When to go
The Galapagos Islands is a great year round summer destination. Because of the Islands’ location on the Equator, the air and water temperatures remain relatively stable, with temperatures ranging from 20-30 degrees celsius throughout the year. The Islands have two main seasons, the warm season from January to June (temp. 22-30 º C), and the dry season from July to December (temp. 20-26 º C). The water temp. ranges from an avg. of 25 º C in the warm season to an avg. of 22 º C in the dry season. Click here for the weather now!
How to get there
International flights arrive either in the Capital of Quito or in Guayaquil, the two largest cities in Ecuador. Since most flights to Galapagos is early in the morning, an overnight stay is almost always required in either Quito or Guayaquil. From both cities the flight to Galapagos is just under 2 hours. There are two airports in the Galapagos Islands, the first is on Isla Baltra and the second is on Isla San Cristobal. Most flights arrive at Baltra, close to the bigger island of Santa Cruz.
The Galapagos Islands is a unique and extremely well-preserved destination for wildlife and thus the access to the Islands are strictly regulated. A maximum of 1,660 people on cruise boats and 180 on day cruises per day is what’s allowed into the The Galapagos National Park (GNP). This means that supply both with respect to cruise boats, hotels and air flights are limited and therefore it is wise to plan ahead. We would generally say that a trip to the Galapagos Islands should be planned and booked minimum 6-12 months before departure.
Cruise vs. Hotel Stay
The best way to get the most out of your Galapagos Adventure is to choose the live aboard experience on a Cruise. These normally last from 4 - 8 days. Most yachts range from 12– 20 passengers, and are divided into four categories of quality: economy, tourist, first class, and luxury. Cruise itineraries take advantage of night hours to travel long distances between islands in order to arrive at the next visitor site refreshed and ready to explore.
Another option is to stay ashore in a hotel on one of the larger populated islands (Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, or Isabela) and take day trips to nearby uninhabited islands. While this option is more economical, the range of islands that can be visited is limited by distance. Also, there are several animal species that likely will not be encountered on day trips.
Island-hopping tours, designed to experience Galapagos without having to be onboard for the entire trip, are becoming more popular. Visitors take speed boats or public transportation between inhabited islands, staying overnight at hotels and exploring local sites and enjoying activities near the towns. Both day trips and island-hopping is mainly based from San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz, with lodging also available on the less populated islands of Floreana and Isabela.