Frequently asked questions
What time zone is used in Galapagos?
Local time in Galapagos is GMT -6 (one hour less than Ecuador’s mainland). In our vessels we work with Ecuador’s mainland time.
How can I pay for the extra services?
Preferably, extra activities should be booked beforehand with Go Galapagos Ecuador. Payments can also be made, cash only, directly with the host family and they will issue you an invoice.
Sample day in your Galapagos cruise:
Wake up into new landscapes and be ready to see animals that you have only seen in books, dive or snorkel in the pristine ecosystems of the Pacific Ocean. Starting a new day in the Galapagos is living a day of adventure and unforgettable experiences.
How can I pay my expenses on board?
Upon arrival, an account will be opened for you. If you wish to pay with your credit card, we ask you to come to reception to sign a voucher and to make copies of your passport and credit card. Authorizations take about 48 hours, so please do this on your first cruise day.
We accept all major credit cards: Diners, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Euros* and U.S. Dollars are also accepted.
* Please ask for the exchange rate.
What kind of weather can I expect in Magdalena?
The average temperature is 57ºF (14ºC) during the morning and 47ºF (8ºC) at night. Winter goes from September to May and summer from June to August.
What would happen if I get seasick?
We have seasick medication on board all of our ships, but if you are particularly sensitive to it, you can bring your own medication and we recommend to take it at least 24 hours before the cruise starts.
Do I need a passport or visa to go to Ecuador?
Ecuador requires a passport with at least 6 months validity issued by the traveler’s country of residence. A visa is only required for visitors of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Cuba and Somalia. The traveler must also hold proof of return, or onward journey. We recommend all passengers to check with the respective authorities in their country before departure.
What kind of weather can we find in the Galapagos Islands?
Galapagos Weather: The Galapagos archipelago has a unique tropical nature in matters of weather. The influence that the marine currents create on the islands makes it unusually dry. There are two very different seasons that completely change the environment and landscape for six months each. Even though the pattern that the currents create is accurate, the weather behavior is unpredictable in the transition of the seasons and is completely changeable within a few hours. The warmest months are from December to June. January to March can be hot and humid, but also mostly green at this time. The months from July to November are cooler.
Do the people of the community speak English?
No, but the guide will be there to assist you. Also, there are radios in houses to communicate with each other.
What can I pack for the excursions?
For shore excursions, comfortable clothing is a must, preferably shorts, bathing suits, head covering, walking and tennis shoes, windbreaker type jacket, binoculars, a camera and plenty of extra memory cards.
Sunrays are very strong in the Galapagos Islands. Don`t forget to bring enough high grade sun block, and a wide brim hat. Also, put your cameras in self-sealing plastic bags to protect them from the water, especially during landings.
Do you provide shampoo and soap on board?
Yes, we supply all travelers with biodegradable shampoo and soap as part of our conservation policy, but if you want to bring your own please make sure they are biodegradable. Thank you!
What is the smoking policy on board the ship?
It is forbidden to smoke inside the cruises. Smoking is allowed ONLY on the sun decks.
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, water on board is purified. Ice used onboard is made with purified water as well Reusable bottles made out of recycled aluminum are available at the cabins You can refill your bottle during the cruise at our purifiers located at the main bar, pool bar restaurant and disembarking area. Bottles must always have to be returned to the ship after the activities on islands then you can take them home as a souvenir.
What is the check-in procedure at Quito or Guayaquil’s airport?
For passengers cruising on a Go Galapagos fleet, a complimentary round-trip shuttle will be provided to/from the airport of Quito or Guayaquil (only with Go Galapagos scheduled flights). If any other ticket to/from Galapagos is used, an operational, non-refundable fee of US$90 net per person must be charged to provide the shuttle and assistance. Go Galapagos is not responsible if passengers miss the cruise or other services due to independent arrangement delays.
If you have a private transfer service included, the day before departure, a member of our Operations Department will get in touch, to reconfirm your pick-up time at your hotel or the meeting time at the AVIANCA counter with one of our staff members.
Check-in time is 2 hours before departure.
If you come by yourself or with a guide, the first thing you must do as soon as you arrive at the airport is go through the luggage control with SICGAL, located 49 ft (15 m) from the main gate, at the National Terminal of Domestic Departures. For environmental reasons, your luggage will be checked for animals, seeds, plants, fruits, vegetables and any other item forbidden to take into the Galapagos Islands.
After, go to the counter of AVIANCA, where there will be a Go Galapagos Ecuador representative with your boarding pass, air tickets, taxes and all your travel documents; this representative will also help you check your luggage with the airline.
You will be given an identification tag for the cruise. Please wear it so you can be easily identified when you arrive at the airport in Galapagos.
Please do NOT get in line for the Galapagos Government Council-Transit Control Card; Go Galapagos Ecuador has your card already.
Is there Internet and telephone available?
Internet is available in two houses: “Girasoles” and “Cipreses”. Cellphones and cellphone signal are available in the community with an additional cost for its rent.
Galapagos Weather: The Galapagos archipelago has a unique tropical nature in matters of weather. The influence that the marine currents create on the islands makes it unusually dry. There are two very different seasons that completely change the environment and landscape during six months each. Even though the pattern that the currents create is accurate, the weather behavior is unpredictable in the transition of the seasons and is completely changeable within a few hours.
The warmest months are from December to June. January to March can be hot and humid, but also mostly green at this time. The months from July to November are cooler. The average year-round temperature is 76°F (24°C).
What should I bring on my trip?
Comfortable breathable clothes: shorts, T-shirts, swimsuits and good hiking shoes are required to walk over the lava rock paths. Personal medication, a good camera and plenty of memory cards or film, sun block, sunglasses, a wide brim hat and binoculars.
What to expect in Karanki Magdalena?
The Karanki project offers cultural interaction where you will share with an indigenous group in their daily life. You will be accommodated in one of the houses of the community, enjoy their food and learn about their culture, traditions, and lifestyle. The families have been trained in cooking & service, so this becomes a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
What are the tipping suggestions?
Tipping is a very personal and optional matter. If you feel you have been given excellent service, you may express your gratitude by giving tips, as suggested below:
Restaurants and coffee shops 10% of the bill
Hotel / airport portage US$1 p/suitcase
Guides on mainland Ecuador US$10 per day, p/p
Driver on mainland Ecuador US$ 8 per day, p/p
What kind of clothes should I wear for the Pacific Coast?
Ecuadorian beaches are “nature seeking” experiences and include long walks, swimming, and other physical activities. Therefore, we advise you to bring comfortable breathable clothes, sandals or similar, swimsuits, sunscreen, insect repellent, wide-brim hat, sunglasses, binoculars, eye drops. Evening gowns and accessories are not necessary. During the night, casual attire is advised.
What is the electrical outlet and service?
110 / 220 volts. European and American outlets are available on our cruise fleet. In the M/Y Coral I and M/Y Coral II the frequency is 60 Hz and in the M/V Galapagos Legend Is 50 Hz.
Do we need to bring our own towels?
No you don’t. For your convenience we provide bath and beach towels during your cruise.
Is Internet access available aboard our cruise fleet?
Satellite Internet is available on the M/V Galapagos Legend: Internet plans available. Plans to be requested.
When is the best time to go to Ecuador?
Since Ecuador is located on the Equator, there are not defined seasons. This means travelers can visit Ecuador any time of the year. Ecuadorians will often tell you that you should expect all four seasons of the year every single day. Although, there is a slightly wetter and dryer season, these variations are unpredictable and change depending on where you are in Ecuador.
Does the guide accompany us on each island?
Yes. By law, all Galapagos cruises are guided by a National Park – certified guide. The night before the cruise the guide gives an informative lecture of the next day’s itinerary. During this meeting he/she will describe the flora, fauna, and type of terrain that passengers may observe on the island. Questions about biological, geological and human history are always welcome.
Is there a hospital or medical assistance nearby?
There are clinics and a hospital in Ibarra 9.94 mi (16 km) away (30 min) working 24 hours.
Are there any luggages restrictions?
The airline that operates to Galapagos, allows one piece of luggage per person, of no more than 20 kg (about 44 lb) and a carry-on bag of 7 kg p/p.
We recommend you to take a soft sided bag as it will be easier to store in your cabin. Please lock your luggage during the flight.
What’s the procedure if I prepaid the Galapagos National Park Tax?
Upon arrival at the airport, you will have to pass control and show your passport. Control has a list of the passengers who have already paid the Galapagos National Park tax; if there’s a sticker on your Go Galapagos’ ticket jacket, it means that you have prepaid this tax; otherwise you will need to pay it at that moment.
Is there any physical requirement for the cruise?
We recommend passengers to be in reasonably good physical condition as some trails may be difficult. Therefore, elderly or disabled persons may find them too demanding and must notify Go Galapagos Ecuador about their physical condition in order to make the necessary arrangements. Go Galapagos Ecuador reserves the right to decline a passenger if anyone fails to inform of any physical disability, or who, under company´s discretion, constitutes a danger to themselves, other guests, crew members, or the operation of the vessel.
What if I have allergies or require special diet on bord?
In both cruises, meals are varied depending on food preferences of the guests, which are informed beforehand by your agency. Go Galapagos-KleinTours will do I very best to meet reasonable special dietary need keeping in mind Galapagos provision restrictions.
What kind of clothes should I wear for the highlands?
For Quito and other highland cities, wear comfortable springtime clothing during the day and a sweater or coat in the evening. For the outlying highlands and high Andean moorlands (paramo), warm, winter clothing is essential. Dressing in layers is ideal. Afternoons might be rainy; therefore we suggest an umbrella.
Who will meet me at the airport in Galapagos?
Upon arrival at the airport, our guides will be waiting for you with a sign indicating your ship or yacht. They will receive the passengers, check them on the list to see nobody is left behind and proceed to take them in the airlines’ bus to the dock where the vessel is anchored.
Are there any language restrictions?
We can guarantee both English and Spanish tourist guides. If you require a guide in a language other than English, you should let us know in advance since an extra fee may apply in order to hire this service.
What is the schedule for meals on board?
On board the M/V Galapagos Legend, breakfast is served from 7:00 to 8:00, lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 19:00. On your last day, breakfast will be at 6:30 so we can have enough time for our last excursion before going off to the airport.
On board the Corals, breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30 except on Sunday, when it is served at 6:00, and Wednesday at 7:00; lunch is at 12:30 and dinner at 19:30, except on Monday and Saturday when it will be served at 18:30.
Meals are gourmet, healthy, low on fat, with vegetarian options; they also include traditional dishes of local cuisine.
What kind of clothes should I take to the Amazon rainforest?
For your Amazon or other rainforest explorations, you may prefer a long-sleeved shirt and long pants for protection against mosquitoes. Insect repellent, sunscreen, a hat and eye-drops must be part of your traveling equipment, especially if you are sensitive to the sun. A camera, binoculars and a flashlight are necessary for sightseeing, as well as a waterproof jacket, rubber shoes and swimwear.