hours. Most of the flights make a stop in Guayaquil.
- It is recommended to arrive at least one day prior to the Galapagos flight in the case of any delay or cancellation.
- Booking the cruise and the flight together is a better option as cruises often work with specific flights.
How Many Days In The Galapagos Islands Do I Need
A trip to the Galapagos Islands is the ultimate getaway. This archipelago is made up of 19 islands and filled to the brim with incredible animals and picturesque moments. Causing many travelers to question: How many days in the Galapagos Islands will be enough for my Galapagos trip?;
Since the answer depends on each specific traveller, I spoke with Latin America For Less Travel Advisors Adam Laughter and Rylee McGowan for their advice. No matter your travel desires, weve got the answers for you!;
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How To Plan Your Trip
There are many places to start in planning your trip, as you may only have certain days free to travel, or you may have a specific trip, or type of trip, in mind.
No matter what, we suggest you plan your trip in this order:
Additionally, you will need to start your trip from either Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador, and you should plan to spend at least one night before your Galapagos trip in whichever city you are departing from as flights to the Galapagos depart early in the morning. We discourage arriving into Quito or Guayaquil only one day before your departure date for the Galapagos, as a flight delay on arrival could cause you to miss your trip. For that reason, we encourage people to arrive in Ecuador in time to spend at least 2 nights there before going to the Galapagos, as this builds in some wiggle room if your flights get delayed or your luggage gets lost.
Booking Hotels In Advance Vs Booking Upon Arrival
It can be possible to find slightly cheaper room rates by booking upon arrival, rather than booking online in advance.
However, there are some very compelling reasons to book in advance. For one, all of the best do get booked up full in advance, particularly so during busier periods. Its imperative to book in advance to lock in a good rate at some of the Galapagoss best budget accommodation.
Yet perhaps an even more dire reason to book in advance is that as of 2017, a new Galapagos regulation requires visitors to have accommodation reservations. When showing passports and filling out the necessary entry paperwork at the airport, it is now also mandated to show proof of accommodation reservation.
This new regulation mandates visitors have advanced bookings for the entire length of stay in the Galapagos. In practice, many Galapagos travelers report that officials are only checking for reservations for a least the first night. Still, its best to follow the official rules and book for the entire stay, just in case. If you want travel plans to remain flexible, book Galapagos accommodation that has a free cancelation policy.
With this new hotel reservation requirement, we have scouted out a few of the most economical and best value places to book online, as of 2019. So you dont have to scour through all the different website to find the best deals. But first, lets examine the best booking sites to use in the Galapagos.
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How To Get To Galapagos Islands Cheaply
The best way to get to Galapagos is by flying from mainland Ecuador from either Quito or Guayaquil, with the latter often being cheaper. Check LATAM Airlines and TAME as they often have cheap flights, going for as low as $250 round-trip.
Normal airfares range from $300 to $500 round-trip . I would recommend following LATAM Airlines newsletter for deals, as they often offer discounted airfares throughout all South America.
There are several flights a day arriving both to San Cristobal Island and Baltra Island. The airport in Baltra is the one that will connect you to Santa Cruz Island, which is the most developed island in all Galapagos.
In Santa Cruz, youll find Puerto Ayora, which is the most populated town, and while it is big and most things happen there, it is still quite small in comparison to mainland cities. It is also the main port from where most cruises and day tours depart.
San Cristobal Island, on the other hand, is less developed than Santa Cruz, yet it is the capital of Galapagos and another departure point for cruises located in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
When flying to Galapagos, make sure to know from which island your cruise is departing should you choose that option.
UPDATE: As of June 5, 2017, all national or foreign tourists must show the following documents prior to entering the province of Galapagos:
When Do Flights Depart To Galapagos
It is always important that you arrange;your flight times conservatively and in accordance with your;Galapagos cruise departure days.;Flights to the Galapagos depart in the early part of the day,;which is why we always recommend that our guests spend at least one night in Quito or Guayaquil before their flight to the Galapagos. Departure flight times tend to be as follows:
- From;Quito: 6:45 a.m. 9:37 a.m.
- From;Guayaquil: 8:45 a.m. 11:22 a.m.
There are;two main airports in Ecuador;to consider when you are flying to Galapagos, which well focus on in the section below.
During a layover in Quito, Ecuadors capital city, we always invite our guests to experience this fantastic UNESCO World Heritage Site from the comfort of our own;Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel; situated right in the heart of Quitos Old Town!
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Day 3 Galapagos Islands Cruise
South Plaza Island -> Santa Fé Island
Long night cruising. Arrival at South Plaza Island in the morning where we went on a couple of hours walking to see Red-billed Tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls and a large colony of Galapagos Land Iguanas.
After South Plaza, we cruised to Santa Fé Island. This is a great place for snorkeling and hiking the hill top among the palo santo trees and cactus. Santa Fé is the habitat of one endemic species, the Barrington land iguana. Sea lions can be seen all over the beach at Barrington Bay. Snorkeling is amazing, and you can swim with marine iguanas, sea lions, and whitetip reef sharks.
Galapagos Flights During The Covid
The Galapagos Islands are open to travelers, both individuals booking into select cabins and groups booking onto private Galapagos yacht charters.
Flights are currently being offered by Avianca and LATAM. Tame airlines has ceased operating and it is unknown if they will resume.
Both Avianca and LATAM have modified their regular flight schedules and are only operating on certain days of the week. Cruise and tour operators have adjusted their schedules accordingly. Current schedules are as follows:
- Avianca: Thursday, Friday, Saturday / Friday, Saturday, Sunday
- LATAM: Daily flights / Monday, Tuesday, Friday
Schedules may change without notice. Galapagos flights have been operating regularly. For more Galapagos COVID-19-related information see Ecuador & Galapagos Travel Now: 10 Things to Know.;
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