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How to Plan a Trip to Galapagos Islands: Frequently Asked Questions

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Sea lion diving just under the water's surface in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Sea lion under the water's surface in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

With striking ecological diversity, the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands immerses you in the remote wonders of wildlife reserves or shimmering volcanic beaches. From hiking to snorkeling, sharks, birdwatching, iguanas and sea lions, the Galapagos are a destination of natural charm and endless wonder.

Open now to American travelers, vaccinated travelers are welcome to both mainland Ecuador and to the Galapagos Islands.

Indulge in the islands’ secluded variety and vibrant life, while embracing the ambiance of the islands. With the following information, based on the most frequently asked questions about a Galapagos trip from travelers, we can help you plan your perfect vacation.

Can I travel to Galapagos this year?

Last reviewed: September 15, 2021

Ecuador and the Galapagos are open to American travelers. Travelers must arrive to Ecuador with a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Unvaccinated travelers over age 16 may not travel to Galapagos, unvaccinated children ages 2-16 must provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival to travel to the islands.

Entry requirements are subject to change and your Zicasso travel specialist can provide updated information at the time of your inquiry.

Related: Countries Open to American Travelers | How to Plan Your Trip to the Galapagos

How far in advance should I plan a Galapagos vacation?

Your perfect Galapagos trip will depend on booking your accommodations or cruise to the islands early. The Galapagos is a popular destination and high demand combined with postponed trips from 2020 may limit the availability of accommodations, transportation and guides.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, we suggested travelers to the Galapagos book their trip approximately six months to one year in advance when traveling during peak season, especially due to limited space on cruises and the islands. We currently recommend planning and reserving your trip 12+ months in advance.

Last-minute planning for 2021 and early 2022 is possible and your Zicasso travel specialist can ensure you have an exceptional experience.

Related: Best Time to Visit - Galapagos

How do I plan my trip to the Galapagos Islands?

Ecuador and the Galapagos have reopened to travelers from the United States and around the world. It is easy to book your next trip through Zicasso for travel in 2021 or 2022. Every new journey can inspire plenty of questions based on unknown circumstances that are enhanced with the realities of traveling after Covid-19. A travel specialist can easily answer any questions regarding your Ecuador and Galapagos trip.

“Do I have to wear a mask on a Galapagos cruise?” “Do I have to wear a mask when walking an island trail?” “How will I travel between islands?” Are domestic flights available?” “Do I need a negative Covid-19 test before returning home and how can I get one?” Your travel expert can answer these questions and more before you book your trip. A travel specialist can also help handle possible emergencies that may arise during your trip — from a change in accommodations to an adjustment in transportation.

Related: How to Plan Your Trip in 3 Easy Steps | How to Plan Your Trip Budget

What should I do on my trip to the Galapagos Islands?

Alongside our Galapagos travel specialists, we have created a list of our favorite highlights. Below is a short list of must-see destinations, with various experiences you can enjoy while traveling through Ecuador.

Quito | Santa Cruz | San Cristobal | Floreana | Isabela Island | Santiago | The Amazon

  • Explore the national landmark that stands on the equator and represents the unique variety of cultures
  • Revel in the colonial Old Town as it hums with cafes, galleries, and traditional artisans
  • Discover vendors who hide in narrow alleys and help maintain the historic ambiance
  • Visit the lookout towers above the southside of Quito where you can take in a luminous statue of the Madonna
  • Visit the impressive underground tunnels that represent over half a mile of solidified molten-lava flow
  • Enjoy the private wildlife reserve that immerses visitors in the wonders of local biodiversity
  • Experience the marvelous landscape of Las Tintoreras Islet as it rises out of the turquoise water

Related: Top 8 Things to Do - Galapagos | Top 7 Must-See Destinations - Galapagos

What is the best time to visit the Galapagos?

The best time to visit the Galapagos is between December and May. Winter and spring provide more pleasant conditions to discover the wildlife with active tours, such as hiking or kayaking. These months also represent better sea conditions for those who want to take a cruise.

The climate may vary depending on the season, but while the temperatures may not change drastically, the season can range from cool and dry to warm and wet.

Related: Best Time to Visit the Galapagos

Which airports should I be looking at?

There are no direct flights to the Galapagos. The majority of flights depart from Quito or Guayaquil and arrive at San Cristobal Airport (SCY). The Galapagos Islands have two airports:

  • San Cristobal Airport (SCY)
  • Seymour Airport Baltra (GPS)

Can Zicasso help me with flights?

Zicasso Flights is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation. By employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso, our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 service and support, and complimentary consultation of routing versus pricing with an expert flight specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Does Zicasso assist with travel insurance?

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

Ready to Visit the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are an inspiring vision of the natural world. With a near-mythical reputation, the natural beauty can unveil the charm of blue-footed boobies or the marvels of ancient tortoises, with each new perspective immersing you in a new idea of the splendor and progress of nature. Our sample Galapagos Islands Tours & Vacations itineraries can have plenty of inspiration for your trip and you can find helpful hints and insights with Zicasso’s Galapagos Travel Guide. Speak with a Galapagos travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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