Galapagos travel tips are useful when planning a getaway to this South American destination, and most important, they can help travelers have the best Galapagos Islands trips possible within their preferences and time frames. As the islands comprise one of the most unique tourist destinations in the world, planning ahead for your trip is the key to seeing everything that you wish to see in the Galapagos Islands.
One of the most important Galapagos travel tips to follow is to decide beforehand what your priorities will be when visiting the Galapagos Islands. As many of the islands are quite isolated, you will be spending much of your time on the boat, and you will not want to waste any time once on land. If you are an avid diver and your priority is getting in as much scuba diving as possible, you may want to book one of the scuba diving Galapagos itineraries that stop at Wolf and Darwin Islands, as well as San Cristobal, North Seymour, and other prominent diving destinations. Don't worry if you want an equal mix of the sea and the land, however, as many other Galapagos itineraries include time to snorkel and dive as well as time exploring the land.
Another thing to consider when booking Galapagos itineraries is the length of time you're planning to stay. Obviously, a longer fifteen-day tour will allow you to see much more of the Galapagos wildlife than a five- to six-day boat tour. Generally speaking, the best Galapagos Islands trips take at least a week to allow travelers to see a satisfactory amount of flora and fauna. Most tours will include stops on Santa Cruz, Espanola, Isabela, and other islands depending on your preference. If you are planning to stay for an extended period of time, you may wish to have your base on land, and take day trips out to see the Galapagos attractions. This is an especially appealing option if you suffer from seasickness. You will also want to consider what level of Galapagos tours and accommodation you want, from Galapagos luxury cruises to the more basic tourist options. The best Galapagos Islands trips happen when you are well-rested at night, well-fed and fit to do all the exploring you want, so don't stint too much on your tour and accommodations.
Other important Galapagos travel tips include bringing good walking shoes and rain gear. You will be doing a lot of walking, and some of the trails are rougher than others, while rainy weather is a possibility on most days in the Galapagos. If you intend to go snorkeling, bringing your own gear is a more sanitary and hygienic option, rather than sharing the snorkeling equipment provided on the boat cruise. Weather in the Galapagos is generally mild and warm year-round, but bring some warmer clothing in case it gets cold over the water. You'll also need to bring a large supply of sunscreen and a good hat, as the equatorial sun can be blazing at times. You may want to bring a good camera and binoculars for bird-watching, but other than that, leave valuables at home.
If you're going to spend most of your time on a boat cruise, likely most of your accommodation and meals will already be included in the price. For small purchases, or if you're arranging your own trip, you'll want a supply of US cash, which is accepted throughout Ecuador.