Our prices are a guideline as to the comparative costs of each vessel. Confirmation of the price can be made upon enquiry. Please look at our price page for more information.
Included/not included
When comparing cruises in Galapagos it’s very important to take into account the following:
The return flight of $410 between Galapagos and Quito (less from Guayaquil),
the Galapagos national park tax of $100,
Local registration fee of $10
“Recommended” tips to crew and naturalist on board of between $100 -$200 per person per week
Fuel surcharge of up to $250 per person per week
Hotels in mainland Ecuador at each end of the cruise
Transfers between hotels and airports

Always make sure you are aware of these items as every cruise incurs these costs. A package will often include most or all of these things. The tips and national park tax are often omitted from a package. In order to make a comparison, we have provided the cruise only price in our price list. In some cases, you can only purchase the cruise as part of a package.

If you have a particular skill in the running of an organization this may be offered to the variety of non-governmental organizations present in the islands, e.g. the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS). You can do this sometimes remotely or, if you have a specific skill to offer and a dedicated time frame, you could live on the island. The sort of things they look for are librarians, accountants, fund-raisers.
Teachers of English as a foreign language (TEFL) also do well for 3-month stints for all ages. Teaching a school year from March to January may also earn you a place in one of the schools in Santa Cruz. Contact Reina Oleas of the Fundacion Scalesia to find out more about this.
Graduates should approach the CDRS or the other NGO’s in person and offer their services in a chance to participate on one of the projects there. There is a lot of scope for personal initiative and self-determination in Galapagos.
Conservation has been the traditional pot in Galapagos with all monies going to help in the various projects of restoration. However, in recent years, as the human population of Galapagos has escalated, the future pressures will be from the people living here. Initiatives to help educate the population in order to teach it to help itself and protect its paradise are tricky and sometimes controversial. They shouldn’t be ignored, however. Such an organization is the Fundacion Scalesiawho is dealing with this issue in its School: Tomas de Berlanga. It is doing well, but with more financial aid, could achieve its goals quicker and on a larger scale.
Sea Shepherd is an organization dedicated to upholding marine conservation laws and will forcefully stop nations from breaking the rules. They have been solely responsible for policing the oceans in recent years including slowing down the poaching of sharks and halting damaging fishing practices in Galapagos. A continuous financial aid is required for this hard-working and dedicated organization: the only voice that actively speaks out on behalf of whales!
Getting there
Flights to Galapagos

Once in Ecuador, there are flights to Galapagos leaving from both Quito and Guayaquil. There are several flights leaving Quito in the morning which fly for 30 minutes to the Port city of Guayaquil. After touching down there for 40 minutes or so, the flight takes off for the 1hr40mins flight to Galapagos.

There are two airports in Galapagos on two separate islands: Baltra and San Cristobal. If not catching a cruise, be aware that these islands are 2-4hrs launch ride apart and about $40 each way. The authorities have threatened to close Baltra in December 2008 for maintenance so be prepared. This will not affect you if on a cruise as the boat starts and finishes its tour wherever the flight is.


As you pass through check-in in Quito airport to fly to Galapagos, your check-in luggage will be searched for things that may alter the environment in Galapagos. Certain fruits and vegetables and soil on boots will be screened for. These things could potentially bring in unwanted seeds and insects and affect the fragile environment in Galapagos. Arriving in Galapagos, your hand luggage will be checked. To find out more click here

Galapagos National Park Tax
This has to be paid in cash ($100) upon reaching the airport terminal in Galapagos.
On board

In general, the vessels serve up a good variety of meats, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, salads, etc. Lunch and dinners consist of a three-course meal including buffet. Snacks and fresh juices are offered during the day upon return from the excursion.
If we know of any special diets in advance we will try to comply with the necessary requirements as best we can. If worried you may not like the food or have particular tastes, feel free to bring your own food along. Big ships tend to serve cruise style comfort food. The Integrity specializes in gourmet cuisine.

The Bar

Most of the high-end vessels will have a great bar with several bottles. On the smaller, cheaper vessels, the bars are often poorly stocked so feel free to bring your own alcohol on board.


There is always plenty of drinking water on board. Some boats have desalinators for drinking and general use. Lower end vessels have to take on water and will impose limits on how much water is used.


There is no malaria in the Galapagos but the dengue-fever carrying mosquito is present.
If you are under medication be sure to bring enough of it for the length of your trip. On flights, always carry these medicines in your hand luggage. This also applies to glasses or contact lenses. If you should become ill during your visit, a representative from GE will always be available to assist you with doctors, hospitals, etc. Medical assistance abroad usually has to be paid for there and then and is reimbursed by your travel and/or health insurance upon your return home. Please advise us if you have any medical condition that may require attention so we can be prepared should an emergency arise.

A change in country and diet often results in stomach disorders, usually lasting a couple of days. There is little you can do to prevent this except only drinking bottled water, avoiding salads and unpeeled fruit. Should you become affected, it is essential to take plenty of fluids. Weak tea without milk seems to be the best way. Some travel doctors suggest that a one-shot dose of the antibiotic Ciproxin works wonders (plus a 5 day course for severe cases). Consult your physician.
Seasickness is a possibility on the cruise although we do most of our navigation at night and any daytime traveling is usually calm at this time of the year. Over-the-counter remedies like Dramamine are effective (if you take them before the symptoms occur). Note the warnings with these for asthmatics and drowsiness is a side effect. Some people swear by acupuncture ‘sea-bands’ which have no side effects. In the USA, transderm scoop patches are another option (not available in the UK). Our advice is to lie down when seasickness begins to set in. Close your eyes, do not read, and do not concentrate. The rocking usually puts you to sleep. The importance of lying down lies in resting the vestibular system in the ear, which is confused in its quest to control your balance, seasickness being the result of this confusion.
The walks are not too strenuous and you will be given a good description of all activities the day before in order to decide whether or not it is for you. Some walks can be rocky, wet, involve short climbs up steps, etc. The walks are not meant to be energetic but are more oriented on stopping and observing wildlife. They are typically a mile long. In most cases, you will have an easier option for any particularly strenuous activities. Though we try to avoid the hottest time of the day, you will be walking in hot weather with little or no shade.
110 V A.C. 60 Hz. This applies to Galapagos, the mainland and to the supply on the boat. The sockets are two-pin American style

This activity will constitute a major part of our activities during the trip. As the heat of the day eliminates being on land, it is the perfect time and the water is at the perfect temperature to snorkel. Most boats carry their own fins, masks and snorkels which are lent or rented for the duration of the cruise. The masks are good if you intend to just try out the snorkeling and maybe do it a couple of times.
If you want to really get into it though, we recommend you buy a snorkel at a sports or diving shop back home. This way, you can select one that definitely fits you. A good quality basic one without a valve should be just right.

If you’ve never snorkeled before you may want to practice having the mask on in the pool or even in the bath. There will certainly be plenty of opportunities to learn once you are here too but you may start getting into it when it’s time to leave.
If you wear glasses, you may want to look into the possibilities of getting a mask with the prescription set in the glass.
We will do what we can to make sure that everyone at any level gets the most out of the underwater world of Galapagos.


Make sure re-chargers can work on 110V and that you have the appropriate plug. For storage of photos, either bring more flashcards or a way of downloading (laptop, external disk drive). In Puerto Ayora, we can assist you with storage (DVD’s, etc) but you must have the adaptors/cables necessary to upload onto the computer.

There are several cruises designed specifically towards photographers and their needs. These are usually led by photographers and the group is often organized by the local camera club or through photography magazines. Get in touch with us and we’ll search for the right options.

While in the Galapagos, the crew of your yacht will do their best to ensure you have a wonderful stay. On our particular tours, the crew and naturalist guide tips are included in the cost of the trip. A tip of around $100 -$200 per passenger for the crew pot and the naturalist guide, is the general recommendation on all other tours and varies depending on the boat. We will advise on each particular boats recommendation at the time of booking.


Sea Sheppard
Fundacion Scalesia / Tomas de Berlanga School
Galapagos National Park
Galapagos Conservation Trust
Charles Darwin Research Station / Charles Darwin Foundation
Cactuspad Holiday Home

Reading list
This list is a general guide to those books we consider to be most interesting and informative. It is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you find a book that merits inclusion, please let us know so that we may add it to our list. Please note that reference books on birds, mammals and natural history are essential to the complete enjoyment of a natural history holiday to such a rich area. We recommend Subbuteo Natural History Books Ltd as one of the best natural history mail-order book services.

LONELY PLANET: ECUADOR GALAPAGOS Rachowieki pbk. The best way to use this guidebook is any way you choose.

GALAPAGOS: A NATURAL HISTORY Jackson pbk.  A revised & expanded edition of this excellent introduction to the flora & fauna of the islands. Colour & b/w photos, maps, 316pp

COLLINS SAFARI GUIDES: WILDLIFE OF THE GALAPAGOS Fitter/Fitter/Hosking pbk. Photos & descriptions of over 200spp of reptiles, plants, birds, invertebrates & marine life you are likely to encounter on these remote islands. Information on the history, climate, volcanism & conservation. Colour photographs, 160pp

FLOWERING PLANTS OF THE GALAPAGOS Mcmullen pbk. Identifies 436 flowering plants including endemic, native and exotic introduced plants. Covers range, island habitat, and description with scientific, common and family names. 383 colour photographs, 41 illustrations, 370pp.

ECUADOR AND ITS GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: THE ECOTRAVELLERS’ WILDLIFE GUIDE Pearson/Beletsky pbk. Information to enable identification of over 500 of Ecuador’s most common insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds & mammals. Details of parks & reserves. Colour illustrations, 485pp

GALAPAGOS DIARY by Heinzel/Hall.
First section is a tour around each of the islands describing in words, illustrations & photos the habitats and wildlife, highlighting some of the strange breeding strategies of the archipelago’s birds. Second section is a detailed ‘field guide’ with sketches, photographs & maps. 272pp.

A GUIDE TO THE BIRDS, MAMMALS AND REPTILES OF THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS Swash/Still pbk. Much has been written about these unique islands over the years, but this is the first guide to cover all the birds, mammals & reptiles in a single, pocket-sized book. It is the only guide that the visitor will need to identify all the higher vertebrates of the islands. 42 colour plates, maps, 168pp.

GALAPAGOS ISLAND MAP. Scale 1:500,000. All the islands, locations of birds & animals, visitor information.

REEF FISH IDENTIFICATION Paul Humann pbk. Extra book available locally in Quito or Galapagos: Essential for snorkellers!

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