The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago that is located off the coast of Ecuador. In total there are 21 islands with their own characteristics. Some are made of desert, for example Santa Cruz while others are known for their white beaches and palm trees like Isabela. Some are completely uninhabited by humans’ others have several different species of animals unique to the Galapagos Islands. The archipelago can be visited in different ways but a cruise is definitely the best way to see as many landscapes and islands in the shortest amount of time. Here are a few things you should not forget to pack when choosing this option.
Many activities include hiking. As the Galapagos Islands were made from volcanic eruptions, the trails can be rocky, sandy and even slippery. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable and support your feet during long walks.
As it is a cruise and the Galapagos offer a wide range of animal species you might want to go snorkeling. These tours usually take place on a riff and you might feel more comfortable wearing these shoes. Also when you have to disembark right into the water or take walks you don’t need to worry about your shoes getting wet.
Deck shoes/ sandals
Your shoes can get quite dirty during your hiking experiences. Therefore, we recommend bringing extra shoes you can use while on deck in order to keep the ship clean. Usually your hiking shoes will be stored by the crew anyway.
Thin & breathable hiking socks
The Galapagos Islands are located directly on the Equator and so, especially in summer months, it gets really hot. You will want to bring sufficient light socks with you so they last the whole trip.
As mentioned above it can get very hot on the Galapagos Islands and during day trips of trekking this will get even more intense. Also lighter colors are to be preferred as your clothes won’t absorb as much heat.
T-Shirts, Safari shirts, long sleeve shirts
Comfortable shirts are very important during long day trips. For these, short ones are better for the warmth but for evenings or colder days you should bring long sleeve shirts. Again lighter colors are preferred due to the heat and sun.
Light fleece/ wind shell
These are useful for your flights as planes can often be chilly and if you have some more time planned on the Ecuadorian mainland. In the cooler months they can come in handy as well, due to cold and foggy mornings. However, you most likely won’t need them for the rest of the day.
Light backpack/ fanny pack
For the trips it is best to hike with as little weight as possible. Small backpacks with just the most important things like water, sunglasses, sunscreen etc. You can also use this one as your carry-on on your flight.
Your bathing suit is of course a must-bring, you might even want to consider bringing two as you might need it every day. A good idea is also to use a cover or shirt you can wear over it due to the great force of the sun and you really don’t want to get a sunburn on your first day.
December-May is the rainy season on Galapagos. So if you are travelling during this time you could really need it. Even if you are travelling during another time you can easily use it as windbreaker or as protection against the sea spray.
Sunglasses with security strap
It is very important to protect your body from the sun, not to forget of course about your eyes. A security scrap will prevent you from losing your sunglasses.
Polarized lenses are especially recommended as you can spot and observe sea life far easier even from the boat.
Sun hat/ cap
As the sun is extremely strong so close to the Equator it is inevitable to protect yourself from getting seriously hurt by not protecting your head accordingly.
An absolute must-have on the Galapagos Islands is sunscreen. Preferably waterproof and at least SPF 30.
Day tours/ Activities
To stay hydrated you should carry water with you at any time. Most of the ships actually offer water for free which you can fill into your own bottle if you remembered to bring it.
Light durable duffle bag
Best, you only bring one duffle bag or suitcase with you as it will be easier to handle and you have most likely enough space to fit in all you need. Make sure though that it is a resistant one – many different people of the airport as well as on the ship are going to be handling it and it is supposed to last for a long time, at least during your whole travels.
Due to the high usage of rented snorkeling equipment they are often not in the best shape, no matter what the people selling them say. It saves you a lot of time and peace of mind to just use your own spray on your mask rather than having to clean them every few minutes in order to see something.
Snorkel mask and fins
While bringing your own anti-fog spray can save you a lot of fuss, it is even easier to bring your own mask and fins, rather than renting them. You might also feel more comfortable with your own equipment than using what dozens of other people used before you.
If you want to make extra sure that your valuables and clothes stay dry while enjoying your time, consider using a dry bag. At times you are on the open sea and you can never know when a wave crashes against the boat or a sassy sea lion splashes water on it.
Some ships don’t provide towels and by bringing a light one, microfiber for example, you save yourself a lot of trouble.
Medicine for Motion Sickness
As mentioned, you will be on the open sea at times, as the Galapagos Islands are quite far from the mainland. Do not risk your trip by not bringing some medicine against motion sickness.
To see the islands and animals even from afar, don’t forget your binoculars. Some ships might even provide them, but at the sheer number of people you might have already passed the sight before they reach you.
There are few places with as many animals, plants and spectacular landscapes as the Galapagos. So don’t miss your chance of taking hundreds of pictures and even underwater videos.
If you remember to bring all of these items your Galapagos cruise is guaranteed to be a success.0