It’s January and many people’s thoughts are turning towards this year’s holiday. Whether you’ve already booked or are thinking of booking your once in a lifetime trip to Galapagos, you’ll need to know what to pack when the time comes.
Whilst most travellers heading off to Galapagos will have a comprehensive list of what to pack for their trip, there are some items which you may not have considered which will really enhance your experience. Think Galapagos co-founder Rachel Dex, who returned from a trip to Galapagos with her family last month, reveals the top five items that you shouldn’t be without.
1. More Digital Memory than you think!
Galapagos offers some of the most amazing wildlife photography on the planet with almost endless photographic and video opportunities for all levels of ability. This means, almost without exception, people take significantly more photographs and video footage than they expect, so you need to make sure you have enough digital memory with you! Another top tip is to take along an underwater camera as the photo opportunities whilst snorkelling are great, from sea lion pups swimming alongside snorkelers, to rays, sharks, penguins and turtles along with a host of colourful fish.
For the last four years we have used the old version of the Cannon Powershot D20, which is shockproof and waterproof and has been a great little camera. Another good waterproof option is the Panasonic Lumix DMCTS4 for around £200.
2. A copy of Darwin’s “Voyage of the Beagle”
A vivid and exciting travel memoir, this surprisingly readable book is a real joy to read whilst visiting the Galapagos (particularly Chapter 19 which is all about the archipelago).
Published in 1839 and based on Darwin’s 5 year voyage as a naturalist on the HMS Beagle, one of the real surprises is how little things have changed here since Darwin visited. The chapter on Galapagos is filled with careful observations about the animals, plants and geology of the islands, many of which give a hint at Darwin’s development of his theory of evolution by natural selection.
3. A Good Sun Hat
It’s really important to come equipped with a good sun hat that covers your face right to the tip of your nose.
The equatorial sun is very strong, and also reflects back up from the water, meaning it’s vital that you cover your face. We highly recommend your hat has ties or a chin strap and fits tightly to your head so it stays put in the face of the strong breezes you often get as you travel from your yacht to the islands in the panga boat.
We’ve seen many a hat blown off on these short journeys!
4. Your own snorkel mask and tube
Even though all the yachts we work with provide these, having your own snorkel mask and tube that fit well and are comfortable is definitely worth the investment. The ones on the yachts are usually fairly basic, but you can pick up a relatively decent one either at your local dive/water sports shop or online for under £40. Having your own mask means a better fit to your face, and a good tube allows air to enter more easily making for easier breathing. Make sure your tube has a cover guard which stops water splashing into the snorkel. It isn’t necessary to bring your own fins along as they take up too much room and the ones provided by the yachts are fine.
5. Comfortable shoes for on board the yacht
Everyone remembers their sandals and sturdy walking shoes for walking on the lava, but what people often forget is a pair of shoes to wear whilst actually on board the yacht. Outdoor shoes are usually stored in a box on the main deck and washed by the crew after each visit – this is to prevent spreading seeds and other organic matter from one island to the next and also to keep the inside of the yacht clean and free of sand. Flip flops, crocs, sandals or any other light comfy shoes that won’t take up too much space in your case are a great idea to bring and wear when inside the yacht.