Island Essentials | What to pack for the Galapagos Islands
When packing for Galapagos, you should consider important aspects such as season, characteristics of the climate in the month you are visiting, or the activities you have already planned. Even though the islands are distributed on both sides of the Equator line, the bathing suit, a pair of flip flops and sunscreen are not far enough to spend a few days in Charles Darwin’s paradise.
If you are planning a vacation in the Archipelago and you can’t wait to visit as much as possible, walk along giant tortoises or snorkel with tropical fish and sea lions while above you fly blue-footed boobies and frigate birds, be careful not to forget the following:
Starting with the lady at the register office at the entrance to El Garrapatero Beach, to the boy who rents kayaks in Tortuga Bay, the most common advice you will receive in Galapagos is to apply sunscreen as often as possible. Depending on how sensitive your skin is, choose a product with the highest SPF. Do not forget to reapply every two hours all over your skin, including when you snorkel in the ocean.
Due to the geographical position of the islands, from the early hours of the morning, the sun’s rays are very strong. Keep in mind that the weather in Galapagos is always changing and if you want to visit more islands on day trips, be prepared to spend a lot of time in the sun. You should always have a long pair of pants and a lightweight trekking jacket. Also, don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sandals or slip-on trekking shoes, especially if you visit Bartolome or North Seymour Islands.
Whether or not you are passionate about diving, you can not miss the unique experience of snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands. Sea lion pups are very curious and playful, and the big colorful tropical fish make you feel like in a big aquarium. Many trips to the Archipelago include a snorkeling tour, the organizers providing wetsuits, snorkeling masks, towels, even life jackets and vests for those who can not swim. However, if you want to bring your own equipment, a 2mm neoprene wetsuit is perfect. Besides this, a full-face mask will help you breathe easier in the water, and snorkeling shoes will protect your feet from corals or sharp rocks.
A waterproof backpack is going to be useful on those days at the beach or when you go swimming or kayaking. The more compartmentalized it is, the more safely you can arrange fragile items such as glasses, phone, or camera. And if swimming is not your strength, a quality backpack will keep you floating in the ocean.
The beauty of the Galapagos Archipelago consists of its many unique nature of flora and fauna. So, whether you visit North Seymour Island during the whale mating season, Bartolome Island when the first colony of Galapagos penguins migrates, or Floreana Island where the largest flamingo colony in the Archipelago lives, binoculars are a must-have.
Tips & Tricks
Since most animals on the island are not scared of humans, a binocular with 10×42 specifications is enough. The first figure represents the magnification and the second the size of the lens. The larger the lens, the greater the visibility when the light is dimmer.
Find out everything you need to know about the month when you are planning to visit Galapagos. Due to ocean currents, the climate in Galapagos is different from all other areas in Ecuador. The dry season lasts from May to November. Temperatures start cooling down, the weather becoming very capricious and likely to suddenly change. During this period it may rain torrentially at any time.
- vacuum bags should never miss from your luggage. Most of them will reduce a bag’s volume to around 50%. Depending on how long your trip is, you can organize your clothes by day or city. They are also perfect for storing dirty laundry before it is washed. In Puerto Ayora, a laundry service costs 2$ / kg.
- portable iron with double voltage is perfect for travel around the world.
- luggage scales, TSA-approved locks, and tag support, to ensure the safety of your suitcase
- medication for stomach, allergies (including sunscreen), and mild colds
- socket adapter
- external battery