Galapagos Islands- Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands (or Archipelago de Colon) is a Province of Ecuador located 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian coast. They lie directly on the equator.

What is the climate like?

Full Climate Details Page

When is the best time to travel to Galapagos?

When To Visit Details Page

Are there any required and/or recommended immunizations?

There are no immunizations either required or recommended for the Galapagos Islands. However, if you intend to spend more time in Ecuador, especially in the jungle, immunization is highly recommended. As this changes from time to time, please check with your local health office or Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) | Ecuador/Galapagos Islands a few weeks in advance of your trip.

How do we get there?

From North America, there are daily flights via Miami and Houston to Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador. From there, you take a flight to the Galapagos.

Can you arrange our air to Ecuador?

The cruise lines arrange the flights from mainland Ecuador.

How do we get to Galapagos from Quito and Guayaquil?

The cruise lines will arrange the Galapagos flight for you. The operators of the ships in Galapagos block spaces on these flights to ensure our passengers are on the flight to meet the ship. You will fly to Galapagos in the morning of the first day of the cruise and return to the mainland in the afternoon of the last day of the cruise.

May we fly to Galapagos from Quito and back to Guayaquil (or vice versa)?

The cruise lines usually star in Quito and then fly to Guayaquil and onto the Galapagos. You stopover but do not disembark, just stay on the plane as it is a short stopover. After the cruise, you can book your International flight home from Guayaquil or return to Quito and fly home from Quito.

Are all of your prices in US dollars?

All of our rates are quoted in US dollars.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Payment may also be made by check.

Will we have to exchange any money before we travel to Ecuador or once in the country?

Not if you have US dollars. Ecuador has adopted the US dollar as its official currency.

What is included in the tour package?

The package rates include accommodations and all meals aboard the cruise ships, island sightseeing, all guide and lecture services, transfers in the islands and between the airport and ship in Galapagos, and your flight to the Galapagos (unless otherwise noted).

What is not included in the tour package?

The Galapagos Entry Tax to Protected Areas (includes the municipal tax, currently $100 US payable in cash to the national park authorities. (This is, however, included with the Silversea Silver Origin cruise fare.) however this is subject to change.

How much should we bring for gratuities?

Tipping is always a courtesy; however, if you find the service to be pleasing, then use the following general guidelines: Restaurants and coffee shops - 10% of the bill; Hotel/airport porterage - $1 per suitcase; Guides on Mainland - $3 per person, per day; Drivers on Mainland - $3 per person, per day; Cruise ship Crew and Guides in Galapagos - $20-25 per person, per day. Please note: All tips are included with the Silversea Silver Origin cruise.

Can you make hotel and other tour reservations for our stay in Ecuador?

We are able to assist you with hotels and tours throughout Ecuador and into Peru for Machu Picchu. We can also help you to plan an efficient itinerary that will make the most of the time you have available.

Can we purchase travel insurance for our trip?

We offer CSA Travel Protection; and Travelex Insurance Services for trip cancellation, travel and/or medical insurance. Alternatively, you can purchase travel insurance through one of our Tour Operators. Purchasing deadlines do apply for full coverage, so be sure to inquire at at the time of your initial trip deposit.

How do we receive our vouchers and tickets for the Galapagos?

The cruise lines will provide you with all of the details you need including any hotel accommodations and any domestic flight in Ecuador.

How experienced are the Naturalist Guides onboard the ship and do they speak English?

Any ship sailing in the Galapagos must have an Ecuadorian staff member in all positions. The Silversea Silver Origin has an excellent expedition team whom are all Ecuadorian or related to Ecuador in some way. All are highly experienced and are qualified naturalist guides and are fluent in English (and often other languages as well).

Will there be time for snorkeling?

There is plenty of time for snorkeling for those that who are interested. Silversea Silver Origin provides you with snorkeling gear that you are welcom to take home with you at no charge.

Is a wetsuit necessary for snorkeling?

Silversea Silver Origin provides a wet suit for every guest at no charge. It is up to you, if you want to wear it or not.