Typical 7-night itinerary,
Map: Quasar Expeditions. Luxury Galapagos Cruises.
The climate of the Galapagos Islands is subtropical; even though these islands are located around the Equator, the climate is far from being excessively hot. It is regulated by the cold "Humboldt" current and the warm "El Niño" current, creating microclimates on the islands influencing the particular flora and fauna habitats found on each island.
The weather varies from season to season. June through December is known as the dry (garua) season. The strong Antarctic Humboldt Current, coming from the south, affects the climate at this time of year. When the winds blow in a northwestern direction, the islands are bathed in cool waters, cooling the air and creating unusually cold conditions for equatorial islands.
From the end of December through May is considered the "hot" or "wet" season. The southeast trade winds diminish in strength and warmer water from "El Niño" current flow through the islands. During this season, the Galapagos' climate is more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies. Also, the ocean temperature is warmer for swimming and snorkeling.
What to bring
In brief, guests should bring summer
clothing, with a jacket or sweater, in a soft bag for easy stowage.
Also essential are comfortable walking shoes, sandals, a hat,
bathing suit, sun protection lotion, insect repellent, binoculars,
a camera and plenty of film.
It's always a good idea to travel light
by bringing only what you need for your trip. Keep in mind that
flights to and from the Galapagos limit you to a maximum of 20
kg or 44 lbs. This allowance should be more than enough for what
you will need to bring. Any excess items, including dressier attire
for your nights out in Quito, can be left at your hotel there.
Small, waterproof backpack
Sneakers with rubber soles
and short-sleeved shirts
Toilette kit with biodegradable shampoo
Camera and camcorder
Extra film or
Extra batteries (US-standard electrical
current and outlets are available for recharging)
medicine you may be taking
Motion sickness medication
for those not accustomed to boating.
TheraNeem Leaf & Oil Herbal Outdoor Spray by Organix South, Inc.
and similar natural products are recommended.
walking stick, if you think you might have difficulty keeping
your balance on rocky trails.
The book you've
been meaning to read for so long or the Voyage of the Beagle
by Charles Darwin.
Questions & answers
Q: Where are the Galapagos Islands?
The Galapagos Islands (or Archipelago de Colon) is a Province
of Ecuador located 600 miles (1000 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian
coast. They lie directly on the equator.
Q: How do we get there?
From North America and Europe, there are daily flights to Quito
and Guayaquil, Ecuador. From those cities, there are departures
each morning to the Galapagos islands of Baltra and San Cristóbal.
Q: May we fly to the Galapagos from
Quito and just back to Guayaquil (or vice versa)?
we would be able to arrange that for you.
Q: What is included in the rate for
rate includes accommodations and all meals aboard the boat, island
sightseeing, all guide and lecture services, transfers in the
islands and between the airport and yacht in Galapagos.
Q: What is not included?
entrance fee into the Galapagos National Park ($100 per person),
tips (it is customary to tip the guide and crew), soft drinks,
alcoholic beverages and any other items not specifically mentioned
as being included. There is also a $25 departure tax from Ecuador
on all international flights. It must be paid directly by the
passenger at the airport.
Q: How much should we tip the guide
are per group of two people, not per person. A good tip
is $10 per day to your guide and $20 per day to the crew (including
the chef). Any tip should be given at the end of the cruise.
Q: What level of naturalist guide
will be aboard the boat and do they speak English?
of the boats we use employ highly experienced and qualified level
III naturalist guides who are fluent in English (and often in
other languages as well).
Q: Will there be time for snorkeling?
is plenty of time for snorkeling for those who are interested.
Q: Is there a rental charge for snorkeling
gear is available on each yacht for a moderate rental fee, which
must be paid directly by the guest. However, for the best fit,
we recommend that you bring your own mask and snorkel.
Q: Is a wetsuit necessary for snorkeling?
wetsuit makes it more pleasant to swim in the cool water during
the months of June through November but isn't needed from December
through May. For snorkeling in the Galapagos, a 3 mm "shortie"
(which covers only the torso) is advisable. For the best fit,
bring your own. Otherwise, ask us to reserve one for you. Provide
your height, weight and clothing size (small, medium, medium-large,
large, X-large, XX-large or XXX-large). There is a moderate deposit
and rental fee, which must be paid directly by the guest.
Reference for experienced snorkelers:
Fareneheit water temperatures are January:
71 - 74, February: 72 - 75, March: 71 - 74, April: 70 - 75, May:
69 - 74, June: 65 - 73, July: 63 - 70, August: 62 - 66, September:
59 - 67, October: 62 - 70, November: 65 - 71 and December: 66
Celsius water temperatures are January:
22 - 23, February: 22 - 24, March: 22 - 23, April: 21 - 24, May:
21 - 23, June: 18 - 23, July: 17 - 21, August: 17 - 19, September:
15 - 19, October: 17 - 21, November: 18 - 22 and December: 19
Q: How much luggage can I bring to
baggage allowance is 20 kilos (44 pounds) per person. In addition,
each passenger is allowed a carry-on and a camera. Any excess
weight will be billed additionally by the airline at about $4
per kilo ($2 per pound). If you are returning to Quito, you can
avoid such fees by leaving extra baggage at your hotel.
Q: Will we have to exchange any money
before we travel to Ecuador or once in the country?
if you have US dollars. Ecuador has adopted the US dollar as
its nationals currency.
Q: We were supposed to have one large
bed, but there are two small ones in our cabin. What should we
yacht operators join two smaller beds together to create one
larger bed. If that hasn't been done in your cabin, please inform
any member of the crew.
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