All you need to know before your trip
Advantages of booking with Me Gusta Galapagos
- Service with ‘corazon’ (heart): we understand that the Galapagos Islands is not the cheapest destination, which is why we care so much to make it an unforgettable experience;
- Local experience: you will not just discover the unique wildlife but also be part of the local community and get to know the island life;
- Personal service: we know the islands and work with the people who are passionate about their islands and guarantees a personal service
- Flexible itineraries: we can adjust or create any program for you adapted to your wishes;
- 24/7 assistance: we have a 24/7 service on the islands and on mainland in case of emergencies or unexpected situations (we speak English, Spanish, German and Dutch);
Practical information about your arrival to the islands
Your flight will depart from either Quito or Guayaquil on the Ecuadorean mainland and arrive to the island of Baltra or the island of San Cristóbal. Before checking into your flight, you will have to pay the $20.00 INGALA migration card at the airport and have your luggage checked. Please be aware that you cannot take any fruits, vegetables, seeds, animals, etc. Due to the time that this procedure may take we recommend you to be 1.5 hours before departure at the airport.
Most flights from Quito to Galápagos have a stopover in Guayaquil. You never have to leave the plane during this stop over. From Guayaquil it is another hour and a half to the Galápagos islands.
Baltra is a small island located just north of the island Santa Cruz and is the main point of entrance for tourists arriving to Galápagos. The other airport is located on the island San Cristóbal. Don’t forget to set your watch an hour back, as on the Galápagos it is one hour earlier than on the mainland.
Upon arrival you will first have to pay the $100.00 cash for the Galápagos National Park entrance fee and proceed to pick up your luggage. Outside of the airport your driver will be waiting for you with a sign with your name to take you to the island of Santa Cruz (when arriving at Baltra) or your hotel on San Cristóbal Island (when arriving on San Cristóbal).
For all our tours we give you a free snorkeling mask and tube to use during your stay on the islands!
We are also happy to organise your land based extension before or after a cruise.
Practical information about traveling between islands
During your Galápagos land program you will travel between the inhabited islands (Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal) with local transportation. These so called ‘lanchas’ (small speed boats) travel with a maximum capacity of 20-24 passengers in between the islands at fixed times. Please check your travel voucher to know which days and on which times you will take the lancha. When travelling, please take the following into account:
- Before travelling between islands your luggage will be checked for fruit and vegetables and it will be sealed for the trip, as well as your handbag. Take out things you need during your travel (water, iPod, sunscreen, seasickness pills, etc.)
- If you get seasick easily it is wise to bring along motion sickness pills. These can be bought at all local pharmacies (“pastilla contra mareo”). Try to sit at the back of the boat where the bumping is less and you breathe fresh air – although you might get wet!
- Due to the phenomenon of ‘El Niño’ the sea can be rough sometimes and the boat ride bumpy.
Important and practical notes
- Please take into account that all itineraries are subject to change due to Galapagos National Park regulations, weather conditions, logistic and operational difficulties.
- Daytours booked are based on shared tours and guides are bilingual (Spanish/English). Most practical is that they might adapt their main language to the language used by the majority of passengers.
- In the hotels check-out is usually at 10h00 and check-in is usually at 12h00. If you arrive before the check-in time, you can store your luggage in a safe place in the hotel and settle into your room when it is time for check-in.
- You will receive a snorkel mask and tube for free use during your entire stay on the Galapagos, please take good care of it. This is an additional service and we kindly ask you to only accept it when you want to make use of the snorkeling set.
- You might want to rent a wetsuit in the cold season (August – November).
- Taxi boats and municipal tax to Isabela are not included.
- Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are more laidback than many Western countries and tend to work at a slower pace than you may be used to back home, things can often be more disorganized here and we recommend patience as things may not always go at the speed you would like! For Ecuadorians it is not uncommon to arrive later to an appointment, also known as the “Ecuadorian half hour”. It is important to stay flexible and patient when this happens.
- In order to avoid long waiting lines for your INGALA migration card please make sure that you pre-register at: gobiernogalapagos.gob.ec. Select “pre-registro” and then “turistas” and fill out the requested information. In case you aren’t able to pre-register you can always do this at the airport itself as well.
- You have to pay $20.00 for a Transit Control Card at your departing airport (Quito or Guayaquil) and $100.00 for the Galapagos National Park entrance fee upon arrival to the islands. It is very important to keep in mind that you can only pay these amounts in cash.
- Keep loose change in your pocket for boat taxis.
- There is no ATM on Isabela Island.
- Don’t try to eat the little green apples ‘manzanillas’ you see in some islands, they are poisonous. Only giant tortoises are able to eat this fruit.
- Due to island mentality, it is unfortunately very common that you have to wait an additional 20 minutes for your transfer or tour. Please do not stress, but go along in the laid-back mentality.