Taking a trip to the Galapagos requires some careful packing decisions. Flights to the islands and the cruise ships themselves both limit the amount of baggage you are able to bring. And the climate on the islands and on mainland Ecuador can be highly changeable, from hot and humid to cold and rainy. Bringing the right gear is essential to ensuring your enjoyment.
In order to find your way to the Galapagos you need to get to the Ecuadorian airports of Quito or Guayaquil. Depending on where else you are traveling, you are probably going to need some layered clothing options. As Quito is at a high altitude, it can get quite cold at night.
If you’re going to the do the Galapagos Islands by boat as most people do then you are going to need to pack light. You’ll need to confirm with the operator you’re using how much luggage you’re able to bring with you. Fortunately, you’ll only need light and comfortable clothing. Always take a waterproof jacket in the unlikely event of rain while also having a light jacket for the evenings. The hotel that you stay at one the mainland will be able to hold any clothing that you don’t want to take with you.
Always look for comfortable footwear. Hiking sandals are often invested in by the tourists so that you don’t get your shoes wet on the beach while also ensuring good traction. You’ll want a second pair of shoes or sandals to wear on the boat.
With the fact that you’re likely to swim or snorkel on a daily basis at the Galapagos Islands, it’s always advised to take more than one swimsuit to have dry and clean clothing. Check on the equipment your boat has for snorkeling. If you have your own, you may want to bring it along with you. Also great for snorkeling is a camera that can be used underwater.
You may want to make sure you have a couple of t-shirts you’re willing to wear in the water to keep from getting burned while in the water. Other items for keeping the sun at bay are a sun hat and a bandana to protect your neck. Sunscreen, of course, is essential.
You’re going to be taking day trips on the various islands so you’ll want to have a small daypack to carry the things you’ll need on your outings. Here you will be able to store any water, camera, sunscreen, medication, insect repellent and sun glasses. Although you want to have the things you really need, keep in mind that you’ll need to be walking around with this pack.
If you know that you have problems with motion sickness or you’re not sure if you do, it’s a good idea to bring some medication with you. Just in case you struggle with an upset stomach, you can use this as a recommendation.
In both the mainland of Ecuador as well as on the Galapagos, the currency used is the U.S. dollar. You’ll want to bring some cash with you as you will only be able to withdraw cash from an ATM in Puerto Ayora.