Galapagos (Ecuador)Travel hints



Best time to dive the Galapagos
(Last updated May 2018)

The Galapagos Islands lie directly on the equator and can be visited all year around. The climate is influenced by the trade winds. From January to June, the northeast trade wind blows with average temperatures of 24°–28°C (75°-82°F). During this time the Panama current provides for water temperatures of 24°–28°C (75°-82°F). Short tropical rain showers are frequent. From July to December the cold Humboldt current and the southeast trade wind make for cooler conditions with air temperatures of 20°–26°C (68°-78°F) and water temperatures of 18°–23°C (64°-73°F). The bulk of rain falls on the islands, the coasts remain mostly spared.
Visa & Passport requirements
If you are travelling to Ecuador through the United States of America (USA), or if you are transiting in Honolulu or other USA points of entry, you are required to meet USA entry/transit requirements. Make sure you check with your nearest Embassy or Consulate of the United States your visa requirements well in advance of your travel.

In order to enter the Galapagos Islands all visitors need their passport. Passports should be valid for more than 6 months on arrival. Visitors must hold a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds for their stay in Ecuador (may be asked by immigration authorities). US citizens, Australians and most European citizens do not require a visa for a stay up to 90 days.

NOTE: As visa and other entry and exit conditions change regularly, we recommend you contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Ecuador for the most up to date information.
Health
You do not require special vaccinations if you only visit the Galapagos Islands. However, if you combine your trip with a visit to the Amazon rainforest or the Coastal regions of Ecuador, it is best to get protection against Malaria, Tetanus and Yellow Fever. Please find out more about requirements and recommendations in relation to this at your local health center.

NEW regulation from 1 May 2018: Any person who enters Ecuador as a tourist must be able to present proof of public or private full coverage international health insurance for the duration of their stay in Ecuador.
Currency
The US dollar is the only legal currency in Ecuador. It is useful to have smaller denominations, especially USD 1 notes, as many smaller shops and taxi drivers do not change large notes. Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas.
Departure taxes
All departure taxes from Ecuador are included in your international flight ticket.
Local time
Mainland Ecuador has one time zone, which is 5 hours behind GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). The Galapagos Islands are another hour behind (so 6 hours behind GMT).
Language
Official language is Spanish. English is spoken on liveaboards.
Electricity
Electricity is 110 volts. For power sockets a US adapter is required.
Drinking Water
Tap water is not drinking water. You should only be drinking bottled mineral water, filtered or boiled water. It is not recommended to consume ice cubes. Tap water can be used for brushing teeth.
Certification requirements & dive gear hire
Please remember to bring your certification card with you. All certified divers must present their certification cards in order to dive.

Liveaboard operations in the Galapagos offer the possibility to hire dive equipment at extra cost. Dive gear rental may be limited so advanced notice should be given. Tanks, weights, weight belts and air fills are included in all cruise packages. Nitrox may be at additional cost.

Please note that mostly INT tank fittings are used. If you have DIN fittings on your regulator, make sure you bring an adapter.
Dive insurance
All dive operators promoted by Diversion Dive Travel adhere to very high standards for safety and equipment. A current Diver Evacuation & Accident cover is recommended for all diving arrangements. For a nominal yearly membership fee, the DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) provides year-round diver evacuation and accident cover. For more details on membership and insurance options, please contact your regional DAN office according to your area of residence:

North America: www.diversalertnetwork.org
Europe: www.daneurope.org
South-East Asia/Australia/Pacific: www.danasiapacific.org
General travel insurance
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled travel arrangements, Diversion Dive Travel strongly suggest you consider taking out suitable travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover losses such as cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, sudden illness or serious injury whilst abroad, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items.

Travel Insurance for Australian Residents:
www.diversiondivetravel.com.au/travelinsurance.html
Clothing suggestions
Casual & comfortable clothing including a light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended, as evenings can get cool and liveaboards usually keep their air-conditioning high in all indoor areas. Remember to bring swimwear, sunscreen, sunglasses, insect repellent, a hat and walking shoes for time on shore.
Tipping
This is a very personal decision, tips are your ways of expressing satisfaction. On boats, it is customary to give the tip to the captain or cruise director and ask it be distributed amongst the crew.
Safety
The Islands of the Galapagos are safe for travel. Political protests and crime may occur across Ecuador, especially in major cities such as Quito and Guayaquil. Before you travel, check with your local Department of Foreign Affairs for advice on the current situation.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information:

Australian travel advisory for Ecuador
UK travel advisory for Ecuador
US travel advisory for Ecuador
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