Galapagos Travel Tips
Mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are on two different time zones. Time on the mainland is Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5). Time in the Galapagos Islands is Central Standard Time (GMT-6). Ecuador does not adjust for daylight savings time.
110v60hz. Standard American plug
Packing for the Galapagos
- Sun Hat with wide brim
- Small backpack
- Shorts (2
- T-shirts or Tank Tops (3)
- Light Pants (2
- Sweater (1)
- Windbreaker (1)
- Rain Jacket or Poncho (1)
- Walking Shoes with good traction (1 pair)
- Tevas or similar sandals (1 pair)
- Sunglasses with strap
- Bathing Suits
- Camera, spare batteries and film
- Favorite CD's, DVD's
- Valid Passport
- Copy of Passport with the Photo ID page and Ecuador entry stamp
- Airline Tickets
- Emergency Contact Numbers
- Traveler's Checks Paperwork
- Copy of travel insurance policy
We recommend carrying a copy of your passport rather than the actual passport. You will need to bring your passport with you for entrance into the Galapagos National Park.
Ecuador welcomes visitors for stays up to 90 days with a passport valid through the duration of their stay. No visas are necessary.
- Traveler's Checks
- Credit Cards
- $10 US for Control Visitor Card
- $100 US for Galapagos Park Fee
- $27.15 USD in Guayaqquil and $40.80 USD in Quito for Departure Tax
- Collection of Small Bills for Tips and Miscellaneous Items
The United States Dollar is the official currency of Ecuador. When traveling, it is wise to make sure you bring a selection of small bills (for tipping). It is also a good idea to carry an amount of change with you since coins can be difficult to come by, and if you do not have the coins needed, the bill is frequently rounded up to the next dollar amount. You may use US coins in Ecuador.
Credit Cards, including American Express, Diner's Club, Visa and Master Card, are accepted in larger businesses. Visa and Master Card are considered different cards and are not accepted interchangeably. Master Card is the more frequently accepted of the two.
Some businesses add a processing fee to transactions paid by credit card. It is best to ask if your card is accepted and the total amount of the transaction before making a purchase. The same follows with Traveler's Checks. We strongly recommend American Express Traveler's Checks as you will be able to cash these in most of the country. Visa Traveler's Checks are only accepted in a few locations.
Personal Care & First Aid Kits
There is little control of drugs sold through South American pharmacies. Drugs are available without prescription. It is important to check expiration dates and dosage of any drugs you may purchase.
Selections at pharmacies in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are not generally as extensive as at home and are frequently more expensive than at home. You may want to carry some basic first aid items with you. As with any medication, you should first consult your physician before taking.
- Personal Prescription Medicines with copy of the prescription
- 10 Cotton Buds
- 10 Adhesive Bandages
- 1 Pair Tweezers
- 1 Tube Tincture of Benzene
- Extra Strength Tylenol or Ibuprofen
- 1 Package Antiseptic Towelettes
- Antibacterial Hand Gel or Wipes
- 1 Tube Double Antibiotic Ointment
- 2 Butterfly Closure Strips
- Imodium or other anti-diarrhea medicine
- Selection 4 x 4, 3 x 3 or 2 x 2 Bandages
- 1 Roll Adhesive Tape
- Non-adhering Sterile Dressing
- Sea Sickness medication
Personal Care Items
- Hair Care Items
- Sun Lotion (Minimum SPF 15)
- Lip Balm with sunscreen
- Feminine Hygiene Products (as needed)
Everyone's health needs are a little different; children have different requirements than pregnant women, people with high blood pressure have different needs than people with severe allergies. The best way to prevent becoming sick while overseas is to discuss your medical needs with your personal physician. Your doctor will be able to advise you as to any suggested immunizations based on your travel plans and own medical history.
While no shots are required for travel to the Galapagos Islands, you should consult with your physician 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to discuss health precautions you may wish to take.
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG) (Hepatitis A is water and food born)
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing areas in this region
- Yellow fever vaccination, if you will be traveling to the jungle
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles
- Malaria tablets if you will be traveling to the jungle or the mainland coast
- Rabies, if you are traveling to farms in the Andean highlands
Due to the high elevations, if you are flying in or out of Quito (9,000 ft/3,000 m) in conjunction with your trip, and have high blood pressure or heart conditions, you should check with your doctor as to medical precautions before traveling. Those people who should avoid high elevations may prefer flying in and out of the port city of Guayaquil rather than Quito.
Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Many hospitals do not accept credit cards. Medical insurance is not always valid outside the country where you reside. Medicare and Medicaid do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. Many countries' national health care often does not provide for medical service abroad or in South America.
It is wise to check with your health care provider prior to traveling as to coverage overseas. If you are not fully protected, you should purchase traveler's insurance (supplemental insurance). Provision for medical evacuation has proven useful in emergencies. The cost of the insurance is minimal when compared to the thousands of dollars in expense you may incur if you do become ill or injured.
Should you become ill or injured, travel insurance offers a variety of coverage including medical expenses while overseas, evacuation to the nearest hospital (or home), and reimbursement for portions of the tour missed.
At the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge, we do offer wireless internet service. Whether you want to call someone in Ecuador or want to call home while away, we are available to assist you with the easiest and least expensive ways to make your calls.
Calling to Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands
The international dialing code to call Ecuador is (593). Each city or province has its own code. For example, the city of Quito is (02) and Galapagos numbers have a city code of (05).
To dial Ecuador from outside the country, you would use the 593 country code and the city code without the (0).
For example from the United States or Canada to Quito, Ecuador you would dial using the international access number: 011-(593)-(2) and the 7 digit number you are calling
*When dialing within the country, dial the entire city code (02) plus the 7-digit number.