Facts and Figures
Location: The Archipelago of Galapagos, commonly known as the Galapagos Islands is located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles (1000 kilometers) directly across from the continental coast of Ecuador, country to whom the Islands belong and are one of the nation’s 24 provinces.
Area and Population: The land portion of the Archipelago comprises 3.100 square miles (8.000 square kilometers); plus the Marine Reserve which covers an area of 0.4 square miles (1.1 square kilometers); being the second largest Marine Reserve in the World, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The Islands’ human population, as of 2011, is close to 30.000 inhabitants distributed unevenly among only five inhabited islands (Santa Cruz has by far the largest population). 97% of the land surface is a National Park as well as the totality of the Marine Reserve. The provincial, administrative and political capital is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the Island of San Cristobal.
It is forbidden to carry to Galapagos fruits, seeds, plants, animals or any kind of organisms, alien to the islands. Luggage is specially screened and may be physically checked before or at flights’ check-in. Equally so, it is not allowed to remove and take away any natural elements such as shells, pieces of rock, coral, feathers or plants from the islands. Passengers and luggage are equally subject to possible screening and/or search before departure from the islands. These actions are considered infractions and are penalized by the National Park’s and Ecuador’s conservations laws.
Electricity: 110 volts AC, as in mainland Ecuador. Please check with us for information regarding specific ships, yachts or hotels in the islands.
Water: Tap water is not recommendable for drinking anywhere in Ecuador, nor in the Galapagos Islands. Bottled or filtered water is available (and usually provided free of charge) at most vessels and tourist facilities.
Transportation: The Islands are accessible from Quito and Guayaquil, through its two main Airports in Baltra Island and San Cristobal Island. A one and a half hour flight, by modern jetliner aircraft, brings travelers from the mainland to Galapagos. Inter-island small aircraft serve the two airports plus the small local airport on southern Isabela Island. There are no direct flights from any airports other than Ecuadorian. Occasional private planes might be allowed to arrive directly from outside Ecuador, prior to complying with a special permit granting process by the relevant authorities. Inter island boat services are also available between the four inhabited hubs of the Archipelago. Bookings and timetables must be done and consulted in advance. There are no passenger services by ship from continental Ecuador to the Archipelago; only cargo vessels operate those routes.
Luggage: Please be aware of the fact that the national airlines covering the routes to and from Galapagos have special restrictions as to the weight allowance for checked baggage. Please check with us for details. Only one carry-on item is allowed on the airplane’s cabin, in addition to small purses, camera cases, binoculars or normal-size laptop cases.
Tipping: Tipping, even though customary, is a personal matter, related to your impressions of how you were served. To express your satisfaction, the following international guidelines, per person, can be followed for tours in the Islands:
$ 10, per person, per day, for the aggregate crew
$ 7, per person, per day, for the naturalist guide
10% of your bar bill for the bartender
- Tevas or sport sandals with a Velcro strap for wading ashore
- Shorts (Bermudas or other)
- Long and short-sleeved shirts, T-shirts
- Long pants
- Sweater and/or jacket (if going to the highlands)
- Good walking shoes
- Sneakers with rubber soles
- Bathing suits
- Wide brimmed hat bandana
- Suntan Lotion or strong sunscreen & sunglasses
- Waterproof backpack (light and small for camera & other personal items)
- Small pair of binoculars, camera and video equipment
- Seasickness medication and/or personal medication
- Windbreaker jacket
- Refillable bottle for water
- Mosquito repellent
Michael M. Jackson.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Galapagos.
A Field Guide to the Fishes of Galapagos.
Reef Fish Identification.
Marine Life of the Galapagos.
Galapagos, Islands Lost in Time.
Tui de Roy.
Galapagos, A Terrestrial and Marine Phenomenon.
The Voyage of the Beagle.
The Beak of the Finch.
The Galapagos Affair.