FAQ

Welcome to the FAQ section of our web site. If there is a question you have that is not answered here, please feel free to ask us!

Q: Where are the Galapagos Islands?

A: The Galapagos Islands (or Archipelago de Colon) is a Province of Ecuador located 600 miles (1000 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian coast. They lie directly on the equator.

Q: What is the climate like?

A: As the islands lie directly on the Equator, you can expect it to be warm for most of the year. The hottest season is generally from December to April with average temperatures ranging from a low of 70 to a high of 84 F (22 – 31 C). It is during this period that you may expect short but heavy showers. The sea is generally calm this time of the year and the water temperature warmer. May to November is considered the “cool” season with average temperatures ranging from a low of 68 to a high of 82 F (19 – 27 C).

Q: How do we get there?
A: From North America and Europe there are daily flights to Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Q: How do we get to Galapagos from Quito and Guayaquil?
A: Flights to Galapagos depart daily from both Quito and Guayaquil. We will arrange the Galapagos flight for you. As boat owners in Galapagos we will block book spaces on those flights to ensure our passengers are on the flight to meet the boat.

Q: May we fly to Galapagos from Quito and just back to Guayaquil (or vice versa)?
A: Yes, we would be able to arrange that for you.

Q: Are all your prices in US dollars?
A: All of our rates are quoted in US dollars.

Q: When do we have to pay?
A: A 20% deposit is required at the time you decide to confirm your reservation and the balance is due 60 days before departure.

Q: What form of payment do you accept?
A: Payment may be made by international money order, bank draft, paypal, or wire transfer.

Q: What is included in the rates for the boats?
A: The boat rates includes accommodations and all meals aboard the boat, island sightseeing, all guide and lecture services, transfers in the islands and between the airport and yacht in Galapagos.

Q: What is not included on the Galapagos Cruise?
A: Galapagos flights, Galapagos Entrance Fee (includes the municipal tax, currently $100 US payable in cash to the national park authorities in Baltra), Galapagos Govt. Control ID Card currently at $10 US per person payable beforehand or at airport in Quito or Guayaquil, tips (it is customary to tip the guide, chef and crew) soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and any other extras not specifically mentioned. Check the details of the boat you selected for your cruise for more detailed information.

Q: Can you make hotel and other tour reservations for us in Ecuador?
A: Yes! We will be glad to plan an efficient itinerary and all arrangements that will make the most of the time you have available and at a price you can afford.

Q: How do we receive our vouchers and tickets for the Galapagos and/or mainland Ecuador?
A: We will e-mail (if requested) a receipt and voucher that is valid for all arrangements with us. The ticket for the Galapagos flight will be issued to you once you are in Ecuador.

Q: What level of Naturalist Guide will be aboard the boat and do they speak English?
A: All of the boats we use employ highly experienced and qualified level II and III naturalist guides who are fluent in English (and often other languages as well).

Q: How much should we tip the guide and crew?
A: This is a very sensitive matter for us.  We are often asked what gratuity is appropriate to leave for the guides and crewmembers.

We prefer that our guests reward our crew based on their performance. The following is a guideline based on the average of what has been left in the past for the crew and guide, if they have performed to your expectation, and their service has been excellent:

– USD $100 per person per week for the whole crew (to be divided between the crewmembers), and USD $40 per person per week for the guide. Therefore the total tip would be USD $140 per person.

Please understand that this is a suggestion: tipping and gratuities are a very personal matter. Please deposit the gratuities for the crewmembers inside the box provided for this purpose. The guide is handed his/her gratuity separately.

Q: Will there be time for snorkeling?
A: There is plenty of time for snorkeling for those who are interested. Snorkeling gear is provided on our boats. For best fit, we recommend that you bring your own gear.

Q: Is there a rental charge for snorkeling equipment?
A: Snorkel gear is included in the cruise.

Q: How many kilos of luggage can I bring to the Galapagos?
A: No more than 20 kilos of luggage per person may be checked on board flights to the Galapagos Islands. In addition, each passenger is allowed a carryon flight bag and camera case. Arrangements may be made to leave extra luggage at one’s hotel or at our office in Quito.

Q: Is a wetsuit necessary for snorkeling?
A: No, a wetsuit is not necessary, but we suggest that you bring a 2mm “shorty” to help keep you warm in colder waters in the months of June through November. We also have wetsuits available for rent on board our yachts.

Q: Will we have to exchange any money before we travel to Ecuador or once in the country?
A: Not if you have US dollars. Ecuador has adopted the US dollar as its official currency.

Q: What should we bring to the Galapagos?
A: Guests should bring summer clothing with a jacket or sweater, in a soft bag for easy stowage. Also essential are comfortable walking shoes, sandal’s, a hat, bathing suit, sun protection lotion, insect repellent and plenty of film. All boats carry first aid, but guests should bring a supply of personal medicines including motion sickness medication for those who are not accustomed to boating.

On Download page you can find a recommended packing list.

Q: Is there a recommended reading list?
A:
You can download a recommended reading list on our Download page. Or click on the following Reading list link