10 Things to Know Before Visiting the Galapagos Islands

December 23, 2022

The Galapagos Islands are a must-see destination for any nature lover or adventure seeker. Located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, these islands are home to an incredible array of unique and diverse wildlife, from giant tortoises and marine iguanas to Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants. However, you should know a few things before visiting the Galapagos Islands to make the most of your trip.

  1. Plan ahead. The Galapagos Islands are a popular destination, and booking your trip well in advance is best to secure your spot. This is especially true during the peak tourist season, which runs from June to August and December to January.
  2. Pack light. The Galapagos Islands can get quite hot and humid, so it's best to pack lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes. Remember also to bring sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent.
  3. Be prepared for the weather. The climate of the Galapagos Islands is tropical and dry, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit year-round. The islands receive very little rainfall, and the dry season runs from June to December. The wet season runs from January to May, and this is when the islands receive the majority of their rainfall.
  4. Respect the wildlife. The Galapagos Islands are home to a variety of unique and fragile ecosystems, and it's important to respect the wildlife and their habitats. This means not feeding the animals, staying on designated paths, and not disturbing the natural environment.
  5. Know the rules. The Galapagos Islands are a protected national park, and there are strict rules in place to protect the islands' ecosystems. It's important to familiarize yourself with these rules before visiting, and to follow them at all times.
  6. Choose your tour carefully. There are many different tour operators offering trips to the Galapagos Islands, and it's important to choose one that is reputable and follows sustainable tourism practices. Look for companies that are certified by the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism.
  7. Get vaccinated. Some parts of the Galapagos Islands may require certain vaccinations, such as yellow fever and typhoid. It's important to check with your doctor and make sure you are up to date on all necessary vaccinations before visiting.
  8. Learn some Spanish. While many people on the islands speak English, it's always helpful to know some basic Spanish phrases. This will not only help you communicate with locals, but it will also show respect for the country and its culture.
  9. Bring cash. While some places on the Galapagos Islands accept credit cards, having some cash on hand is always a good idea. Some places on the islands also accept cash, so it's best to be prepared.
  10. Leave a positive impact. The Galapagos Islands are a special and fragile place, and it's important to do your part to preserve them for future generations. This means being respectful of the environment, supporting sustainable tourism practices, and leaving no trace of your visit.