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Why the Galapagos?

Why should you visit Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands? The answer is very simple: Ecuador is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And, for a country this small, it certainly has every topographical experience and climate imaginable. From the gorgeous Pacific coastline in the west, through the vibrant cloud and rainforests of the Chocó bioregion just inland, along the soaring snowcapped Andes mountains that run latitudinally through the center and the surrounding highlands, to the lush Amazon region that expands along the nation’s eastern border with neighboring Peru; a visit to Ecuador is an experience like no other. We haven’t even mentioned the amazing Galapagos Islands—the famed archipelago that sits about 600 mi (1000 km).

Image by Amy Perez
Image by Andy Brunner

Budget Yachts



  1. Decide the time of your trip early. It’s never a bad time to travel to the Galapagos. This archipelago is a wonderful destination to visit anytime of the year. But, the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands really boils down to your personal preferences. 

  2. Book your trip early. In general, it is best to book a Galapagos package between six months and one year in advance. If you have a specific itinerary, ship, hotel, or room category in mind, the further in advance you book, the better.

  3. Research before you go. Research the history and wildlife of the islands before traveling. This will help you determine where you want to go and what you want to see ahead of time!

  4. Choose between a cruise or hotel. You cannot go wrong in choosing between a cruise or a land package. Check out our post comparing cruises and land tours of the Galapagos to help you decide which is best for you.

  5. Pack light. If you are heading on a cruise, pack only the essentials. Storage space is limited in most cruise cabins. All cruises and hotels have masks, flippers, and wetsuits for rent, so leave your snorkel equipment behind. 

  6. Bring comfortable clothes. The Galapagos are a relaxed place to explore nature. Pack for the occasion and leave the formal attire at home. Check out our full

  7. Prepare for seasickness. Whether you are staying on a cruise or in a hotel, bring a motion sickness remedy to help with seasickness. Even those sleeping on land must travel by boat to explore other islands.

  8. Respect the wildlife. One of the most important Galapagos travel tips is to respect the animals and their natural habitat while visiting. Keep your distance, don’t use your camera’s flash, and do not touch or feed the wildlife.

  9. Stay hydrated. All Galapagos hotels and cruises offer filtered water to their guests. Avoid plastic and bring a reusable bottle to fill up and take with you on each tour.

  10. Protect your skin. As the Galapagos Islands sit on the equator, the risk of sunburn is high. Be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and lightweight, long sleeve clothes to protect your skin.

  11. Prepare for limited internet. As a rather remote destination, the Galapagos is predominately off the grid. Prepare for limited internet access while visiting.

  12. Follow the official rules. The Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) created a list of 14 official park rules for all travelers to abide by. The most important of these are to stay with your guide, walk on marked trails and leave no trace on the islands.

  13. Explore the water. Take advantage of the water activities during your Galapagos travel. Underwater exploration presents unforgettable opportunities to swim with an abundance of marine wildlife, including whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish, as well as friendly sea lions!

  14. Watch your step. Even though there are designated paths, this generally does not stop the animals from passing through or sometimes resting along the trail. Also, keep an eye out for uneven terrain and be sure to hold on tight when stepping on or off the dinghy.

  15. Be alert. A Galapagos trip is all about wildlife! Keep your eyes (and ears) open for a chance at spotting some incredible, unique creatures. Have your cameras ready in case the perfect shot presents itself.


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