Frequently asked questions

Galapagos

Traval

While some batteries may be available to purchase on board, please bring extras if your personal dive equipment may require a unique size. Because of the remote locations in which our vessels operate, there is limited or no access to battery recycling facilities. To help us with responsible tourism we kindly request you bring home your own spent batteries to be recycled or disposed of properly. Alternatively, consider using rechargeable batteries as there are plenty of sockets to plug in a charger on board.

Visa Information

Ecuador operates a visa exemption scheme for US, UK, EU, Australian and Canadian passport holders which allows stays of up to 90 days without a visa. Nationals from other countries need apply for a visa to enter Ecuador, before travelling. To check the latest requirements and to find out if you need a visa to enter Ecuador, please contact your nearest Ecuadorian embassy/ consulate, or refer to the IATA Travel Centre website: www.iatatravelcentre.com/EC-Ecuador-passport-visa-health-travel-document-requirements

A Transit Control Card (also referred to as TCT card) is required for travel from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands. The cards are obtainable from the INGALA booths at Quito and Guayaquil Airports before checking in for your flight to the Galapagos, and cost 20 USD.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of arrival in Ecuador; this is a strict legal requirement from the Ecuadorean government. Without this minimum validity entry to the country will be denied.

Proof of onward travel and funds

You may be asked about your reason for travel and to provide evidence of a return or onward flight ticket when you arrive.

Health

Insurance

Travel health insurance is a mandatory requirement for entry into Ecuador. All foreign tourists are required to have travel health insurance which covers the entire duration of their intended stay in the country. Travellers who are unable to provide proof of insurance may be denied entry.

Vaccinations

There are no obligatory vaccination requirements for Ecuador. However, we advise all guests to ensure that general vaccinations such as those for Measles, Mumps and Rubella, and Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus are up-to-date before you travel. Vaccinations are recommended for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Typhoid.
All travellers are advised to use insect repellent and keep their skin covered where possible to prevent insect borne diseases.

Yellow fever certificate requirements
Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from infected areas. It is also recommended for those intending to travel east of the Andes. Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the

We recommend our guests to spend an additional night on either side of their trip to ensure they are well rested for the diving ahead. Most international flights arrive into Guayaquil or Quito after the domestic connection to San Cristóbal has departed, making an overnight stay a necessity. However, the domestic departure is in the morning of disembarkation day, allowing time for guests to make their international connection. We do advise allowing plenty of time for transfers, check-in and potential flight delays.

The flights to the Galapagos originate in Quito, making a quick stop at Guayaquil, then carrying on to the islands. The flights do the reverse on the way back. The flights to and from the Galapagos is are often delayed and that is why at least an overnight stay is strongly advised at the end of your trip in order not to miss your international flight home.



There are two companies operating this route and they have daily flight. (TAME & Aerogal) We will primarily use TAME as we have strong relationship with them. Both of these companies use airports in Galapgos, Baltra and San Cristobal. Should the National Park authorities request a change of itinerary, we will not have a problem flying you to another other airport. The seats are held in bulk by the ground agent and the tickets will not be issued until a week before the liveaboard’s departure. The schedule and prices of these flights change very often and, unfortunately, this is beyond our control. Should the price increase after you’ve paid your balance, the difference will have to be paid by you.

Country Information

UTC-6 in the Galapagos and UTC-5 for mainland Ecuador

Spanish is Ecuador's official language and the coutnry is is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

The local currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar (USD). Larger hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants will normally accept Visa and Mastercard for which a charge of 4 – 10% may be levied.

While in major cities, cell and internet covers are excellent. If you go into more rural areas, there may not be any cover or it will be slow.

he Galapagos Islands straddle the equator and weather is roughly divided into two seasons; ‘warm’ and ‘dry’. The warm season, generally begins in December has average daytime temperature of 23°C (75°F) with daily rain showers and cloudier skies. The dry season, typically begins in May/June, bringing cooler temperatures with an average of 21°C (70°F) with local rain showers generally confined to the highlands of the larger islands. Evening temperatures can drop to just 15°C (59°F) therefore we advise guests to bring warm clothing for the cooler evenings.

There are limited facilities on the Galapagos Islands. If you travel to the Galapagos make sure your insurance includes evacuation by air ambulance. San Cristobal island has a well-equipped public hospital, but Santa Cruz island only has a basic hospital. Mainland health facilities in major cities (like Quito and Guayaquil) are better equipped.

The nearest Recompression Chamber is actually on the Galapagos Islands, located in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz and can be reached within 5 minutes by car from the harbour.

During Your Trip

While night dives are permitted in the Galapagos, due to conditions it is not often possible. The 4th day dive may be substituted for a night dive, but as this is only possible within a sheltered cove with minimal current, this averages about 1 night dive per itinerary.

Decompression dives or technical dives are not allowed due to the remoteness of the Galapagos, local diving regulations and insurance requirements.

For every dive, you will use the “pangas”. They are tenders from where you will roll backwards in to the water. After your dive, your tank will be lifted back into the “panga” and you will board via its stern ladders or with assistance from the side. All the dives will be guided by an instructor/naturalist guide and due to Galapagos National Park regulations, all divers must dive with a guide at ALL TIMES.

Our vessel has Type B power outlets (US) and runs on 110/220v. Please do bring any adaptors you may need to charge your electronics.

Mobile phones that have a roaming option will likely function while you’re on board the M/V Galapagos Master. However, some remote areas may have very weak coverage or no coverage at all. Due to the remote locations that the M/V Galapagos Master sails, Internet connection is not available on board. A satellite phone which is present on board can be used in case of any emergency.

The Taxes and Fees are to be paid locally and cannot be pre-paid. These are: • 20 USD Tourist Card (payable at the INGALA Booth in Quito or Guayaquil Airport prior to domestic flight check-in) and • 100 USD Galapagos National Park Fees (payable in USD CASH ONLY upon arrival in San Cristobal)

We accept payment in cash USD on board Galapagos Master. We can take payment in Euro, GBP, and AUD but be aware that due to poor local exchange rates in the Galapagos, we strongly suggest that you bring cash USD into Galapagos with you for any payments on both land and boat. Please note that we cannot accept any card payments on Galapagos Master. Guests are advised to bring sufficient cash USD for any optional extras and tips.