Kayaking alongside iguana

Galapagos Practical Information

Ecuador Practical Information

Visa

British citizens must have a passport valid for six months beyond the date of their arrival in Ecuador. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days. Contact

Currency

Ecuadors official currency is the US$

Health and Safety

A yellow fever certificate is required from those arriving from infected areas, and is recommended for everyone entering Ecuador, particularly for those travelling to the regions of the Amazon basin. There is high risk of malaria and dengue fever in areas below 5,000ft (1,500m). The best prevention is to cover up and use mosquito repellent liberally throughout the day. Tap water should not be consumed; bottled water is available. Milk is unpasteurised so it is best to avoid dairy products.

Insurance

Adequate travel insurance is mandatory for everyone who participates in a Pioneer expedition. We strongly recommend that you take out baggage loss and accident insurance. Please bring a copy of your insurance policy and contact numbers to give to your expedition leader in case of illness or accident.

Environmental

This Galapagos trip is a land based program, rather than a liveaboard boat trip. The reason for this is that land programs directly benefit the sustainable development of the small Galapagos communities. These traditional fishing and small merchant towns have unsuccessfully struggled to forge a living amongst strict commercial and national park limitations. Although tourism is the logical development alternative, the great majority of Islanders have not been able to participate or benefit from off shore boat operators. Land tours are now revitalizing the local economy and allow Islanders to integrate themselves in the tourism economy.

Our local tour operator is socially and environmentally committed to sustainable ecotourism practices. They proudly preside over ASEC (Ecuadorian Ecotourism Association), where they have the opportunity to contribute to EcuadorĀ“s tourism industry both at an operational and political level. ASEC looks after the welfare of local communities through development initiatives and environmental conservation practices. They helped establish the first certification standards for nature-based hotels, and are currently in the process of becoming the first Ecuadorian operator to be Ecotourism certified by the new Smart Voyager for operators standard. They also work closely with the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and abide by Leave No Trace camping and environmental standards. If you are our guest, you can expect: – To receive information to help you minimize your impact on local cultures, plants, and animals. – That your trip costs and fees will contribute to the welfare of community members and the conservation of their natural environment, since we hire local guides and use local services. – To travel in small groups to ensure minimal environmental impact.- To avoid areas which are under-managed or over-visited.

Galapagos Weather – when to travel

Due to their equatorial location, the Galapagos Islands are blessed with pleasant weather all year round so can be visited throughout the year. There are slight climatic changes though – from June to December, it is the ‘dry season’, with blue skies, midday showers, cooler winds and the water is cooler. This is time when sea mamals and land birds are most active (although wildlife activity is always good whenever you visit).
The warmer waters head towards the Galapagos around December, so warmer for swimming and snorkelling. December to May is the ‘warm season’ when the climate is more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies and no wind.

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