The Galapagos Islands are one of those destinations that should not be missing on your bucketlist. However, as they are considered Protected Areas in Ecuador, there are restrictions and entry requirements to the Galapagos that every traveler must know.
Even more with the Covid pandemic, which has added more restrictions to the islands.
But don’t worry, here we will detail you all Galapagos entry requirement and everything you need to know so you can travel safely to the Galapagos Islands.
Galapagos entry requirements
- Flight tickets -in and out- to the Galapagos.
- Lodging reservation for all the days that you will be on the islands. It can be in a hotel, hostel or any lodging.
- Identity card (ID) if you are ecuadorian, or valid passport of at least six months from the date of your entry to the islands. If it is expired, you will not be able to enter Galapagos.
- All passengers over 2 years old must present obligatory a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test carried out up to 72 hours before boarding the flight.
- All foreign passengers over 16 years old must present a COVID-19 vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Ecuador and a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test carried out up to 72 hours before boarding the flight
- Minor foreign passengers between 2 and 16 years old must present obligatory a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test carried out up to 72 hours before boarding the flight.
- Travel insurance, especially with COVID 19 coverage.
- Traveler Health Declaration Form. Print it out and fill it out because you must give this physically before boarding.
- Prior Registration Form to issue the Transit Control Card (TCT). You can fill in online through their website and must detail the reason for the trip, length of stay and where you are going to stay. This is also given to you during the check-in of your flight.
- INGALA card or Transit Control Card (TCT) issued by the Galapagos Special Regime Government Council. It costs $20 (cash only) for any tourist and it is obtained at the Galapagos Special Regime Government Council’s offices that are at the airport. DON’T MISS IT!! .
- Baggage inspection at SICGAL before sending it onboard. This is done next to the Islands authority offices. Your luggage will be checked to verify that you are not carrying any restricted product or object.
- Affidavit about the products or objects that you carry in your luggage. This is given to you during the flight or at the airport.
- Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park. You pay this when you arrive at the Galapagos airport (only cash is accepted).
- *Passengers whose point of origin is India or who transit this country in route to Ecuador, must undergo preventive isolation for 10 days at their homes or at any place of accommodation at the traveler’s free choice and cost, regardless of the result of a diagnostic test for COVID-19.
- *Travelers entering Ecuador who were previously diagnosed as COVID-19 positive may present a medical certificate from their country of origin attesting to their recovery and current good health, as long as onset of the COVID-19 symptoms occurred more than 30 days prior to arrival in Ecuador.
Important: If you need to have the COVID-19 RT-PCR test done in Ecuador, its costs is $46 UDS maximum and must be done in one of the laboratories authorized by the Health Ministry. The results are in 48 hours.
Entrance fee costs to the Galapagos National Park
National or foreign tourists residing in Ecuador
Over 12 years: $6
Under 12 years: $3
Non-resident foreign tourists in Ecuador under 12 years of age
Non-resident foreign tourists in Ecuador over 12 years old
Non-resident foreign tourists minors 12 years old, belonging to the Comunidad Andina de Naciones or Mercosur
Tourists, non-resident foreign students who are enrolled in national educational institutions
Non-resident foreign tourists, over 12 years old, belonging to theComunidad Andina de Naciones or Mercosur
What to bring to the Galapagos Islands?
Galapagos is an adventure destination. The idea is that you enjoy your travel to Galapagos, so we advise you to bring the following:
- Water bottle (in many accommodations you can have free water refills).
- Cap or hat.
- Hand backpack to store your belongings during the tours.
- Long-sleeved shirts when the sun hits very hard during the tours.
- Bathing suit and comfortable clothes.
- Mosquito repellent (VERY IMPORTANT!).
- Cash (ferry transfers or some unscheduled activities will only charge you in cash).
- Hiking shoes. In Galapagos you will walk a lot if you decide to visit all its tourist sites. In addition, many areas are made of volcanic stone or are muddy, so you will need footwear that prevents you from slipping or hurting your feet.
- Sandals to be on the beach.
- Gopro-type sports or photographic camera.
- Snorkeling equipment (only if you have).
- Industrialized or processed products as long as they comply with the current sanitary registration, elaboration date and expiration date (these will be inspected by the ABG Inspectors).
What NOT to bring to the Galapagos?
Besides the Galapagos entry requirements, this is the most important thing regarding your visit to the islands, since your entry to the Galapagos will depend on this too.
The Agencia de Regulación y Control de la Bioseguridad y Cuarentena para Galápagos (ABG) has a list of products that are restricted and totally prohibited from entering the islands.
In summary, we suggest that you do not bring products of animal or vegetable origin since some of them have a greater sanitary and phytosanitary risk and can carry pests and diseases.
Remember that Galapagos is a protected area and any external agent can have a huge impact on its ecosystem. Such was the case with blackberries. In Galapagos, blackberries are a pest, since they were not a fruit of the ecosystem, and when someone tried to plant them many years ago, they became a pest (and a big problem!).
This post is also available in: Español