You’ve booked your cruise, bought your plane tickets, and hired a dog sitter for your vacation. With all of the big things crossed off your list, it’s time to start packing for the Galapagos Islands!
But what should you pack for your trip to the Galapagos with Ecoventura? We are here to help!
The Galapagos Islands are a wonderful travel destination to visit year-round because the temperature does not vary drastically. However, there are two seasons with subtle changes that affect the weather and likely some of your packing choices.
Between January and June, the islands experience a warm/wet season characterized by warmer temperatures and some daily afternoon rain showers that disappear quickly. The dry season is from July to December and is characterized by a drop in water temperatures, less precipitation around the shoreline, and more cloud cover.
What does this mean for your packing list? It is best to pack for any weather so a rainstorm or breezy morning doesn’t dampen your fun. In the warm season, expect more rain and for the sun to be stronger so remember your head covering, a buff or scarf and extra sunblock. In the dry season, bring a light windbreaker for cooler mornings but you will still need a poncho especially in the highlands which see more rain this time of year.
Casual, comfortable, and functional are most important for clothing choices on this trip. Keep in mind that lightweight material that breathes and drys quickly is going to be ideal for your daily adventures with us. Choose light muted colors to stay cool in the strong sun and avoid bright colors that might attract insects. You aren’t expected to dress up for dinner but some guests prefer to bring a slightly dressier option for the dining room.
- 2-3 short sleeve shirts
- 1-2 long sleeve shirts – This is the greatest sun-protection from the hot sun so consider one with sun protection
- A sweatshirt or light fleece vest – especially useful for mornings from July-November
- Lightweight waterproof windbreaker/rain jacket/poncho with a hood – especially during the rainy season
- 1-2 pairs of lightweight long pants
- 2-3 pairs of shorts
- Breathable socks
- 2 bathing suits – one can dry while you are snorkeling in the other
- Wide-brimmed hat for sun protection – Bring a hat with a strap in case of wind.
- A buff or bandanna can also provide sun protection for your neck.
Each day you will board a Zodiac (panga) for a short ride to the island you are visiting. Our crew will let you know in advance to expect a wet or dry landing. Keep this in mind when planning your shoes for the day! Also, make sure that you bring shoes that already worn in to avoid blisters and uncomfortable feet.
- Light hiking boots or walking shoes – Each day brings more exploration of the islands by foot. Though not overly strenuous, trails can have loose rocks and uneven terrain so plan for your specific walking needs
- A pair of rubber-soled shoes, sandals or flip flops to wear on the deck
- Sports sandals/water shoes with a sturdy strap such as Tevas or Keens especially for wet landings
- Small back pack to carry gear while on excursions. Waterproof is best in case of a sudden rain shower!
- Camera/video camera/chargers – You are sure to capture some amazing photos of wildlife here so don’t forget extra memory cards! Waterproof bags are highly suggested to protect your equipment. Photographers should consider what equipment is necessary for the perfect shot
- Underwater camera – If you have one, an underwater camera is great for photos of wildlife while snorkeling!
- Reusable water bottle – It’s important to stay hydrated while exploring in the heat. We do offer collapsible water bottles or you can bring your own.
- A small pair of binoculars – There will be plenty of wildlife to see up close but these are useful for spying far off birds or marine mammals from the yacht.
- Sunglasses – Bring a pair with a strap since it can be windy here and you will be getting in and out of the pangas daily.
And don’t forget…
- A passport – Your passport must be valid for 6 months AFTER departure from Ecuador.
- A visa is not required for most countries – check this when you book with your local Ecuadorian consulate.
- Medical insurance ID card or policy with your passport name on it. This is a new requirement and you may be asked to show proof when you enter Ecuador starting May 1 2018.
- Day of departure information provided by Ecoventura
- Cash and credit cards – Visa and Mastercard are typically accepted. The local currency is US Dollars
- Personal medication & health devices
- Medication for seasickness – just in case!
- Sunscreen – A must have! We suggest waterproof with at least SPF 30 and bio-degradable if you can find it. The sun is stronger here near the equator so don’t forget to reapply!
- Toiletries – Make sure to remove all packaging prior to your trip and do not dispose of them in the Galapagos. To help care for our ecosystem, we provide biodegradable shampoo and conditioner in all of our cabins and suggest you also bring biodegradable personal care products
We provide all snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins and 3mm full wet suits), beach towels, and hair dryers, so no need to bring your own. Electrical outlets in Ecuador and on every vessel are the same as in the United States, so you might need an adapter depending on your home country.
If you fit all of those things and STILL have room left in your suitcase, consider participating in Pack for a Purpose! Together we can supply children of the Galapagos with much-needed items that take up a small space and can make a big impact.
If you still have packing questions or if you are ready to plan your Galapagos cruise with us, please reach out to our team for assistance!