Frequently Asked Questions

A list of questions most frequently asked by our guests


About the Galapagos Islands

Where are the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles / 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador in South America. Explore the Galapagos Islands on Google Earth.

How many Galapagos Islands are there?

There are 13 main Galapagos Islands, only 4 of which are populated (Santa, Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana) and hundreds of islets and rocky outcrops.
Read more: Our Guide To The Galapagos Islands

What country do the Galapagos Islands belong to?

The Galapagos Islands belong to the Republic of Ecuador in South America.

How do I get to the Galapagos Islands?

There is no international airport in the Galapagos Islands. All incoming flights are domestic and depart from either Quito (UIO) or Guayaquil (GYE) on mainland Ecuador. These flights serve Seymour Baltra Galapagos Airport (GPS) and San Cristobal Airport (SCY). The nearest airport to our camp is GPS on Baltra Island (sometimes referred to as Santa Cruz airport due to its close proximity to Santa Cruz). There is also a tiny landing strip on Isabela Island for hopper planes between Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. The majority of flights to the Galapagos leave in the morning, so depending on your international flight you might need to spend a night in Quito or Guayaquil. We can book all domestic flights for you as part of your Galapagos Safari.

How far is the Galapagos from the mainland?

The Galapagos Islands are situated 600 miles / 1000 km west off the Ecuadorian mainland. About an hour-and-a-half flight from Guayaquil, and a 2-hour flight from Quito.

How much of the Galapagos is National Park?

97% of the archipelago’s islands is designated a national park. This area covers just over 3000 squared miles. Human settlements are concentrated on the remaining 3%. There are strict rules about visiting the areas on islands that have been designated as visitor sites by the national park authorities. The oceanic area surrounding the Galapagos is one of the largest Marine Reserves in the world.

Why are the Galapagos Islands so special? Why is the Galapagos so famous?

“In a lifetime making natural history films I’ve been to many wonderful places. But none more extraordinary than here. The Galapagos Islands” – David Attenborough, The Galapagos With David Attenborough

The Galapagos Islands have a variety of singular ecosystems, in which species that can’t be found anywhere else on this earth have adapted and evolved, thanks to unique environmental conditions. The islands are located at a juncture in the Pacific Ocean where a number of major ocean currents meet. It is the nature of these currents that makes this oceanic spot so rich in nutrients and in turn, wildlife.

For more information on the currents and how they make this archipelago so special, see When is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands

When is the best time of year to visit the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are an all-year-round destination. The best time to go very much depends on your individual interests and needs.

Read more: When is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands

Health & Safety

Are the Galapagos Islands safe for tourists?

The Galapagos Islands are generally very safe for tourists. In case of regional unrest, we advise you to contact your own government travel advisory sites for the latest information.

Can you drink the water in the Galapagos?

We don’t recommend drinking water from the tap in the Galapagos Islands. At Galapagos Safari Camp,we provide our guests with drinking water, together with water flasks to take on excursions.

Where is the nearest hospital / medical facility in the Galapagos?

Galapagos Safari Camp is equipped with an excellent first aid kit, and local pharmacies are well stocked. There is a local clinic for minor ailments, and for emergencies there is a hospital in Puerto Ayora. If your insurance covers an air ambulance evacuation please note that the evacuation can only be done within the operating hours of the airports in the Galapagos. We strongly recommend checking your policy, and what it covers in the Galapagos, with your travel insurance company.

Do I need any vaccinations / immunizations?

Not required for entry to the Galapagos Islands, but check if you are travelling in mainland Ecuador or other South American countries. As government legislations change, we always recommend checking with your doctor for the latest information.

What kind of travel insurance do I need?

All passengers should have full medical insurance and trip-cancellation insurance. Be mindful that the Galapagos is a remote location with very basic medical facilities at hand. Emergency medical evacuation can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. Your insurance company should be able to assist you with the best options for your trip.

Galapagos Safari Camp

Where is Galapagos Safari Camp?

Galapagos Safari Camp is located in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.

How do you get to Galapagos Safari Camp?

The nearest airport to our camp is Seymour Baltra Galapagos Airport (GPS), on Baltra Island. Baltra is a tiny island which only accommodates the airport and landing strip. The whole trip form Baltra airport to the camp takes about 45 minutes once you have cleared Galapagos customs and Park Authority entry process. You will be met by your guide at the VIP lounge at the airport. Together you board a private vehicle that drives you down to the pier, where you take a ferry which will cross the narrow channel separating Baltra Island from Santa Cruz. Once across you will transfer into a private vehicle to drive you to the camp – approximately 20 minutes. Door-to-door, the journey from the airport to the Camp takes approximately 1 hour.

What is the terrain like at Galapagos Safari Camp?

We have gravel paths and steps leading from the main lodge to the tents. You will need enough mobility to be comfortable both at the camp and for your excursions.

What wildlife will I see at the camp itself?

Giant tortoises are often spotted roaming in the property. There is plenty of birdlife, including various finches, Galapagos doves, flycatchers, warblers, rails and barn owls.

Read more: Wildlife in the Galapagos Islands

Do you have laundry facilities?

Yes we do, at an extra charge. We do assist with drying wet clothes & shoe cleaning free of charge.

What do you mean by ‘appropriate luxury’?

Read more: Appropriate Luxury

Does the camp have WIFI?

Whether on sea or land, WiFi is considered weak, slow and unpredictable in the Galapagos Islands (e.g. strong enough for social media but not for streaming video). At Galapapos Safari Camp, WiFI is free and available in the main lodge.

Is there a dress code at camp?

At Galapagos Safari Camp the dress code is casual. In the evening, guests often wear long pants and loose fitting long sleeved shirts. In the cooler season, it can be a little chilly in the highlands where GSC is located, so it’s a good idea to bring a jumper as well.

The bug situation … be honest. What should I expect?

We have nothing dangerous or life threatening in Galapagos. During excursions expect a few mosquitoes and horseflies, but this is seasonal. At the camp there are very few mosquitoes, again seasonal, spiders are commonly seen, and there are a few centipedes but they are shy and hard to see.

Are there any dangerous animals at camp?

There are no dangerous or life threatening animals in our camp, or in the Galapagos at large.

Do you have a smoking policy at camp?

Smokers can smoke in a small zone outside our office at the main lodge. When it’s cold we can provide a heater. We discourage smoking in all other areas of the camp.

Can you cater for special dietary needs?

Yes, we can cater to vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten-free, allergies, preferences or religious regulations – just let us know and we can adapt our menu to meet your needs.

Do we need to bring our own towels for day trips?

We provide towels for day trips.

Do you provide wetsuits and snorkeling equipment?

Yes. We will ask you for your wetsuit and fin sizes at the time of booking.

How much should I tip, and when?

It is customary to tip guides, drivers, and boat crew. If service is satisfactory, an added bonus for staff members at the camp is welcome. It is difficult for us to make suggestions, as we believe tipping should reflect satisfaction and should not be expected—but we are always asked for guidelines. We suggest $10 per person per day for guides, crew-members on boat trips, and GSC staff members. That would be $30 per person per day.

Is Galapagos Safari Camp kid friendly?

We consider ourselves a very child-friendly camp!

Read more: Family-Friendly 

Galapagos Safaris

What is a land-based Safari?
How do Galapagos Safari Camp daily tours operate?

This depends on your selected itinerary. Your full day exploring Santa Cruz is fairly flexible, and you will sit down with your host the day before and go through all the options in order to create a day tailored to your preferences. This means you can choose when your day starts and ends and what activities you would like to incorporate (i.e. biking, trekking, kayaking, swimming) as well as which visitor sites in Santa Cruz. Lunch is usually planned at local restaurants or picnics are arranged.

In terms of boat excursions, usually you leave the lodge between 7am and 8.30am and return between 4pm and 6pm. The drive to the embarkation point (either Itabaca Channel or Puerto Ayora) takes around 30 minutes. Navigation time depends on sea conditions and destination, and is from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours. It is important to note that you will be visiting Galapagos National Park territory, which is highly regulated. The Park allocates fixed schedules for visiting sites, and hours for each boat. Walking paths are set, and naturalist guides are obligatory.

When visiting the uninhabited islands you follow trails with your guide, the tempo is slow so as to observe wildlife, you are very close to the animals, which may be mating, nesting, feeding, or fighting, and it is essential to respect distances and follow your guide’s advice. Lunch is served on-board. After the morning visit there is an opportunity to snorkel or swim in designated areas.

How do I plan my Galapagos Safari Camp experience?

Visit All Our Safaris and then contact us. Our Safari Planners will be happy to help you plan your best Galapagos experience!

Do the guides speak English? And other languages?

All the guides speak English. Upon request, and at an extra cost, we can assign guides who are fluent in other languages. Contact us for more detailed information.

What animals will I see on my safari?

Like any wildlife destination, we cannot guarantee sightings of specific wild animals but you will most likely see many of the flagship species on all of our Safaris.
Read more: Flagship Species in the Galapagos

Mainland Ecuador

Can you help me with arrangements on mainland Ecuador?

We can oversee all your accommodation and transport on mainland Ecuador prior to your arrival in the Galapagos, and post departure.

If time permits, we encourage you to explore the beauty of mainland Ecuador, with safari extensions to the Andes, Amazon, Cloudforest and beyond.

Additional Questions

Have more questions? Contact us!