By Allie E. Almario
Did you know that Galapagos flights from the mainland have a weight limit of 44 lbs for luggage? On inter-island flights (from Baltra to Isabela, for example), the limits are even stricter – 20 lbs or less. Therefore, packing light is essential.
PRO TIP: If you are staying in the same mainland hotel before or after your cruise, you may want to leave behind a suitcase with your heavy winter clothes, souvenirs, etc. that won’t be needed in the Galapagos.
The seasons are opposite to the USA. In the Galapagos, summer (high season #1) runs from December to March. The air temperatures will be very warm, and the water temperatures are the most pleasant. Sometimes there can be short hard rains or early morning fog, but rarely do these weather conditions impact activities.
Galapagos winter season runs from June to September (high season #2). Air temperatures will be much cooler, starting in the 70s. If you are sensitive to cool waters, consider bringing a rash guard shirt. Many ships also offer shorty wetsuits which can not only keep you warm, but will provide extra buoyancy while snorkeling.
Please visit www.wunderground.com and type in your destination (for example, Quito, Ecuador) for up-to-date weather.
Most importantly, Ecuador and the Galapagos are located on the Equator, so extreme sun protection, especial skin protection with a strong SPF, is highly recommended.
- Most ships and naturalists can provide guests with wildlife guidebooks, but pocket sized waterproof wildlife guides are useful.
- Everyone should bring their own pair of binoculars in order to get the most out of wildlife viewing.
- Hats with wide brims and chin straps
- Long-sleeved lightweight shirts and short sleeved t-shirts
- Shorts and/or skirts
- Lightweight long trousers or convertible pants that zip off into shorts
- Underwear and socks – thermal option recommended for the winter months on the mainland
- Good closed walking shoes (running/tennis shoes are fine).
- Strappy sandals that can be used on the beach (Keens, Tevas, Chacos, etc.)
- Lightweight shoes (flip flops or sandals) for onboard the ship
- Swimsuits (two)
- Windproof lightweight jackets
- Fleece jacket or lightweight down vests
Equipment / Other
- If you wear contact lenses, we recommend that you bring along a pair of glasses
- Good quality sunglasses – preferably polarized. Tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light.
- Camera equipment / underwater camera
- No chargers / adaptors are required as Ecuador runs on the same voltage / electrical system as the USA
- Waterproof/dustproof bag/cover for your camera.
- Binoculars – 8X40/8X42 is the recommended general-purpose binocular specification for both birding and mammal viewing
- Reusable water bottle (a must)
- Ziplock bags or other waterproof dry bags to keep electronics safe
First Aid & Toiletries
Basic amenities (soaps, shampoos, conditioners) supplied by most establishments.
- Your personal daily meds (always pack in your carry-on, not in checked luggage) with a few extra days worth
- Anti-nausea tablets if you suffer from motion sickness
- Moisturizing cream and suntan lotion – SPF 20 or higher recommended
- Insect repellent and anti-itch creams for insect bites
- Basic medical kit (aspirin, band aids, Imodium, antiseptic /anti-histamine cream, moleskin patches for blisters etc.)
- Tissues/Wet Ones
DO NOT BRING TO THE GALAPAGOS:
- Loose nuts or grains that may sprout; pre-packaged and sealed trail mix is fine
- Plants, fruits or vegetables
- Plastic bottles, plastic straws and plastic bags will soon be banned in the Galapaos