What to pack for Galápagos Islands

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Most Viewed What to Pack in Galápagos Islands

  • nattybabe's Profile Photo

    Film, suncreen and more film!!

    by nattybabe Written Aug 30, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: You won't need a lot of luggage so if you can leave the bulk of it back at your hotel on the mainland.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You don’t need much on your cruise except the essentials – hat, sunscreen, shorts, swimming togs, sunglasses, thongs, good walking shoes, comfortable clothes and lots and lots of film or memory cards.

    Be aware that salt will get into everything you own, so prepare to be dirty by the end of the day!! A good idea is to have clothes that you only wear on the boat so that they will stay clean and you will feel a whole lot nicer!!

    Photo Equipment: Bring lots and lots of film!!!!

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  • CrazyShoes's Profile Photo

    Fleece, wetsuit, etc..

    by CrazyShoes Updated Oct 14, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You'll need some kind of jacket or fleece at various times. Out on the water it can be chilly. Most day trips leave early in the morning. When the sun is out, remember you are on the equator, you can burn quite quickly. Bring sunblock, sunglasses, and maybe a hat.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring sea sick pills.

    Photo Equipment: Yup bring lots of film or a large storage card for your camera. Tons of photo ops. The animals pose for you.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Wet suits are recommended for snorkeling. It depends what time of the year you are visiting. You can rent them for $5 US/day.

    Related to:
    • Whale Watching
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

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  • martij2's Profile Photo

    Complete Packing List

    by martij2 Updated May 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Pictures and full trip report available on our web site

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: (per person)
    2 pairs of shorts
    1 pair of convertible pants
    5 short sleeved t-shirts
    1 long sleeved shirts
    1 anorak/windbreaker
    2 bathing suits

    (wear on plane)
    Long pants
    Long sleeve shirt
    Hiking shoes

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: (1) Banana Boat Sport SPF 15 (8 oz.)
    (1) Banana Boat Sport SPF 30 (8 oz.)
    (1) Banana Boat Oil Free SPF 8 (4 oz.)
    (1) Banana Boat Faces SPF 23 (4 oz.)(2)
    General Toiletries (including Dramamine, antibiotic cream and "just in case" Cipro)
    Cutter Outdoorsman Insect Repellent (5 oz. - 21% Deet)
    (1) Caladryl Calamine Lotion (6oz.)
    (1) Bottle of Aloe

    Photo Equipment: (1) Nikon Coolpix 5000 (for video/audio)
    (1) Nikon Coolpix 880 (for macro)
    (1) Nikon D70 w/18-70 lens
    (1) zoom lens (didn't use)
    (2) Battery Chargers
    (4) Rechargeable Batteries for 5000/880
    (1) Rechargeable Battery for D70
    (1) Wide angle lens for 880 (didn't use)
    (1) lens adapter for 880 (didn't use)
    (3) Chamois lens cloths
    (1) 1 Gb microdrive
    (3) 512 Mb compact flash cards
    (2) 256 Mb compact flash cards
    (1) Nikonos V with 28mm lens, and SB-105 Flash
    (4) Rolls of 400 speed film for Nikonos
    (1) Disposable underwater camera
    (1) Small dry bag (used for camera equip. inside backpack)

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: (don't both with the luxury dive bags, they just advertise "steal me")
    (2) wetsuits (5mm for me, 3mm for Andy)
    (2) sets of masks/snorkel/fins/booties
    (2) hoods (didn't use)
    (2) bcd's, regulators, gauges
    (1) dive computer
    (2) dive logs/c cards

    Miscellaneous: Tevas
    Tilley Hats
    Deck of Cards
    Quick dry towels
    Bag of Munchies Snack Mix
    Bag of trail mix

    Dive bag (left), 2 small duffles, camera bag
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • National/State Park
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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  • Quero's Profile Photo

    Nothing fancy, Everything comfortable

    by Quero Updated Dec 8, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: As weight restrictions on flights to GPS are strict, you will want the minimum amount of luggage for the maximum effect. If you are traveling to other locations, consider leaving anything you don't need at your hotel in Quito/Guayaquil while you are in the islands. Keep in mind that tour boats generally have extremely limited closet/drawer space and that there may be nowhere to store luggage. Soft-sided pieces that can collapse are ideal.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Cargo pants with zip-off legs are practical. Pants with 3/4 legs also work very well. One pair of shorts was enough for me as I was there during the cool season. In summer, take two.

    Don't take many shirts. You will load up on tees in the towns anyway.

    Make sure to have a sweatshirt or a fleece jacket. You will want it between dives and in the evenings.

    The best footwear is a pair of reef sandals/tevas that strap on. These work for both wet and dry landings when you have island visits. You can rinse them off easily (to get rid of stuck on guano) when you're back on the boat. I went barefoot on the boat so I wouldn't slip on the ladders and wet decks, but you might want flip-flops.

    You won't need an umbrella, but a light water-resistant windbreaker with a hood is useful for windy island visits and sudden showers.

    Swimwear is essential, of course, but mine only served as fancy underwear beneath my wetsuit. It was too cool for sunbathing, or for just plain swimming, for that matter.

    Hat and sunglasses.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Seasick remedies
    Upset stomach remedies (for digestive problems)
    Sunscreen, particularly in summer
    Prescription meds
    Toothpaste, etc.

    Photo Equipment: Three times as much film or memory card capacity as you expect to need. I would use a 256 card on a single island visit, sometimes more.

    Extra batteries. Recharge them back on the boat, but you will not want your camera to power down while you're on an island, and you may spend hours on a nature trail.

    Underwater housing for your camera.

    Tripod for land visits if you have a heavy camera. You'll get very tired arms otherwise, since you *will* shoot a lot of pictures.

    Miscellaneous: Binoculars
    Water bottle
    Day pack for island visits
    Small flashlight

    Practical Galapagos evening wear: a warm hoodie

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  • catalysta's Profile Photo

    You can't go shopping when you're on a boat!

    by catalysta Updated Nov 17, 2003

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: waterproof daypack, for those wet landings (at least a waterproof camera pack)

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Some good tough sport sandals - I had Merrill's, everyone else had Teva's, and they were all envying mine! Remember, you'll be hopping around on lava rocks & climbing small mountains, as well as wading in to rocky shores on wet landings

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If you have any tendencies towards seasickness....

    Oh, and of course, several levels of suncreen

    Photo Equipment: Bring more film than you think you'll need (or more memory sticks, whatever!), extra batteries, etc.

    One waterproof disposable camera is a good idea as well, unless you have something better.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: It can get cool on board the boat in the evening, so bring a light jacket or something along that line

    a wetsuit, if you have one, the water's surprisingly cool, Antarctic currents go by

    Miscellaneous: extra sunglasses - if you lose yours, you're screwed!

    I brought my own snorkel, mask & fins just becuz I always do...

    Rugged Cliffs of South Plaza

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  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    Cruise Attire

    by roamer61 Written Aug 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Good shoes for walking on lava fields. As it can get quite warm, appropiate clothing is reccommended. On the vessels, casual is the code.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun screen to protect ones self from the strong equatorial sun.

    Photo Equipment: Bring camera and plenty of film

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  • K1W1's Profile Photo

    Bring an underwater camera

    by K1W1 Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Backpack

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Summer clothing. The dress standard is informal. Shorts, tee shirts, sandals...

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun cream, sunglasses and a sun hat are essential.

    Photo Equipment: Take plenty of film and an underwater camera if you plan to snorkel or dive. Underwater cameras are available but they are much cheaper on the mainland.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Don't forget something to swim in.

    Formula 1 lava car
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • travelmad478's Profile Photo

    Climate-appropriate clothing

    by travelmad478 Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The climate in the islands is pretty temperate year-round, with more heat and rain at some times, more fog at other times. A waterproof poncho or jacket will come in very handy in the frequent heavy mists that you'll pass through. During the day, it should be warm enough for very light clothing. But bring warm clothes (a fleece sweatshirt, long pants, and shoes with socks are enough) for nights on the boat, when the temperature can drop into the low 60s. The wind can be quite strong (and chilly) in some places, so make sure your hat is going to stay on your head!

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • travelmad478's Profile Photo


    by travelmad478 Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you're going to Galapagos, it's almost certain that you will spend time in the water, either snorkeling or diving. Although the islands are right on the equator, don't be fooled--this water can be COLD. The average sea temperature during my trip was around 70 F. Definitely bring a wetsuit even for snorkeling, and if you're someone that gets chilled easily, bring more gear. I had a full 5-mm suit, hood, gloves, and booties, and boy was I happy about that. I felt great throughout all our snorkels, while some people who only had "shortie" wetsuits were turning blue.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • dreamkapture's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by dreamkapture Updated Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: When packing for a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands pack lightly! The fewer things you bring the more carefree and enjoyable your trip will be. It's best to pack your clothes in two bags: one with warmer clothes and city clothes that can be left in your hotel in Quito, and a soft bag such as a duffle or sports bag (not a suitcase) for storage of your gear aboard the boat in Galapagos. You should be able to lock all your luggage regardless of where you are travelling

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Clothing Checklist
    o 2 pairs of walking shoes (one to keep dry, the other for wet landings)
    o 5 pair light cotton socks
    o 2 pairs of shorts
    o 1 or 2 pair swimwear
    o 2 pairs of lightweight long pants or skirt / dress
    o 1 light long sleeve shirt
    o 1 wide brim hat for protection from the sun
    o 1 light cotton scarf to protect your neck from the sun
    o 1 light poncho or rain jacket (and pants for Andes) or umbrella
    o 1 heavy wool shirt for Andes
    o 1 sweater for Andes

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: First-Aid

    o Pepto Bismol (or Kaopectate) for stomach upset and mild diarrhea
    o Immodium or Lomotil for more severe diarrhea
    o Gravol or other motion sickness remedy
    o Band-Aids
    o Anti-biotic cream
    o Aloe Vera cream or gel for sunburn
    o Tylenol or other mild pain relief

    Photo Equipment: Camera Gear
    o Camera
    o Video Camera
    o Flash
    o Telephoto Lens
    o Tripod
    o Lens Paper and Cleaner
    o Extra batteries
    o Extra Tapes
    o Extra film
    o X-Ray proof bag for film
    Waterproof bag for gear

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Other Gear
    o Passport pouch
    o Money belt
    o Sunglasses
    o PABA sunscreen (at least #15)
    o Sun block
    o Spare pair of prescription glasses if you wear them
    o Water bottle (1 litre)
    o Flashlight with extra batteries
    o Toiletries
    o Shampoo
    o Insect repellant
    o Small day pack
    o Fanny pack
    o Stuff sacks to organize your gear
    o Lip salve or ointment
    o Binoculars

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  • lenoreva's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by lenoreva Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Photo Equipment: Bring lots of film, as there are tons of great photo ops and film is expensive to buy there. A camera with a zoom lens will help you get better close up shots (like this one, of a blue footed booby and a sea lion hanging out together).

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  • Packing List

    by JEH Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Pack lightly. For four of us, we brought just 2 suitcases for 8 days + the backpack for the baby. You may want a daypack to carry supplies when you are on day trips. It is a must to have your hands free when jumping on and off the pangas.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Most of all, bring comfortable shoes! There is a ton of walking on the islands during tours or even if you want to walk around Puerto Ayora for a meal. February is one of the hottest times of the year--high 80s, to be on the kind side.

    Formalwear is not needed at all. Just bring what you will be comfortable in (shorts, t-shirts, etc.). You may want to bring a long sleeved shirt in case you get a bit sunburned and still want to walk around.

    Make sure you bring a hat. The sun is very strong and there is very little shade on any of the islands.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mosquito repellent! Suntan lotion!! Aloe Vera gel, if needed.
    You can buy a repellent called Detan in the local pharmacies, but go to the ones farther off the beaten path (down by the pier is a good one). There is a small shop next to La Garrapatta restaurant whose prices are also very reasonable.
    If you forgot to put the repellent on, try some menthol (like Vick's) on the mosquito bites. I don't know why, but it works on taking the itch out! They sell small tins for less than 50 cents.

    Miscellaneous: If you are a birdwatcher, you may want your binoculars, but we brought ours and never used them. We used the zoom lens on our camera just to save space in our backpack for snacks, diapers, hats,etc.

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  • mslate's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by mslate Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you want to shield the maximum skin from the tropical sun (as I did) take a pair of pants that zip off to shorts. These work well for wet landings (as shorts) and then long pant protection on shore.

    Photo Equipment: Take more film than seems at all reasonable.

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Galápagos Islands Hotels

  • Angermeyer Waterfront Inn

    Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3.5 out of 5 stars

  • La Casa Marita

    Isla Isabela, , Puerto Villamil, Galapagos

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3 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

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Comments (1)

  • jmhultin's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    A simple pointer - upon checking our bags for every flight in SA, the authorities sealed our checked baggage with a heavy plasitc band. When we arrived at our lodgings, those bands are difficult to remove, and any knives or scissors we carried were inside the suitcase. We finally learned to pack a knive in one of the outside zippered compartments of the suitcase.

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