Galapagos: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

Galapagos: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Galapagos


Quito, the capital of Ecuador and gateway to the Galápagos, sits at 9,350 feet, making it the second-highest capital city in the world. The city boasts the best-preserved historic center in Latin America, as well as the famous site known as 'la mitad del mundo' (the middle of the world) which marks the rough location of the equator. Six hundred miles from the Ecuadorian coastline are the Galápagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to a plethora of endemic plant and animal species. The island's beauty and mystery captivated early explorers and scientists for centuries - famously known for inspiring Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Stand face-to-face with blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, and sharks as you experience the out-of-this-world landscapes.

Itinerary disclaimer: Don't forget the Galapagos is a remote island and the accommodation might be a little rustic - that is all part of the experience!


Capital City: Quito

Galapagos Population: 25,000

Currency: U.S. Dollars

Time Zone: GMT-6

Emergency Number: 911

Outlet: Type A/B


Packing List

Speak the Language

The official language of Ecuador (and therefore Galapagos) is Spanish. However, English is widely spoken and understood at hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.


  • Hello - ¡Hola! (O-la)
  • Goodbye - ¡Adios! (AH-dee-ohs)
  • Thank you - Gracias (GRA-see-as)
  • Do you speak English? - ¿Habla inglés? (Ab-la in-GLAYS)
  • I (don’t) understand - Yo (no) entiendo (yo no en-tee-EN-doh)
  • How are you? - ¿Cómo está? (KOH-moh eh-STAH)
  • I’m fine, thank you - Bien, gracias (bee-EN, GRA-see-as)
  • What’s your name? -  Cómo te llamas? ((KOH-moh te ya-mas?))
  • My name is… - Me llamo… (May ya-moh… )
  • Where is... -  ¿Dónde está… (DON-day es-tah...)

- The bathroom - el baño (el BAH-nyo)

- An ATM - un cajero (un kah-HEH-roh)


Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 





Fun Facts

  • The Galápagos is the 1st UNESCO World Heritage site in the world. Ecuador also boasts the world's 2nd, its capital, Quito.
  • Since the islands are situated on either side of the equator, there is infinite summer. Because of its location, straddling north and south, the Galápagos is the only place in the world where you can find wild penguins in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • There is a lack of predators on the Galápagos islands so wildlife lives without fear of human interaction. The Galápagos National Park, however, enforces strict rules for human interaction to protect the animals and their habitat.
  • The Galápagos contains most of the world’s reptile, mammal, and bird species, with approximately 97% of the reptiles and mammals and 80% of the land birds. They also have 30% of the world’s plant species.
  • Charles Darwin largely based and found evidence for his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection in the Galápagos through his observations of the humble finch, also known as Darwin's Finches. Darwin's Finches are considered to be the world's fastest-evolving vertebrae, adapting to the closed and rapidly changing ecosystems of each island that he found each finch.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $8-10 per person/per day
Drivers USD $3-4 per person/per day
Restaurants (full service)  USD $10% of total bill



Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling 


Is the water safe to drink? Tap water is not safe for foreigners to drink. Purified, boiled, and bottled water is suggested for drinking.


Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.


What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here. 


Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner,, or from a provider of your choice.


How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.


What does public transportation look like? There are many ways to get around the island whether by bike, bus, or taxi. However, there are some areas where tourists are not allowed without a Guide.


Is Uber or Lyft available? Uber is available in Quito.


What about Wifi? Being that you are on an island, keep in mind wifi will be spotty in some areas.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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