The Galapagos are an archipelago of volcanic islands the are a part of the Republic of Ecuador in South America. The group of islands consists of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands and around 107 rocks and islets. They have never been connected to the mainland, and the resulting unique biodiversity draws nature enthusiasts from all over the world. Known as a ‘living museum’, the islands are home to giant tortoises, finches, seals that aren’t afraid of humans and huge marine iguana that swim in the shallows scraping the seaweed from the rocks.
For divers, most of the islands are best explored by liveaboard, allowing you to visit the islands and dive the best of the islands incredible sites. Quite unlike any other dive destination you will have experienced, the Galapagos will provide you with an entirely new underwater experience. You will find hammerheads in the hundreds, huge whale sharks, curious eagle rays, magnificent schools of fish, giant manta and mobula rays, schooling silky sharks, and turtles. You can even dive with the marine iguana!
The diving in Galapagos can involve strong currents, and beginner divers may find it challenging. It is some of the best temperate diving in the world so we recommend divers gain appropriate training and experience before diving here.
Liveaboards in The Galapagos Islands
- Entry Requirements
- Time Zone
- Water Temperature
- Departure Tax
Australian passport holders require at least six months validity beyond your intended stay. No visa is required for Australians to visit Ecuador. To enter the Galapagos Islands, you will be required to pay a $100 Park entry fee upon arrival. This must be paid in USD at the time of arrival. For more information and for holders of other passports, please refer to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website for the latest travel advice.
The United States Dollar (USD) is the official currency of Ecuador. One Australian dollar buys approximately $0.80USD.
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. English is understood or spoken in some tourist areas.
120 volts and a United States pin type.
GMT-6 (in Galapagos Islands), GMT-5 (Mainland Ecuador).
Clothing is generally casual in the Galapagos Islands. Loose fitting light clothing is recommended at night to deter mosquitos.
The climate in the Galapagos Islands is tropical. Temperatures range from 21’c- 30’c.
Water temperature varies through the year. During June to December (which is the best time of year to dive), the cooler Humboldt current creates thermoclines which make the water cooler. Water temperature can vary. Surface temperature from 18’c – 27’c depending on the time of year. Thermoclines mean the water temperature at depth can get as low as 5’C.
Transit tax of $10US is charged to enter the Galapagos Islands. Departure taxes vary to leave Ecuador depending which airport you leave from. Guayaquil is approximately $25-$30 USD, from Quito is closer to $40 USD.
Tipping in Ecuador is not customary. In areas such as the Galapagos Islands, it is more common and appreciate, but not mandatory. Some higher end restaurants will add 10% to the bill on top of the 12% tax. Otherwise $1 or $2 USD is always appreciated. Taxi’s do not require a tip, but if they have gone above and beyond, $1 will suffice. A guide may be anything from $2 – $5 USD per day.