Q. When is the best time of year to visit the Galapagos?
A: There is never a bad time to visit. We just suggest planning your adventure around what you want to do and see.
The warm season runs from January to May with an average temperature of 30°C (86°F). The seas are also calmer and warmer during these months.
If you’re an avid snorkeller, then we suggest visiting during January through March, when underwater visibility is at its best. This is also the mating season for land birds and sea lions, and nesting season for sea turtles.
If flowers and lush vegetation is your thing, then visit the islands from February through April, when the island is in full bloom. March and April are great months to get up-close-and-personal with sea lion pups.
The Galápagos cool season starts in June and wraps up in December. The average temperature is 25°C (81°F) and is typically overcast, but with very little rain. The seas are rougher at this point, especially from July through September. However, the Humboldt Current brings colder water that is rich in plankton, which means more fish and birds. Blue-footed boobies also mate during this season.
Q: What is each island known for?
A: Good question. The Galápagos consist of 18 principal islands, three smaller ones, and dozens of tiny islets. We have grouped these islands into five different categories based on location, size, and biodiversity, and created tours that showcase one or more of these island groupings. You can check out the highlights of the different island groups, here.
Q: What’s the difference between your seven-day and ten-day Galápagos tours?
A: It’s simple, really; the longer your adventure, the more islands you’ll visit. On a seven-day tour, you’ll spend four nights on the ship, and on a ten-day tour you’ll spend a full week at sea.
Q: How do you determine the itineraries?
A: In 2012, the Galápagos National Park Service instituted two-week itineraries in order to better preserve the islands. We’ve modelled our tours after their suggested itineraries. If you want to explore the entire archipelago, then book two ten-day trips back-to-back. If you’re crunched for time, no worries; we have shorter itineraries that pack a lot into just a few days.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Yes! We only hire certified naturalist guides from the Galápagos National Park Service. They are also trained G Adventures Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) focussed on giving you the most memorable experience, both on and off the boat.
Your guide will hold an informational meeting to discuss the flora and fauna you’ll encounter on your adventure. Curiosity is encouraged, as your guide is pleased to answer all of your questions. Your guide will also provide the group with instructions on how to tread lightly on this highly sensitive environment.
Q: How do I get to the Galápagos Islands?
A: All of our Galápagos tours depart from Quito, Ecuador. Usually, you will fly from Quito on the second day of your tour. You will depart Quito between 7am and 11am, arriving in the Galápagos between noon and 2pm.
On the last day of the tour, you’ll depart after breakfast and catch a morning flight that gets you back to Quito in the early afternoon. It’s easy breezy!
Q: Do you cruise between the islands during the day or at night?
A: We spend most of the night cruising, so that you can spend the day mingling with the wildlife.
Q: Can I snorkel?
A: Absolutely! You’ll have plenty of opportunities to go snorkelling. Masks, snorkels, and fins are available on board, free of charge. On most days, you'll visit two islands – one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. We do our best to give you time to snorkel at each stop, so you can expect to get in about an hour in the water both in the morning and the afternoon. Don't forget to pack your swimsuit!
Q: What is the “National Park fee?”
A: The Galápagos National Park Service issues a National Park fee of USD100, which must be paid at the Galápagos airport. This fee is used to help protect and preserve the islands.
Q: Will I get seasick?
A: The water around the Galápagos Islands is fairly calm, but it can get a little choppy when the cold Humboldt Current arrives between July and September. If you’re prone to seasickness or nervous of the possibility, we suggest contacting your physician before you leave.
Q: Are there medical facilities aboard the ships?
A: All of our vessels are equipped with a basic first-aid-kit. However, they aren’t equipped to handle serious medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, all travellers must have valid medical insurance that covers medical emergency evacuation.
Q: What kind of meals will you be serving on the ship? Can your chefs accommodate special dietary needs and requests?
A: Our talented chefs serve up delicious and nutritious meals during the sailing portion of the tour. The menu includes seafood, beef, fresh salads, soups, and desserts, as well as hot drinks like tea and coffee. If you’re a vegetarian or have any food allergies or restrictions, please let your Sales CEO know at the time of booking.
Q: Is drinking water available on the boat?
A: Yup! Purified drinking water is available and a refillable water bottle is provided.
Q: Are drinks included?
A: Bottled water, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are provided free of charge. Juice, soft drinks, wine, beer, and a basic selection of liquor can be purchased at the bar.
You can also start a tab which can be settled in cash at the end of your trip. Most beer and alcoholic beverages can be purchased for USD3 per bottle. A bottle of wine is between USD30 - 40, while soft drinks and juice range from USD1 -2.
Q: What types of electrical plugs are on the ships?
A: Our ships are equipped with North American-style plugs which take two flat blade prongs and up to 110V of electricity. If you’re planning on travelling with a digital and/or video camera, we suggest that you pack another set of charged batteries because you wouldn’t want to miss the chance to take a selfie with a sea lion.
Q: How much would you suggest tipping the CEO and crew?
A: When travelling throughout the Galápagos and Latin America, tipping is customary. At the end of your cruise, we’ll provide travellers who wish to tip with an envelope. Put the amount inside the envelope and it will be split between the crew. If you’d like to tip your CEO, that must be done separately. We recommend USD10 – 12 per day for the crew, and USD3 -5 per day for your CEO. (We also accept tips in the form of hugs, so don’t be shy!)
Q: Does the boat have a weight restriction for luggage?
A: Due to the cabin sizes aboard the yachts, we suggest that your luggage complies with the weight restrictions of the airline you’re flying with. Also, feel free to leave unnecessary items in your joining hotel storage room in Quito.
Q: How much time will we spend on the islands?
A: Aside from your arrival and departure days, you’ll see approximately two islands per day, spending at least four hours on each. Pretty sweet, huh?
Q: Can I scuba dive?
A: Unfortunately, due to permit regulations dictated by the Galápagos National Park Service, we cannot offer scuba diving, but there’s plenty of time to splash in the turquoise waters.
Q: Do you provide towels on board?
Q: Do you have wetsuits or should I bring my own?
A: We offer wetsuits on-board all the boats free of charge.
Wetsuits are not needed all year round, but from July through September, the water
is a little cooler, and a wetsuit can make splashing around a little more comfortable.