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When to visit the Galapagos and other frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, but it is by no means exhaustive and if your question isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be delighted to help.

  1. What country owns the Galapagos Islands?
  2. Where are the Galapagos Islands located?
  3. What are the benefits of a Galapagos small boat cruise vs a large boat?
  4. When to visit the Galapagos?
  5. What is the weather like in Galapagos?
  6. What are the water temperatures in Galapagos?
  7. Is ‘Island Hopping’ a good way to visit the Galapagos?
  8. How do I support conservation in Galapagos?
  9. Why do I have to pay an entry fee on arrival in Galapagos?
  10. How do I fly to Galapagos?
  11. What is the baggage allowance for my Galapagos Flight?

What country owns the Galapagos Islands?

A. The Galapagos are owned by Ecuador, a country around twice the size of the UK which is nestled between Peru and Colombia on the Pacific Coast of South America. (Top)

Where are the Galapagos Islands located?

A. The Galapagos Islands (official name Archipelago de Colon) are distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km (604 miles) west of continental Ecuador. (Top)

What are the benefits of a Galapagos small boat cruise vs a large boat?

A. Small yachts bring you closer to nature, providing a much more intimate experience with the Galapagos and its wildlife. Sailing gently between the islands you are closer to the water and the wildlife, seeing dolphins chase the bow, or whales breaching just a few meters away. Smaller yachts also have permission to visit more of the remote and pristine sites than larger yachts, so usually have better itineraries. With a smaller yacht it also means that fewer people are disembarking on an island at any given point in time. Compare 12 people arriving at a visitor site with 40 people say and the difference is clear. However there are advantages to larger yachts, they have more facilities on board, are more spacious and generally move less in the water than smaller yachts, but in our opinion and experience the benefits of smaller yachts for a wildlife experience far outweigh these. (Top)

When to visit the Galapagos?

A. The climate in the Galapagos is subtropical and is regulated by the warm Nino Current and the cold Humbolt Current. January to May: from low 80°F (27°C) to low 90°F (32°C) (possible rain) June to September: low 60°F (15°C) to high 70°F (21°C) (possible rain) October to December: 70°F (21°C) to 80° (27°C) (dry season December to May - The time period between December and May is considered the "warm season." During this warmer season, the Galapagos' climate is more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies. Also, the ocean temperature is warmer for swimming and snorkelling. June to December - From June to December the southern trade winds bring the colder Humbolt current north to the Galapagos. This means that the water is cooler, and a layer of high atmosphere mist pervades the island skies. In effect, the highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush, while the sea level islands and shorelines have very little rainfall thus; June to December is generally called the "dry season”. (Top)

What is the weather like in Galapagos?

A. The climate in the Galapagos is subtropical and is regulated by the warm Nino Current and the cold Humbolt Current.

  • January to May: from low 80°F (27°C) to low 90°F (32°C) (possible rain)
  • June to September: low 60°F (15°C) to high 70°F (21°C) (possible rain)
  • October to December: 70°F (21°C) to 80° (27°C) (dry season

December to May - The time period between December and May is considered the "warm season." During this warmer season, the Galapagos' climate is more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies. Also, the ocean temperature is warmer for swimming and snorkelling.

June to December - From June to December the southern trade winds bring the colder Humbolt current north to the Galapagos. This means that the water is cooler, and a layer of high atmosphere mist pervades the island skies. In effect, the highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush, while the sea level islands and shorelines have very little rainfall thus; June to December is generally called the "dry season” Graph: Galapagos Air and Sea Temperatures and Rainfall by Month. (Top)

What are the water temperatures in Galapagos?

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily High
ºC
(ºF)
29 (85) 29 (85) 31 (87) 31 (87) 27 (81) 26 (79) 25 (77) 24 (76) 24 (76) 25 (77) 26 (78) 26 (79)
Daily Low
ºC
(ºF)
22 (71.6) 24 (76) 24 (76) 24 (76) 22 (71.6) 21 (69.8) 20 (68) 19 (66.2) 19 (66.2) 20 (68) 21 (69.8) 22 (71.6)
Sea Temp
ºC
(ºF)
24 (75.2) 25 (77) 25 (77) 25 (77) 24 (75.2) 23 (73.4) 22 (71.6) 21 (69.8) 22 (71.6) 22 (71.6) 23 (73.4) 23 (73.4)
Rainfall mm
(inch)
68.6 (2.7) 91.4 (3.6) 94 (3.7) 71.1 (2.8) 33 (1.3) 22.9 (0.90) 15.2 (0.60) 5.1 (0.20) 5.1 (0.20) 5.1 (0.20) 7.6 (0.30) 30.5 (1.20)

Source: Galapagos National Park (Top)

Is ‘Island Hopping’ a good way to visit the Galapagos?

A. No. We feel quite passionately that the uncontrolled growth of so called ‘Island Hopping’ where visitors stay in hotels in inhabitated islands on non-Galapagos National Park land, and travel between the islands, is placing an unsustainable pressure on these islands (water, sewage, power generation etc). This is unlike cruising which is very tightly regulated and when it is well managed, as is the case with all yachts we work with, we believe is an important part of the solution to conserving the Islands wildlife (see our responsible tourism section). (Top)

How do I support conservation in Galapagos?

A. No. We feel quite passionately that the uncontrolled growth of so called ‘Island Hopping’ where visitors stay in hotels in inhabitated islands on non-Galapagos National Park land, and travel between the islands, is placing an unsustainable pressure on these islands (water, sewage, power generation etc). This is unlike cruising which is very tightly regulated and when it is well managed, as is the case with all yachts we work with, we believe is an important part of the solution to conserving the Islands wildlife (see our responsible tourism section). (Top)

Why do I have to pay an entry fee on arrival in Galapagos?

A. Non-resident foreign tourists pay US$100 on arrival at the airport in Galapagos. The fee helps to fund community and conservation work in the islands. Specifically the breakdown received by each institution is:

  • Galapagos National Park 40%
  • Galapagos Municipal Government 20%
  • Regional Council of Galapagos 10%
  • Galapagos Marine Reserve 5%
  • Galapagos Institute INGALA1 0%
  • National Protected Areas System 5%
  • Galapagos Quarantine System 5%
  • Navy5 %

(Top)

How do I fly to Galapagos?

A. All flights to Galapagos depart from the cities of Quito in the Andes or Guayaquil on the Pacific Coast of continental Ecuador. Some flights go to the small islet of Baltra, just off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, others go to San Cristobal Island. Which flight you need depends on where your cruise starts. Usually each yacht has reserved spaces on a particular flight so that all the guests arrive together from the mainland – for any guests travelling with Think Galapagos, we co-ordinate and book your flights to Galapagos for you. Several airlines offer flights to Galapagos, TAME, Aerogal and Icaro (Top)

What is the baggage allowance for my Galapagos Flight?

A. Luggage for your flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Galapagos is restricted to 1-piece weighing no more than 20 kg (44lbs). Excess baggage is subject to a heavy tariff. You can also carry one piece of hand luggage (size restrictions similar to international flights 56 cm long, 45 cm wide and 25 cm deep). All the hotels we use have a safe baggage storage facility with no charge, which our guide can help you co-ordinate. (Top)

Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

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