Galápagos Islands Local Customs

  • Me holding the postcard that I will deliver
    Me holding the postcard that I will...
    by kathymof
  • The postoffice today
    The postoffice today
    by kathymof
  • Local Welcoming Committee for Galapagos
    Local Welcoming Committee for Galapagos
    by kathymof

Galápagos Islands Local Customs

  • Greetings

    We were greeted by a very local greeting committee when we arrived at the pier on Baltra. They actually paid no attention to us or the dingies picking us up. They were comfortably asleep in the shade and perfectly happy.

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  • odd that no one eats crabs

    With all the good sized crabs running around Puerto Ayora, we thought it odd that no restaurants offered them to eat. We asked one of our guides and he said that while it's not offically allowed that locals did eat them. Of course, this was all off the record. They certainly didn't seem endangered but I guess if people eat them when they aren't...

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  • the locals really know where to eat

    One great thing about Puerto Ayora is just walking around town. It's not only a scenic little touristy seaside town, it is teaming with wildlife. You'll see crabs and marine iguanas scurrying all over the rocks down by the water and if you head down by the fishing boats, you can see the local bird lining up for a free meal too.

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  • tipping

    Whatever you do, come prepared to tip, tip, tip anyone who is providing any level of service. This is generally no big deal as people survive on tips, however, if you have booked an expensive boat trip - be warned that some Naturalists will expect some big tipping. DON'T feel trapped by this. You have paid a large amount already and they get a good...

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  • Manners ...

    Well, the manners of some of the inhabitants may be a bit shocking to some .... not only do they not use any handkerchiefs ... but if you stand exactly in front of them you can get showered by some sticky stuff because the sea lions sneeze often. So do a favour to yourself and be a bit careful, especially if your reflexes aren't too good :-)

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  • Respect nature!

    These islands are in serious danger from tourists, who often pollute, try to touch the wildlife or plants and also from locals, who have been moving to the islands to service the tourist trade.

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  • Church

    If you are in Puerto Ayora over the weekend you should visit a church. There are several! Each Sunday of course the largest church in town-Catholic, there is also a Mormon church which usually has a couple of U.S. missionaries there, as well as a pentacostal church. I met many people from these churches and they would love to have guests!...

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  • The local currency? The "greenback"

    Don't worry about taking any kind of cash to the Galapagos other than US dollars. That's the official currency. Bring enough to pay your park fee, offer tips to your guide and the boat crew, buy souvenirs, snacks to take aboard the boat, etc.You can use credit cards in a few places in the Galapagos, but don't count on it. It's best just to have...

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  • Park fees are expensive

    As soon as you arrive in the Galapagos, you will wait in a long, long line to have your passport stamped (yes, even if it was stamped in Quito or wherever you entered the country). You will also need to pay the park fee.IMPORTANT: You MUST pay your park fee in cash, and in US dollars. The fee is $100.Here's a sketch of passengers waiting in line at...

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  • Flamingos

    You can see flamingos on Isla Rabida and Isla Sante Fe. The characteristic pink colouration of the Galapagos Flamingo is maintained by their diet of bright pink shrimp larvae and other pink marine insects.

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  • The Great Frigate Birds

    The Great Frigate birds can be found in colonies on Isla Seymour Norte. They are not the friendliest birds in the animal kingdom in that they rely on other birds, like boobies and gulls to catch fish and then the Frigates steal their fish away. Another interesting fact about the frigate birds is that the males have these floppy red pouches beneath...

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  • The Waved Albatross

    Considered to be the rarest bird of the Galapagos Islands is also the largest. The Waved Albatross has a wing span of 2.5m, making it an expert flyer but less than graceful while on land. These birds spend most of their time flying to different locales in the South Pacific, but return exclusively to Isla Espanola every year from April to December...

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  • Marine, Land and Hybrid Iguanas

    There are 2 species of land iguanas on the Galapagos, they can reach up to 1m in length. The marine iguanas are very unique in that they are they only aquatic iguana in the world. They have evolved to eat green algae that grows underwater. They can swim to a depth of 20m and stay underwater for an hour at a time. They are also able to expunge...

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  • Sea Turtles

    There are 4 species of Marine Turtles that have been spotted on the Galapagos Islands. I only observed one while snorkelling one day, but one morning we came across these turtle tracks in the sand. The females come up from the water at night and dig a deep hole into which they lay hundreds of eggs and leave them there to incubate in the hot sun.

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  • Blue Footed Boobies

    The Blue Footed Boobies were by far my favourite animals from the Galapagos. We came across hundreds of them, most at very close range. We were only allowed to walk on very narrow pathways on the islands and often, the boobies would nest right in the middle of our path, so we would literally have to step over them to get by.They are very skilled...

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  • Visiting the islands means

    Visiting those islands means - "Let live and let die" respect the nature rules.I can not tell you what we found here - but we discoverd the rules of nature - believe me !

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  • No longer king of the hill

    It is quite sad, but when the dominate male sea-lion can no longer dominate (i.e. another sea-lion can beat him up), he separates himself from the group and waits to die. This poor sea lion wouldn't eat anything and moaned at us when we passed (on Plazas Island.

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  • Think 'green'

    Remember this is a Nature Reserve and the animals and marine life come first. It's very simple and you hear it often, but the rule 'take only photographs and leave only footprints' is very appropriate. This is an amazing place and there are a lot of people who would like to visit after you.

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  • Not really a cultural tip, but...

    Not really a cultural tip, but the iguanas on the Galapagos were unreal. It's amazing to be within inches of such unique wildlife--which is one of the trademarks of the Galapagos.

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  • Land Iguanas - Feeding Time!

    These land reptiles enjoy being fed pieces of cactus. All of the animals seem to really pose for pictures. (This Iguana lives on Isla Plazas)

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  • The people of the Islands, as...

    The people of the Islands, as well as Ecuador itself are very kind and will always offer you a greeting. Do everyone a favor and be friendly. We saw countless tourists who walked around demanding things and treated the people poorly. Granted, you are paying alot of money for things, but it doesn't mean rudeness is allowed.Regarding tipping--check...

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  • Rules and obligations when...

    Rules and obligations when entering at the National Park of Galápagos:RULE 1.-No plants, animals or Animal remains (Seashells, bones, pieces of wood, etc) or any other object can be removed or altered or taken from the islands.RULE 2.-Be careful not to transport any lived organisms to the islands or from one island to another. Clean your clothes...

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  • Galápagos Islands, or Colón...

    Galápagos Islands, or Colón Archipielago, group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, constituting a Providence of Ecuador, about 1050 Kmts of the western coast of South America.The Archipielago consist of 15 large and several hundred smaill islands lying on near the Equator.The islands are volcanic in origin, with levels shorelines and montainous...

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  • The number of islands and...

    The number of islands and islets, their biological characteristics, isolation and good state of conservation have led to the existence of terrestrial and marine ecosystems unique in the world.

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Galápagos Islands Hotels

  • Finch Bay Eco Hotel

    Barrio Punta Estrada S/N, Puerto Ayora, 00000, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

    Puerto Villamil, Isabela Galapagos Islands, , Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Hostal Casa de Laura

    Before coming to San Cristóbal I had read in my guidebook about Hostal Casa de Laura and it seemed...

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  • La Casa Marita

    Isla Isabela, , Puerto Villamil, Galapagos

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Pimampiro Hosteria

    Avenue Quito y Tulcan, , Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Red Mangrove Floreana Lodge

    Via a la Loberia, Puerto Velasco Ibarra , Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Royal Palm Resort Hotel

    Via Baltra Km 18, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

  • Angermeyer Waterfront Inn

    Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Hostal Rincon de George

    16 Marzo, , Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

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Galápagos Islands Local Customs

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