Galapagos Important Information

What to bring

  • Packing for a liveaboard trip is much easier than packing for a land-based vacation.
  • The climate doesn't require much more than shorts, T-shirts, and swimsuits though at sea the winds can be cold and jackets are often necessary. Soft luggage is recommended as it takes up very little space when empty.
  • Sun screens, sunglasses, a visor, raincoat, lightweight sweater or jacket, long sleeved shirt, backpack, tevas and a hat are recommended.
  • Guests traveling through Quito who are interested in day tours may wish to bring some items of clothing for slightly cooler temperatures and good walking shoes.
  • Please remember that the Galapagos Islands straddle the Equator and the sun can be very strong at times. For this reason please make sure you have sufficient strength sunscreen.
  • In case of rough weather or if you have a tendency towards seasickness, come prepared with motion sickness medications or Transderm patches from your doctor.
  • If you have favorite CD's or DVD's, feel free to bring them.

All linens supplied Soaps supplied Hairdryers not supplied

All linens (including sheets, comforters, bath towels, hand towels, dive towels, and wash cloths) are provided on board.

Carry-on packaging

If possible, pack your regulator, dive computer, mask, a swimsuit, change of clothes, medications and toiletries in your carry-on bag. Having these few items with you will make an unexpected luggage delay far more bearable.

Luggage weight restrictions

There is a weight limit on checked-in luggage for flights to and from Quito and/or Guayaquil to the Galapagos of 44 pounds (20 kilos). An additional fee of up to US$1.70* per 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) to and from Quito will be charged for luggage over the limit and US$1.50* per 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) to and from Guayaquil. In addition, passengers are allowed a carry-on bag weighing no more than 17.6 pounds (8 kilos) and a personal item. All additional luggage fees must be paid in cash at flight time.

Equipment list

The vessel provides tanks, weights, and weight belts for your use. If you prefer to rent the rest of your equipment from us, we have all of the equipment that you will need. Please indicate on your application form what equipment you will require. Otherwise, the following items are the diver's responsibility:

  • Certification Card
  • Diving Log Book (strongly encouraged)
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Fins
  • Booties (if you wear them)
  • Buoyancy Control Device (required) *
  • Regulator w/alternate air source, submersible pressure and depth gauges (required)*
  • Underwater time piece (required)
  • Dive computer *
  • Wet suit – 5 mm to 7 mm *
  • Hooded vest
  • Gloves
  • Repair kit w/ spare parts
  • Safety flag
  • DiveAlert air horn for regulator

* Available for rent on board Most of our guests bring their own complete set of dive gear. This is the ideal situation, however, due to weight limits or additional travel plans some of our guests choose to rent gear. We strongly recommend that you bring your own mask, gloves, booties, fins, hood or hooded vest and computer. A personal wetsuit is also a good idea if you have space. Diving in Galapagos can be challenging and it is important that you are comfortable.

Dive insurance

Due to the nature of this trip and the very remote nature of the destination, all divers are required to have dive accident insurance when diving from the Humboldt Explorer, and to note the policy number on their application form.

Arrival / Departure

Passports are required for all arriving foreign nationals. If in doubt about visas, contact the Ecuadorian Consulate for specific requirements from your country.

Galapagos Taxes

Galapagos National Park entrance fee USD$100. Galapagos Transit Control Card USD$20. Both taxes are payable in cash.

Scheduling flights

Flight times, prices and the Galapagos airport of arrival are all subject to change with little or no notification, and flights often run late. We strongly encourage our guests to plan on arriving at least one and preferably two days prior to your flight to the Galapagos Islands, to ensure that your luggage is with you or to make up for any travel delays. We also recommend that guests plan on an extra night in Quito or Guayaquil upon departing Ecuador. The earliest time a guest can reliably expect to connect to another flight is 10 p.m on the last Monday of the trip. Ticket holders are required to check-in a minimum of three hours prior to flight time for all international departures, even when connecting from an Aerogal or Tame flight.

Meals

Please list on the application form any dietary needs you have.

Aboard the Humboldt Explorer, lunch and evening meals usually consist of lots of salad, potatoes, rice, chicken, beef, pork, and fish. Breakfast is the usual fare of eggs, ham, cereal, toast, and fresh fruits. Cookies are available between dives. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests, please indicate so on your application form. Please note that specific brands of soft drinks, dressings and foods are often unavailable in the islands, and that it can be very difficult for us to find low-fat or soy products, fresh fruit, fish, and other items common elsewhere. While we will do our best to accommodate your requests, please be realistic and consider bringing some of your own foods if the lack thereof may constitute a health risk or seriously compromise your enjoyment of your holiday.

Currency

US dollars are widely accepted

The U.S. dollar is the official currency of Ecuador; therefore, it is not necessary to purchase currency before arriving. Most major credit cards are accepted widely when shopping ashore, however, additional fees are charged in Ecuador for the use of credit cards.

On board charges

Major credit cards are accepted on board

  • Though all meals, most beverages, transportation between islands, and much more has been taken care of with your trip payment, there are additional items which you may charge to your on board bill.
  • These include retail items (shirts, etc.), scuba instruction, rentals, nitrox, premium alcoholic beverages, and crew gratuities.
  • The bill may be paid at the end of the trip using cash, Visa, or MasterCard. American Express, traveler's checks and personal checks are not accepted on board, and we are unable to advance cash on credit card charges. Travelers checks are not accepted in Ecuador nor can they easily be changed into cash. Gratuities and onboard charges are best paid in cash. This avoids any additional Ecuadorian taxes and service fees. Bills will be settled onboard on Sunday morning. ATM machines are available in Quito, Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora and San Cristobal.

Crew Gratuites

Crew gratuities are not included in your package. The crew works very hard, 7 days a week and up to 12 weeks at a stretch, providing the best possible service for our guests. The industry standard for crew gratuities on dive trips (if of course you are happy with the service which you have received) is between 10% and 15% of the package price per passenger. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated