Galapagos Island Hopping
Our Island Hopping Tours
What is island hopping?
Our Galapagos Island Hopping programs cover the highlights in 5, 6 or 8 days time. We included the must do excursions to the most astonishing destinations as well as instructions for self-guided activities during your free time. They are designed to discover as much incredible Galapagos wildlife – both on land as under water at spectacular snorkeling sites – as possible, without having to worry about your accommodation and finding your way around.
With our island hopping tours you will be staying in hotels from where you will go on interesting group excursions to uninhabited islands and explore other interesting visitor sites nearby. Certified guides will accompany you on all of the excursions, but the group composition can vary from day to day, as everyone is following a personalized itinerary. If you haven’t quite gotten your sea legs, an island hopping program is the best option for you. Another great benefit of an island hopping tour is the fact that it can start any day that you would like and you can make it as long as you want.
Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ)
About our Galapagos Island Hopping tours
To get to the Galapagos Islands, you will have to fly from either Quito (about 3,5 hours or 2 hours) or Guayaquil (about 2 hours). Round-trip tickets cost around $450-$500 per person. Most flights from Quito have a layover in Guayaquil, but there are some direct flights too. On the Galapagos itself you can fly into Baltra airport (GPS) which is connected to the Santa Cruz island and to San Cristobal airport (SCY).
There are a couple of airlines flying to the Galapagos, such as LATAM, Avianca and Equair. It’s not uncommon that flights are being suspended or cancelled, so it is recommendable to fly back to the mainland at least 1 day before your international flight back home to avoid any problems.
It is not possible to travel by boat from the mainland to the Galapagos.
Transit Control Card
To enter the Galapagos you need to buy a Transit Control Card ($20 p.p.) at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil before checking in for your flight.
Entrance fee Galapagos National Park
Once arrived at the airport on the Galapagos you will have to pay an additional entrance fee for the Galapagos National Park.
- Foreign tourists (12 years and older): $100 p.p.
- Foreign tourists (11 years and younger): $50 p.p.
- Ecuadorian tourists and residents (12 years and older): $6 p.p.
- Ecuadorian tourists (11 years and younger): $3 p.p.
Both payments have to be done in cash, so don't forget to bring enough cash money with you on the day that you travel.
Transportation between the inhabited islands Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal takes places by speedboat (about 2,5 hours / $30 p.p. one way). There is no direct connection from Isabela to San Cristobal. There is also an interisland flight service offered by EMETEBE or Fly Galapagos airlines that operate between the three islands (about 25 minutes / $180 p.p. one way).
Galapagos has a wet and dry season. During dry season from June to November the temperatures are cooler and it can be windy with an average of 21 °C to 25 °C. The rainy season from December till May are the warmest months of the year with an average temperature of 25 °C to 28 °C. In this season the wind drops and seas are calmer. Also the higher water temperature (between 21°C and 26°C / 70°F to 79°C) and better visibility make it a great time for snorkeling at the Galapagos. Although the visibility is less and the water temperatures lower (between 18°C and 24°C / 64°C and 75°C), divers might prefer to go diving in dry season as there is a better possibility to see sharks, whales and dolphins.
The Galapagos Islands are located in time zone UTC−06:00, which is an hour earlier than Ecuador's mainland (UTC−05:00).
You can find some ATMs in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) and in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal). There is recently an ATMs available on Isabela island, but it doesn’t always work. So it’s recommended to bring enough cash with you if you are staying some time here. The maximum amount per withdrawal is usually $300-$500 depending the bank. Payments by credit card is accepted at some places, but definitely not everywhere. Paying small amounts with higher bills ($10, $20 or above) can be difficult. It’s best to always carry some change.
Outside the habited areas on Galapagos you will hardly find mobile phone signal. Most hotels on Galapagos offer free WiFi, but the speed is significantly lower than on the mainland. Except for a few luxury cruises, there is no internet connection available aboard Galapagos vessels.
Please read our latest Covid19 update about rules upon entering the country and Galapagos, current measures in place and general recommendations.
Important note: We are not medical professionals and in this information we are sharing generally given health care advice regarding Ecuador. We strongly advise you to talk to a travel medicine specialist at least a month before departure to give you accurate and up to date information about required and recommended vaccinations and other health advice for your trip to Ecuador, specified to your travel itinerary and personal situation.
To visit the Galapagos, there are no extra vaccinations needed than those that are already recommended when visiting the mainland of Ecuador.
There is no Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, Zika and Malaria present on the Galapagos. Outbreaks of Dengue and – less common – Chikungunya tend to show up again every couple of years in Ecuador. In such cases the risk of someone transmitting these diseases to the Galapagos Islands is very low, but technically possible.
The government of Galapagos announced in 2018 that – in the future – it will require Galapagos tourists to take out a medical insurance that covers medical costs during their stay on the Galapagos. Currently there are no active checks being performed on tourists that are entering Galapagos.
However, we highly recommend to insure yourself for medical costs that are incurred during your stay in Ecuador. You can insure yourself with a travel insurance or sometimes through your regular health insurance. We always recommend to read the fine print of the insurance to make sure that medical costs made in Ecuador are covered. Also, some of our partner tour operators and/or Galapagos cruises may require a valid health insurance.
Both Santa Cruz and San Cristobal have a hospital and (private) clinics are also found on these islands, as well as on Isabela island. However, we recommend to fly back to the mainland is case you need medical treatment in more severe cases. Please contact us in case you are in need of medical assistance, so we can help you locate the nearest clinic.
Accommodations on Galapagos
All of our Galapagos Island Hopping programs can be booked with Budget, Standard or Comfort accommodation. We have listed our preferred hotels in these categories on each island. In case these hotels are not available, we’ll book a similar hotel for you. Upon request we can also quote our programs with luxury hotels for you.