Barefoot Expeditions: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Peru Travel Adventures

Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

What do I need to bring for a Galapagos Islands Tour?

The climate of the Galápagos Islands is mostly nice.  Temperatures vary between 18º-27ºC  or 68º-86ºF – so you won’t really need any warm clothes besides some long sleeves to guard you at night.

Clothes

  • T-Shirts
  • Shorts
  • Sandals for the wet landings (TEVA or CHACOS style is best)
  • Light sweater or windbreaker for mornings and evenings when it tends to be cooler
  • Bathing suit/bikini/shorts for swimming and snorkeling (in the time from August to October you might need a wetsuit due to the cold water temperature, which is usually provided by the cruise operators for an extra fee)
  • A shirt to wear when you are snorkeling (to avoid sunburn on your back)
  • Rain jacket (wet season is from January to June, the wettest months are generally March & April)
  • Hat or cap for the day tours on the islands

Accessories

  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle (which you generally can fill on the boat for free)
  • Comfortable walking shoes (terrains isn’t rough usually)
  • light cotton scarf to protect your neck
  • Day-pack
  • Waterproof camera for snorkeling or diving
  • Waterproof bag or sealable plastic bags for your gear
  • Binoculars
  • Insect repellant
  • Sea sickness medication (if needed – the sea is rougher in the months from August to October)
  • Lots of sun protection (remember that the sun is a lot stronger along the equator)

Notes: Domestic airline regulations permit 20 kilos (44 pounds) per suitcase on a flight to Galápagos. On a cruise you are provided with towels in your cabins.

When is the best time to travel to The Galapagos Islands?

Galapagos generally is a year- round travel destination to see wildlife – there is no off-season for tours or cruises. There are basically two main seasons:

Wet season (from January to April)

  • Average temperatures from 22 °C to 31 °C (70 °F to 84 °F)
  • Occasional heavy showers or thunderstorms, mostly in the afternoon
  • Calm seas and warmer water for snorkeling
  • Clear skies (perfect for photography)
  • Green landscapes
  • Breeding season for a lot of animals

Dry season (from June to November)

  • Average temperatures from 19 °C to 22 °C (68 °F to 82 °F)
  • Often hazy and cloudy skies (less suitable for photography)
  • Sometimes rough seas and colder water for snorkeling (wetsuit necessary)
  • Breeding season for many seabirds

Recommendations

If you are sensitive to motion- or seasickness, try to avoid the months between August and October – the sea is rougher during these months than during the rest of the year.

 

Visit The Galapagos Islands Through A Different Lens

Isla Isabela: Sierra Negra volcano (1,500 m.o.s.l)

The Sierra Negra volcano is the largest volcano of the islands. Once you get to the edge of the crater, you will descend into the vents at the bottom of the boiler. The peak promises one of the best panoramic views of the island.

Sierra Negra Volcano

Santa Cruz Island: Home of Charles Darwin Foundation

With the help of several international organizations, the Charles Darwin Foundation was established in 1959. In 2009 it celebrated its 50th anniversary. Its main function is to preserve the ecosystem of the area, declared at risk in 2007. A visit of the foundation is a helpful and recommendable experience in order to understand the problems of the region.

Isla Floreana – Post Office Bay

Post Office Bay - Floreana

This island truly is a paradise. It is full of fantastic legends and beautiful landscapes. It has long been known as Post Office Bay. Here you can find a wooden barrel that was installed to function as a post office in the eighteenth century. The ships returning home collected the mail from the barrel and transported it to destinations throughout the world.

Galapagos Islands Flora and Fauna

Galapagos islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, and are in the middle of the world -in the Equator-. It is the place where you will find the most astonishing flora and fauna in the world.

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Many endemic species such as tortoises, penguins, iguanas, sea lions, blue footed boobies, finches, cormorants, flamingos, hawks, frigate birds, etc.   get together in this unique environment.

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Here are a few pictures of what you will see if you visit the Galapagos islands, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

 

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A wonderful view of a sea lion with Galapagos Cruise in the distance.

Voyager-and-Sealions

Sports and Activities in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands make up a total of 30 islands. The waters around them were proclaimed marine reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Paying attention to the rules of reservation and having much respect for one of the most sensitive ecosystems on the planet, there are interesting activities such as diving and snorkeling in one of the richest coral reefs in the world.

Bartholomew and Santa Fe Islands: Snorkeling and Diving

The best thing here is the adrenaline produced when you get into contact with plenty of animals: Sea lions inviting you to play and more incredible interactions with wild animals.

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Tunnels on Isabela Island: Snorkeling and Diving

If it’s your first dive, we recommend practicing Snorkel a few days before. The ideal time is from November to May due to good ocean conditions. The Island Isabella has an undeniable beauty and its Wildlife is one of the most important National Parks in the world.

Galápagos blue: photographing sea turtle
Galápagos blue: photographing sea turtle

Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora

This place can be a good intermediate station on the way to get prepared for diving. Here is the place where you’ll find specialized and experienced instructors and where you can get a diving license. Once this step is done … you’re ready to dive!

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