7 Tips for Surviving the Galapagos Islands

Exploring the Galapagos Islands was a trip of a lifetime. Here are a few simple things I wish I knew beforehand to better prepare us!

  1. Rainy season is not what you think. We visited in the middle of what we thought was rainy season (Feb/March), just to experience not one drop of rain. It was sunny skies pretty much every day. And hot.
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  2. Due to this weather, I would suggest to bring breathable long sleeve shirts, a neck scarf (the type that protects your skin from the sun and also covers your mouth from dust), and a wide brimmed hat. My baseball cap and sleeveless athletic type shirts didn’t quite do the job.

  3. Long pants are also great because they’ll protect your skin from the intense heat radiating from the ground, especially when walking on lava rock. These are relatively new islands, lava rock is everywhere…
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  4. You will be in the water almost every day. Be sure to use sunscreen that doesn’t hurt the ocean! Look for types that say “reef safe” like this one.
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  5. On occasion there were a few snorkel trips with a water temp that was a little colder than I would have expected for being on the Equator. Multiple ocean currents merge here causing upwellings to bring cold ocean water from deeper waters. Bring a rash guard to help stay more comfortable and warm.
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  6. Non-weather related, if you dive or snorkel with a tour that is providing video coverage, ask to see if you need to provide your own flash drive. Unfortunately I did not bring one and wasn’t able to get any of my dive footage, which was included in the price of the package. I could have bought one in one of the shops, but I was doing my best to budget and didn’t plan for this expense.
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  7. Bring lots of cash so you can tip your crew after your trip. There are ATMs on Santa Cruz, but be extra cautious about getting your card information stolen; sadly that happened in our case and was a lesson learned!
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If you forget anything that’s essential, Santa Cruz Island pretty much will have it. Just be prepared to spend a pretty penny on it!
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