At the Royal Palm we combine your experience of encounters with wildlife and other top notch activities aimed at enhancing your experience of the Galápagos in combination with all the comforts of home and well beyond. The following information material has been designed to help insure you have the trip of a lifetime and a personal voyage of discovery in the Galápagos and Ecuador. It addresses the documents, clothing and equipment needed for your trip, shows you how to make sure that your itinerary and air tickets are “shipshape,” and outlines the steps to follow to enjoy a safe and healthy stay.
Because the Galápagos is set on the equator, it is a true year-round destination with seasonal temperatures varying only slightly. The best time to go is really up to the demands of your schedule. The Galápagos have a subtropical climate regulated by the cold Humboldt Current and the warm El Niño Current.
December through May is the warmest time of year, with air temperatures in the upper 80°s F (31° degrees Celsius). Although the islands receive slightly more rainfall during this time, the lower elevations typically offer blue skies and sunshine with occasional haze. The sea is at its warmest and is usually calmer during this time of year.
The drier garua season lasts from June through November. The garua is a cloud layer that forms over the highlands of the islands. Ironically, the garua season provides more moisture at the upper elevations of the islands than the so-called wet season. There may be plenty of sunshine during the day, but it is less intense, with cloudier skies. Air temperature is lower, with highs in the upper 70°s or mid-80°s F (25 - 30 degrees Celsius). The strong Antarctic Humboldt Current, coming from the south, affects the climate at this time of year. The water temperature, therefore, is at its coolest, about 68° degrees Fahrenheit, 20 degrees Celsius.
• Valid Passport
• Copy of the Picture Page from Passport
• Airline Tickets
• Tour Documents
• Emergency Contact Numbers
• Traveler's Checks Paperwork
• Copy of travel insurance policy
• Sun Hat with wide brim
• Small backpack
• Shorts (2)
• T-shirts or Tank Tops (3)
• Light Pants (2)
• Sweater (1)
• Windbreaker (1)
• Rain Jacket or Poncho (1)
• Walking Shoes with good traction (1 pair)
• Tevas or similar sandals (1 pair)
• Sunglasses with strap
• Bathing Suits
• Camera, spare batteries and film
• Favorite CD's, DVD's
The United States Dollar is the official currency of Ecuador . When traveling it is wise to make sure you bring a selection of small bills (for tipping). It is also a good idea to carry an amount of change with you since coins can be difficult to come by and if you do not have the coins needed the bill is frequently rounded up to the next dollar amount.
What to bring along:
• Traveler's Cheques
• $100 US (cash) for Galapagos Park Fee
• $10 for the Galapagos Tourist Transit Card
• Collection of Small Bills for Tips and Miscellaneous Items
• Credit Cards
Credit Cards including American Express, Diner's Club, Visa and Master Card are accepted in larger businesses. Visa and Master Card are considered different cards and are not accepted interchangeably. Master Card is the more frequently accepted of the two. Some businesses add a processing fee to transactions paid by credit card. It is best to ask if your card is accepted and the total amount of the transaction before making a purchase. The same follows with Traveler's Checks. We strongly recommend American Express Traveler's Checks, as you will be able to cash these in most of the country. However Visa Traveler's Checks are only accepted in a few locations.
Selections at pharmacies in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are not generally as extensive as at home and are frequently more expensive than at home. You may want to carry some basic first aid items with you. As with any medication, you should first consult your physician before taking.
Personal Care Items:
• Hair Care Items
• Sun Lotion (Minimum SPF 15)
• Lip Baum with sunscreen
• Personal Prescription Medicines with copy of the prescription
• 10 Cotton Buds
• 10 Adhesive Bandages
• 1 Pair Tweezers
• 1 Tube Tincture of Benzene
• Extra Strength Tylenol or Ibuprofen
• 1 Package Antiseptic Towelettes
• Antibacterial Hand Gel or Wipes
• 1 Tube Double Antibiotic Ointment
• 2 Butterfly Closure Strips
• Imodium or other anti-diarrhea medicine
• Selection 4 x 4, 3 x 3 or 2 x 2 Bandages
• 1 Roll Adhesive Tape
• Non-adhering Sterile Dressing
Everyone's health needs are a little different; children have different requirements than pregnant women, people with high blood pressure or people with severe allergies. The best way to prevent becoming sick while overseas is to begin with discussing your medical needs with your personal physician. Your doctor will be able to advise you as to any suggested immunizations based on your travel plans and own medical history.
While no shots are required for travel to the Galapagos Islands , you should consult with your physician 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to discuss health precautions you may wish to take.
• Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG) (Hepatitis A is water and food born)
• Yellow fever vaccination, if you will be traveling to the jungle
• As needed, booster doses for tetanus- diphtheria and measles
• Malaria tablets if you will be traveling to the jungle or the mainland coast
If you are currently taking prescription medication make sure you bring enough to last during your trip, all medication must be clearly labeled, and include a copy of the prescription for the medicine. Medicine should be divided into two different pieces of luggage so that if one piece is lost or stolen your medicine is still available.
If you are carrying syringes for medical reasons a medical certificate of explanation should also be carried. Many countries view individuals holding syringes as potential drug traffickers and possession can lead to serious legal problems.
Due to the high elevations if you are flying in or out of Quito (9,000 ft/3,000 m) in conjunction with your trip and have high blood pressure or heart conditions you should check with your doctor as to medical precautions before traveling. Those people who should avoid high elevations may prefer flying in and out of the port city of Guayaquil rather than Quito.
Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Many hospitals do not accept credit cards. Medical insurance is not always valid outside the country where you reside. Medicare and Medicaid do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States . Many countries' national health care often does not provide for medical service abroad or in South America . It is wise to check with your health care provider prior to traveling as to coverage overseas. If you are not fully protected, you should purchase traveler's insurance (supplemental insurance). Provision for medical evacuation has proven useful in many emergencies. The cost of the insurance is minimal when compared to the thousands of dollars in expense you may incur if you do become ill or injured. Should you become ill or injured; travel insurance offers a variety of coverage including medical expenses while overseas, evacuation to the nearest hospital (or home), and reimbursement for portions of the tour missed.
Whether you want to call someone in Ecuador or want to call home while away, we offer you instructions and tips on the easiest and least expensive ways to make your calls.
If you need a working cellphone during your stay at the Royal Palm Galapagos, please request it along with your reservation.
Internet Connection is available in the Galapagos Islands and at the Royal Palm Hotel.
Calling to Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands
The international dialing code to call Ecuador is (593). Each city or province has its own code. For example the city of Quito is (02) and Galapagos numbers have a city code of (05).
To dial Ecuador from outside the country, you would use the 593 country code and the city code without the (0).
For example from the United States or Canada to Quito , Ecuador you would dial using the international access number:
011-(593)-(2) and the 6 digit number you are calling
*When dialing within the country dial the entire city code (02) plus the 6-digit number.