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E-mailinfo@uniquelygalapagos.com - Telephone: +593 096 894 0773

FAQs

Is it safe to travel to the Galapagos Islands again?

It is absolutely safe to visit the Galapagos Islands which has been open to international tourists since August 2020. We received the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council on August 19th 2020 to recognise the global standardised health and hygiene protocols adopted here. The adult population on the Galapagos Islands are now all fully vaccinated against Covid 19. Between August and December 2020, we had over 15,000 visitors to the Galapagos. The number of tourists particularily from the US has steadily risen since May 2021 as more and more people are fully vaccinated against Covid 19. Since April 2022, we tourist numbers have increased to more than pre pandemic levels

What are the current entry requirements for Ecuador and Galapagos for tourists due to Covid 19?

With effect from the 11th February 2022 the below entry requirements are in place for International tourists.

Ecuador - International tourists

- Valid passport or travel document

- Return air ticket to/from Ecuador

- For all passengers over three years of age, a complete Covid vaccination certificate with a QR code or a vaccination card valid for at least 14 days after completing the second vaccination or a negative result of a qualitative RT-PCR test or antigen test performed up to 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Ecuador.

- Completion of an online Traveler's Health Declaration Form (one per person) prior to boarding a flight to Ecuador.

- Travel insurance certificate with medical cover (mandatory)

Galapagos - International tourists

- Valid passport or travel document

- Return air ticket to/from the Galapagos Islands

- Electronic boarding pass

- For all passengers over three years of age, a complete Covid vaccination certificate with a QR code or a vaccination card valid for at least 14 days after completing the second vaccination or a negative result of a qualitative RT-PCR test or antigen test performed up to 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to the Galapagos Islands.

- Travel insurance certificate with medical cover (mandatory)

- Payment of Galapagos entry fees for the Transit Control Card (in Quito or Guayaquil airports) and Galapagos National Park fee (on arrival at Baltra or San Cristobal airports). Pre- registration for the Transit Control Card must be completed online at least 24 hours before the flight

When I leave the Galapagos I need to have a negative PCR test result to return to my home country, can I get this test done on the Islands?

It is possible to take a pre departure RT-PCR test and a rapid antigen (LFD) PCR test at the Laboratorio Clínico San Francisco in Puerto Ayora, Galápagos. Contact Av. Charles Darwin y Colonos 200350 Puerto Ayora, Ecuador Mobile/Whatsapp +593 99 477 3101

How can I protect myself and others from the spread COVID-19?

The World Health Organisation published the below public advice in June 2020 which is excellent.

https://who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/

In Ecuador the Ministerio de Inclusion Economica y Social released their Coronavirus Prevention Plan as a visual aid. The 7 point plan details the following advice:

1) Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and use alcohol or gel after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

2) Cover your face when coughing.

3) Avoid sharing drinks.

4) Avoid physical contact.

5) Maintain social disctance and good ventilation.

6) Use a face mask.

7) If you have Covid 19 symptoms seek medical advice as soon as possible.

https://www.inclusion.gob.ec/medidas-de-prevencion-ante-el-coronavirus/

Where are the Galapagos Islands located?

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands located in the Pacific Ocean spread across both sides of the Equator Line, 1000 km (605 miles) to the west of South America. The Islands are part of Ecuador, which is also the closest land mass to them.

Which time zone is the Galapagos Islands in?

The Galapagos Islands are GMT (-6hrs). Please note British summer time is GMT (+1hr).

How do I get to the Galapagos Islands?

To travel to the Galapagos, you will need to take a flight from mainland Ecuador. You can fly either from the capital city Quito or the coastal city of Guayaquil.

You will need a domestic flight to either Seymour Airport in Baltra (just north of Santa Cruz Island) or San Cristobal Airport using one of the following airlines: Tame, Avianca or LATAM. These all operate daily flights from Quito and Guayaquil with return flights costing around $400.

What is the official currency in Ecuador?

The US dollar has been the official currency since 2000. It is advisable to bring US dollars with you although there are a few ATM’s in Puerto Ayora and some restaurants, hotels and tour agencies on the 4 inhabited islands (Santa Cruz, Isabela, San Cristobal and Floreana) accept credit cards you might get charged up to 12% extra for the privilege.

Do I need to get vaccinations before visiting the Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands?

You do not need to get any vaccinations before visiting Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands on our experiences. If you plan to travel to other areas of Ecuador, especially in the jungle you may need get certain vaccinations and you should consult your doctor well in advance of your trip.

When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands are a great place to visit all year around as they lie on the equator line so the climate is subtropical. In terms of wildlife highlights, January is a great time to see nesting green turtles, with land birds and sea lions breeding or nesting between February and April and giant tortoises hatching between October and December.

There are only 2 seasons here, the warm season which runs from December to June and ‘the Garua’ season which runs from July to November.

During the warm season air temperatures can vary from the high 70’s F to the low 90’s F with up to 90% humidity and brilliant sunshine, this can be broken by periods of rain. The peak tourist season for southern hemisphere summer holidays is December to February so flights and accommodation are higher then.

The Garua season is cooler and more overcast with air temperatures rarely exceeding 75 F. The peak tourist season for northern hemisphere summer holidays is June to September so flights and accommodation are higher then.

Are there any restrictions to what we can bring into the Galapagos Islands?

Products, by-products and derivatives of animal and plant origin that are transported to the Galápagos province must comply with the general rules and specific requirements established by the Agencia de la Bioseguridad y Cuarantena para Galapagos (ABG).

Prohibited items include certain fruits like oranges, certain animal and dairy products.

Restricted items include fruits like peaches, some dried fruits and vegetables like garlic, seeds and plants and other animal and dairy products.

Permitted items include fruits like strawberries, certain seafood and dairy products and a number of herbs, spices, cereal and grains such as chick peas and rosemary.

We will send you the full list when you book your experience.

What are the rules for visiting the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve?

Which flora, fauna and wildlife will I see during my Galapagos experience?

Your booking link will display your itinerary in more detail including which flora, fauna and wildlife you are likely to see during your experience.

What are the group sizes on the Uniquely Galapagos experiences?

Our group sizes range from a minimum of 2 people for the tailor-made experiences to a maximum of 8 people for the small group experiences. This enables our guides in Ecuador and those specializing in the Galapagos to be able to manage our groups effectively and provide a more bespoke service to individuals when required.

Do I need to be fit to join any of the Uniquely Galapagos experiences?

You will need a good level of fitness for all of our experiences as they include hiking in sometimes hot weather as well as snorkeling (Galapagos) and a few early morning starts.

Do I need a visa to visit Ecuador?

No, all tourists receive a free 90 visa when they enter Ecuador.

Are there any charges for paying by credit or debit card?

The best way to pay to for your experience is by bank transfer. Bank transfers from Ecuadorian or UK bank accounts are free. Other international bank transfers will cost between 1% and 1.9%. Credit or Debit card payments will cost between 2.9% or 3.9%. Once you are ready to book your experience and you have confirmed the date of your experience to us, we will send you a payment link to complete your booking.

How much should I tip on my Uniquely Galapagos experience?

Tips are totally at your discretion but if you feel you received a great service from your guide then we recommend tipping $10 per day.

What should I pack for my Uniquely Galapagos experience(s)?

It all depends which experiences(s) you take as the biodiversity varies greatly from the Andes to the Amazon to the Galapagos. The below list should help you pack.
  • Swimwear
  • Sandals
  • Shorts
  • Long trousers (Andes and Amazon only)
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeved tops
  • Warm waterproof jacket (Andes and Amazon only)
  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Micro fleece/light jumper
  • Walking shoes (Andes and Amazon only)
  • Binoculars
  • Trainers
  • Camera
  • Personal medication
  • Sunscreen (waterproof SPF 30 Galapagos only)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Travel adapter
  • Insurance documentation
  • Passport
  • Money (US$ cash in small denominations)
  • Debit/Credit cards
  • Contact

    Address: 454 Charles Darwin Avenue & Tomas de Berlanga
    Puerto Ayora - Ecuador
    Telephone: +593 96 894 0773
    WhatsApp: ‬+44 773 984 0879
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Web: www.uniquelygalapagos.com