Important Galapagos travel information you should know before you arrive to these Islands...
The Galapagos are a group of 13 major Islands, six smaller islands, 42 islets and several rocks, which cover a total area of 7,850 km2.
These group of Islands are located 600 miles from mainland Ecuador in South America.
In 1959 in order to preserve the original ecosystem of the Islands 97% of the land surface and the entire ocean out to the national limits was designated a National Park.
The capital city of Galapagos is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno which is located on San Cristobal Island. The Galapagos Islands are also a province of Ecuador. The Islands are a unique sanctuary of animals and birds that cannot be seen in any other place in the world.
Find Cheap Airline Tickets to the Galapagos Islands here
There are 5 largest Islands: San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela (the largest one) and Fernandina. The main airport is located in Baltra it is a small Island and here is where most flights from mainland Ecuador arrive.
The main cities are: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (capital city), Puerto Ayora, Santa Rosa and Puerto Villamil.
The Charles Darwin Research Station is located on Santa Cruz Island. The Darwin Station was created to protect and preserve Galapagos wildlife and to educate Galapagos Children adults and visitors.
The Galapagos travel information laid here are for those who like nature, hiking, birdwatching, snorkeling or diving. It is a great place to travel with your family, friends or alone.
Galapagos Tourism is a human activity that can alter the Islands fragile ecosystem.
For this, the Galapagos National Park has designed a little more than 50 Galapagos Sites that can be visited, always accompanied by a National Park Naturalist guide, and in organized and controlled tours.
A good tip for your Galapagos travel information is that visitor sites have marked trails where you can walk and pass within inches of numerous species.
The Galapagos national park authorities have established certain regulations which visitors must follow in order to protect the ecosystem.
Some of these regulations include: not feeding the animals, do not throw litter, always follow the designated trails, do not bother the animals, always walk with a naturalist guide, etc.
Another Galapagos travel information tip would be that the animals in the Islands are unafraid of humans you can get very close to them to take pictures and they will not run or fly away.
You will be surrounded by beautiful and exotic wildlife.
In the sea you will enjoy hammerhead sharks sea turtles, penguins and more.
The Islands are of volcanic origin and several volcanoes in the west of the archipelago are still very active. More About Galapagos Volcanoes
The cities of Puerto Ayora (the largest city) on Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno are the cities with the highest tourist activity.
As of 2009 the total population in this Archipelago is of around 20,000 inhabitants.
An important Galapagos travel information fact is that the Islands have a rich marine life that makes this place one of the most important Scuba Diving Destinies in the world.
Most of the landing sites are on sandy beaches where you will have a wet or a dry landing depending on the location. Learn more about Wet and Dry Landings
Make sure you bring a good par of walking shoes because the trails are, most of the time, covered by dust or volcanic material that heat up under the burning equatorial sun. Don't forget also to bring a good sun block.
Part of this Galapagos travel information page is the history of the Islands. They were discovered by accident on March 10, 1535 by Father Tomas de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama.
Galapagos appears for the first time on a map in 1570, with the title of Galopegos Insulae. Later the Islands became a refuge for British and American pirates, who used the giant tortoises as food.
At the end of the 17th century the pirate William Ambrose Cowley draws the first map of the Islands, using British names. Here's more about Galapagos History
If you are living out of Ecuador the first thing to do is to arrive to either Quito or Guayaquil and then take a Flight to Galapagos It is just one hour and a half from Quito and one hour from Guayaquil by plane (both cities are in Ecuador), you will land either on Baltra or San Cristobal's airport, depending on the tour you have chosen.
Passengers must bring their passports and passport numbers must be sent one month prior to arrival to your travel company.
The admission fee to the Galapagos National Park is US$100 per person plus $10 for the admission card and it must be paid upon arrival at the airport in Galapagos.
US Dollars, credit cards and travel checks are accepted on board these recommended Galapagos Island Cruises
There are 2 seasons in Galapagos. 1) Normally from June to November, there is a cold current rising from the south which creates a cool moist fog called Garúa close to the ocean making the climate rather cool and dry.
2) From December to June, the ocean is calm and the currents change, surrounding the islands in the warm Panama Current from the North. These currents collaborate to have hot sunny mornings followed by clouds and occasional showers in the afternoons.
Another Galapagos travel information fact is that from December to June is the best time to visit the Islands. More Galapagos Weather information
Snorkeling in Galapagos Delight your self swimming around Penguins, Marine Iguanas, Colorful Fish, Green Sea Turtles, and even sharks and hammerhead sharks.
Galapagos Diving Divers share the water with an enormous variety of exotic marine life.
Sea Kayaking You will paddle among penguins, sea turtles, sea lions, rays, just to name a few. Nothing compares to the feeling of closeness to nature in Galapagos.
Isabela Island: It is the biggest Island in Galapagos 4,600 Km2 and it also has the highest volcano named Wolf with 1,690 mts. This Island has the shape of a boot.
If you want to dive or snorkel, Elizabeth bay is a good place to do it among rays and sea turtles. It is a pristine and peaceful environment. Endemic Galapagos Plants and impressive lava flows can be seen at Punta Moreno.
The capital city of this Island is Puerto Villamil, which is surrounded by beautiful brackish water lagoons and by dense vegetation. It is also a very nice place to see dozens of different species of Galapagos Birds
Santa Cruz Island: This is the second largest island of the Galapagos. It has an area of around 1,000 Km2. The main city of this Island is Puerto Ayora, and for your Galapagos travel information notes this is an important place for Galapagos Economy and it is also the main center for tourism.
The Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station are located here. This is the best place to observe the Galapagos Giant Tortoises and meet Lonesome George, the last survivor of Pinta Island.
The beautiful beach of Tortuga Bay is located here, it's a beach surrounded by a stunning nature and it is a perfect site to observe sharks, manta rays, marine iguanas and several sea birds.
San Cristobal Island: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is located here and it is also the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. The best sites to visit are: The Galapaguera, Cerro Brujo and Punta Pitt.
Floreana Island: This is the fourth island in the Archipelago that is inhabited by humans (the others being Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal). One of the most visited sites in this Island is Post Office Bay
Punta Cormorant is also a nice site with a green beach. If you want to dive or snorkel then Devil's Crown is the perfect place to do it. Enjoy swimming next to thousands of colorful Galapagos Fish rays and coral formations.
Baltra Island: Here's where one of the Galapagos airports is located. Most visitors will arrive to this Island and begin their expedition around Galapagos. More about Baltra Island
South Plaza Island: It is a great place to observe the beauty of the Plants of Galapagos like the Opuntia cactus forest, land iguanas and sea lions.
North Seymour Island: It is the perfect spot for birdwatchers. Birds like blue footed boobies, Frigatebirds swallow tailed gulls can be seen here.
Bartolome Island: This is the Island with the most beautiful lava landscapes in Galapagos. It is a nice place to snorkel among Galapagos penguins, Galapagos fish and Galapagos Marine Turtles
Santiago Island: This is a wonderful place where you will find black sand beaches, interesting lava formations (at Sullivan Bay) and caves with amazing colors and shapes.
Rabida Island: It has an incredible red san beach. There is a lagoon where you can enjoy watching Flamingos, pelicans and Pintail ducks. There are also nine species of Galapagos Finches inhabiting this Island.
Santa Fe Island: In this Island you will find a forest with giant Cactus of up to 10 mts high. It is a nice spot for observing the endemic Galapagos land iguana.
Genovesa Island: It is one of the most distant Islands. It is a nice place for birdwatching. It has a beautiful coral beach, great for swimming, snorkeling and diving. You will also find Hammerhead Sharks
Marchena Island: In your Galapagos travel information notes, keep in mind that this Island doesn't have any visitor sites but it is a great place for diving on its surroundings. More About Marchena Island
Espanola Island: The best place here is Punta Suarez, where you will see the endemic Galapagos Marine Iguanas with red and green spots.
There is also a colony of the endemic Waved Albatross A nice place for swimming and snorkeling is Gardner Bay with a beautiful white sand beach.
Fernandina Island: This is probably the most pristine Island in the Galapagos because it is not inhabited by humans due to it's remoteness. The Island has a high rate of Volcanic Activity
Punta Espinosa is the only visitor site in this Island and here you can see a large concentration of marine iguanas, as well as flightless cormorants, sea lions, penguins, lava lizards, hawks, and mangrove forests.
As part of this Galapagos travel information facts it is worth mentioning that the Islands conditions remain relatively untouched and can be described as a: Dream come true for all those who love and enjoy nature...
If you have any questions about Galapagos travel information, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Island Tours to visit this Archipelago, You can Contact us here