About The Galapagos Island Adventure
Want to learn all about our Galapagos Islands Adventure? Join us for a free webinar Thursday, May 11. Click HERE to register!
Fulfill your Travel Bucket List dreams this year – Now with No Single Supplement! Be awed by exotic and unique scenery, have the rare opportunity to experience wildlife up close, and relax on some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. See all the Galapagos has to offer, with ease, safety and fun in the hands of STI’s expert, local guide. With your own room, and all meals included, and all the top-rated attractions – you simply won’t find a better value for the Galapagos!
Few people are fortunate enough to see the unique and distinctive wildlife of the Galapagos other than seeing them on the Discovery Channel. With No Single Supplement and All-Inclusive Meals, now is the time to cross the Galapagos off your bucket list. Travel with other equally curious and adventurous singles on our journey of a lifetime!
The Galapagos Islands lie 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. During our visit, you will quickly understand why Spanish pirates named them “The Enchanted Islands”. Adventure lovers will be amazed by the Sea Lions, Giant Tortoises, Iguanas, and more endemic species that interact with visitors every day. Foodies will be treated to the freshest seafood and delicious South American cuisine. And everyone will fall in love with the unique endemic plants, volcanic terrain and gorgeous beaches.
This carefully planned journey will take us to the best destinations in the Galapagos Islands, to see the top-rated attractions and spend our evenings on the most populated islands, San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz. We’ll see wildlife closer than we ever thought possible! Sea lions, giant tortoises, pelicans, iguanas, and more interact with visitors daily. The endemic fauna and volcanic island rock formations provide so many incredible landscapes that we’ll have a hard time putting our cameras down. In addition, this trip will feature a special tour of Quito and the Ecuador mainland.
Inclusive Features of our Up Close and Personal, Land Tour of the Galapagos:
- 6 Nights Accommodations at Hotel Miconia, Hotel Fiesta or similar top-rated hotels
- 18 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Daily
- All Excursions, Tours, Airport Transfers, and Ground Transportation
- Full Service, Bilingual Tour Guide, with time available for personal exploration
- All Top-Ranked Activities and Attractions of the Galapagos Islands (Top 11 of 15 on Trip Advisor): Tortuga Bay Beach, Snorkeling at Kicker Rock, Giant Tortoise Reservations, and the Charles Darwin Research Station with Snorkeling Gear provided
- More Time in the Galapagos with Incredible Interactions with Wildlife: Walking among Iguanas, Sea Lions & Giant Tortoises or Snorkeling with Sea Turtles, Manta Rays & Penguins
- All Ecuadorian Taxes and Service Fees (24%)
- Flights into San Cristóbal, Galapagos (SCY) and from Baltra Santa Cruz, Galapagos (GPS)
- Galapagos Island National Park Entrance Fee ($100) and Visitor Card ($20), Paid on arrival in Cash
- Alcoholic Beverages, and Personal Snacks
- Additional Hotel options including but not limited to Phone Calls, Internet, or Massage Services
- Any personal changes to the planned itinerary
- Additional Luxury Yacht tour of Bartolome Island with Snorkeling, Lava Field Walk, and Hike to Iconic Views of the Islands. See our Price & Options page to add this option.
- Additional Quito Concierge Package for Arrival into Quito, Ecuador, Full day tour of the city of Quito, pre-arranged Galapagos Island Registration, and Flights between Quito and the Galapagos Islands. See our Price & Options page to add this option.
- Additional Mainland Ecuador Night Stays and Excursions. Each additional night is $150 per person and includes Airport Transfers, Breakfast, and all Ecuadorian Taxes and Service Fees (24%). See our Price & Options page to add this option.
- Additional Scuba Diving with Wet Suit, Gear Rental and Certified guide. (2) Opportunities, pending availability: San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz. See our Price & Options page to add this option.
Tour Begins in San Cristóbal Island (SCY), Galapagos November 11, 2017
Tour Ends in Santa Cruz Island (GPS), Galapagos November 17, 2017
Day 1 – Saturday (November 11)
Arrival San Cristóbal Island (SCY) 12:00 PM
Welcome to the Galapagos! Enjoy a personal pickup from the airport on San Cristóbal Island. Upon arrival, guests will first need to pass Galapagos Park Registration and collect their bags. Your airport transport will be waiting to help with bags and take you to the hotel. Guests arriving by 12:00 PM can join a welcome lunch before the afternoon’s excursion.
Kick off Galapagos tours with a visit to the Darwin Interpretation Center. The entrance museum holds a brief history on the Galapagos Islands, then opens to a unique dry forest filled with cacti, finches, and little lava lizards. Hike the volcanic rock trail to Tijeretas Point and Darwin Bay. You will be treated to your first sweeping views of the Galapagos and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Bay, with Tijeretas and Blue Footed Boobies flying by. This is a great area to snorkel, see exotic fish and swim with sea lions in a turquoise pool set inside a stunning Volcanic Rock shoreline.
Afterward it’s a short walk to Playa Mann, where the remainder of the afternoon will be spent relaxing on the beach and enjoying the Loberia. Since so many Sea Lions share the island, Cristóbal is also known as Isla Lobo and has many protected breeding areas. You’ll enjoy watching Sea Lions play in the sand alongside sun bathers and swimmers.
Day 2 – Sunday (November 12)
San Cristóbal Highlands Tour
Start off the day with an early and refreshing breakfast at the hotel so that we can hit the road for the beautiful highlands of San Cristóbal. A small hike leads up the side of an extinct volcano to El Junco, a miraculous fresh water lake in the center of the volcanic crater. This beautiful site offers both incredible panoramic views of the island and ideal bird watching. You may see many of the endemic bird species including Galapagos mockingbirds, pintails, moorhens, pied-billed grebes and frigate birds as they swoop down to the water to wash off the salt from the ocean and dive for fish.
Next it’s a short ride to the San Cristóbal Tortoise Reservation. In conjunction with the Charles Darwin Research Center, this Reservation is a remarkable sanctuary and breeding center for the Giant Tortoises. Quietly wander through open trails to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat. They are often at arm’s length, sharing the trails and searching for leafy greens.
Finally, spend the afternoon in the beautiful and secluded Puerto Chino. This sandy beach is a surfer’s paradise and the perfect spot to enjoy a swim and look for Blue-footed Boobies & Ghost Crabs on the Rocky shore. In the evening take time to stroll through Downtown Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where sea lions share the cobblestone streets and harbor benches. Have dinner with the group at a delicious local restaurant.
Day 3 – Monday (November 13)
Kicker Rock Snorkeling
After breakfast, prepare for an unforgettable snorkeling experience. Enjoy a refreshing boat ride with beautiful views of the coastline. Then look at the volcanic rock formations ahead, two towers rising out of the water. Between these towers is an incredible channel filled with colorful schools of fish as well as exciting marine life. Float on the waves above while you watch all the beautiful life below swimming through the channel. This truly is a once in a lifetime snorkeling experience with tropic fish and sea turtles passing alongside you, and eagle rays and hammerhead sharks swimming in the distance. The boat will take us around Kicker Rock to view the best snorkeling sites and wildlife observation sites.
After a day of sun, swim and snorkel, take some time to relax before enjoying a final evening and dinner in Puerto Moreno.
Day 4 – Tuesday (November 14)
Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay
After an early morning boat taxi to Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, take some time to check in and relax at the hotel. Then spend the afternoon at Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The walking path to the beach is about 1.5 miles and worth every step. While at the beach you can stroll along the pristine white sand while watching iguanas, herons or pelicans. Put on your snorkeling gear to see sea turtles, sea lions or manta rays and more colorful fish. The beauty of this bay will make it hard to leave. Catch a couple minutes of beautiful sunset views before hitting the trail back out of the park.
Day 5 – Wednesday (November 15)
Las Grietas or Optional Luxury Yacht to Bartolomé Island
After breakfast, your guide will lead the way through volcanic terrain to a rocky crevasse that opens to a beautiful lagoon filled with crystal clear water, Las Grietas. Everyone will appreciate a refreshing swim and amazing snorkeling in the peaceful cool turquoise waters. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure, exploring the shops of downtown Puerto Ayora, biking through the Interpretation Center, or relaxing at the beach.
Optional Tour: Don’t miss this chance to see iconic views of the Islands, availability is limited and sells out weeks in advance. Book early for your chance to see the endemic Galapagos Penguins. After breakfast, leave for a ride through the highlands to Puerta Itabaca on the far North Side of the island. From this port, board a luxury Yacht for a comfortable ride to Bartolomé, an uninhabited island off of Santiago. The day will be filled with the best snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands and a hike to the island’s peak along the path where the movie ‘Master and Commander’ was filmed to see the most incredible views of the islands. Get back on board for a freshly prepared lunch while the boat travels back to Itabaca Canal. See our Price & Options page to add this option.
Day 6 – Thursday (November 16)
Santa Cruz Tortoise Reserve & Lava Tunnels
An official Galapagos National Park guide will take everyone to a Private Tortoise Reserve Ranch. Step deeper into the Giant Tortoise’s natural environment as an official guide leads the way through lush endemic Galapagos ferns to ponds were the Giant Tortoises congregate. This site also features Los Tuneles underground Lava Caves. See the incredible rock formations created in these amazing underground caverns. After you’ve worked up an appetite exploring, enjoy a delicious lunch including freshly made empanadas and locally grown organic coffee – a favorite souvenir for foodies to take home.
Day 7 – Friday (November 17)
Departure – 9:00 AM
An early breakfast will allow an opportunity to check out some sights in the highlands on the way to the airport. Our taxi will leave the hotel at 9:00 AM and travels north, stopping to see Los Gemelos or Twin Craters. Though they are called craters, these formations are actually the result of collapsed dormant volcanos. The Taxi will continue north to Itabaca Canal for a Ferry ride to arrive at the airport on Baltra Island about 10:30 AM. Plan departure flights from (GPS) no earlier than 12:00 PM.
Unfortunately, our adventure comes to an end, but leaving us with wonderful photos and memories. We look forward to having you and your friends with us soon on a Singles Travel International vacation! Have a safe journey back home!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner will be provided daily, a total of 18 meals. STI Guests will be responsible for their own Beer, Wine and Cocktails. Guests will also have the flexibility to explore other locations at their own cost and discretion to suit their personal tastes or budget.
- Each morning there will be an American style breakfast provided.
- Moderate lunches and snacks will be provided throughout the tour including local treats such as Empanadas, freshly prepared Fish or Chicken with Rice & Vegetables, or traditional favorites like Pizza and Sandwiches.
- The hotels in both Cristóbal and Santa Cruz are located within walking distance to the restaurant and shopping districts. Each evening we will return to the hotel to freshen up and make dinner plans. You can choose to join the group dinner or explore the downtown areas at your leisure. There will be a different, top rated restaurant chosen each evening with a special group dinner and drink available. At both islands you’ll easily be able to choose from an array of restaurants featuring both local seafood specialties and traditional international meals.
Meals may fluctuate according to the itinerary and seasonal availability. Your host will plan for Vegan or any other dietary restrictions or requirements if notified 2 weeks prior to arrival. Please email info@EcuadorMVI.com with any allergy or dietary needs.
Itinerary Changes: Itinerary details are established in advance and subject to change according to unforeseen factors and local conditions such as availability, weather, traffic or construction. In the event that conditions prevent an excursion your host and hotel staff will accommodate to the best of their ability a similar tour. If personal needs or preferences do not align with a certain day or portion of the trip, and the guides will do everything possible to accommodate or assist. However, changes will be the guest’s responsibility and priority will be given to the planned itinerary. Singles Travel International and tour hosts, Mountain Views Inn are not liable for itinerary changes.
Make sure you’ve reviewed the Trip Options and made all reservations so you don’t miss out on any limited or time-sensitive Add-Ons. The Bartolome Yacht Tour quantities are extremely limited and likely to sell out 1-2 months in advance.
If you haven’t already made flight reservations, consider making reservations as early as possible. Flights may be limited and high price increases can be expected if booked last minute.
Ecuador requires a valid passport from all people entering the country and proof of return tickets to the traveler’s home country or another country after Ecuador. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your departure from Ecuador.
Once you make your online reservation you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details. Our STI reservation specialists are available to review your reservation and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services, etc. Contact us with your travel requests.
READ your invoice and the FAQ page very carefully and advise if any changes need to be made.
Please submit a COLOR copy of your passport to us within 7 days of your reservation (within 24 hours if reserved after August 12).
Next, say hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!
Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be posted here 14 days prior to trip start date. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour Begins in San Cristóbal Island (SCY), Galapagos November 11, 2017. Tour Ends in Santa Cruz Island (GPS), Galapagos November 17, 2017. Therefore, the tour is 7 days/6 nights.
A deposit is due at time of reservation. Refer to the Price and Options tab for the amount. Final payment is due in our office by August 11, 2017. A reminder will be emailed to you 7 days prior to due date and your card will automatically be charged. If you make a reservation after August 11, full payment will be automatically charged at time of reservation and penalties will apply.
Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:
After deposit, a minimum charge of $100.00 plus credit card charges if applicable.
After August 11, 2017 – any cancellations or “no-shows” – 100% penalty.
Our package includes airport transportation and a guide will meet you at the San Cristóbal Airport (SCY). After exiting National Park Registration, you’ll find your guide holding a sign with your name. Your guide will take you to the hotel, about 1 mile away, where you will meet your fellow travelers.
Guests arriving by 12:00 PM can join a welcome lunch before the afternoon’s excursion. Guests arriving later in the afternoon or evening can relax and enjoy the onsite amenities at the hotel. Meet the hosts and group as they return from the afternoon’s excursion and join the evening’s dinner.
Please submit your flight schedule and photocopy of your passport, as soon as your plans are made, no later than October 20, 2017. Make sure to include your airline and flight number so we can track flight changes or delays for your pickup. Email us at email@example.com.
Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” will not be allowed to participate without paying an equivalent fee to the rest of the group that made the reservation with STI. Your credit card on file will automatically be charged.
Of course! For an effortless, guided experience to the islands, see our Quito Concierge Package Add-On. You can arrive in Quito November 9th for an additional 2 nights, a full day tour of Quito, pre-registration to the National Park, and guided entrance to San Cristóbal Island, roundtrip airfare from Quito to San Cristóbal included.
Additional nights in Quito can also be purchased for before or after the tour. Each additional night is only $159 per person and will include airport transfers, lodging, breakfast, and the 24% Ecuadorian tax and service fees. To ensure your reservation is made with the group and airport transportation is arranged, additional nights must be paid for in advance with STI.
Hotel accommodations in the Galapagos Islands are limited. Additional nights may be reserved pending availability. Please contact hosts Sarah and Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to confirm cost and make reservations.
To accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. Singles Travel International is a licensed ticketing agency and oftentimes has low negotiated fares.
For an effortless, guided experience to the islands, see our Quito Concierge Package Add-On. You can arrive in Quito November 9th for an additional 2 nights, a full day tour of Quito, pre-registration to the National Park, and guided entrance to San Cristobal Island, rountrip airfare from Quito (UIO) to San Cristóbal (SCY) included.
Tour Begins in San Cristóbal Island (SCY), Galapagos November 11, 2017. Schedule your flight to arrive by 12:00 PM to participate in lunch and afternoon excursion. Arrivals after noon can enjoy the hotel amenities before meeting the group for the evening’s dinner.
Tour Ends in Santa Cruz Island (GPS), Galapagos November 17, 2017. Schedule flights after 12:00PM to share the arranged transportation to the Airport. Guests may arrange private taxi to the airport for about $30-40, to accommodate earlier flights.
Both the Galapagos Island Adventure and Quito Concierge Packages include airport transfers. Guides will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotels. While in the Galapagos Islands, hotels will be located within safe walking distance to restaurants or shops, with taxis readily available for $1.00 per ride.
The tour does not include roundtrip airfare.
You are responsible for alcoholic beverages, personal purchases such as souvenirs and snacks, incidentals such as massages, laundry and gratuities to local guides and STI hosts ($10-15 per day).
Galapagos Islands National Park Entrance ($100) & Visitor Card ($20). After checking in for your flight to the Galapagos, you will be required to pass a special registration for the Galapagos. You will be required to pay $20 in cash for your Visitor Card.
Once your plane arrives in the Galapagos, you will need to pass through Galapagos Island National Park customs where you will be required to pay $100 in cash for your entrance. The currency in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is the US Dollar, and you will need to bring cash for these Fees.
A Luxury Yacht Tour of Bartolomé Island and Scuba Diving at Kicker Rock or Bartolomé and can be arranged pending availability. See our Price & Options page to add these options.
Additional nights in Quito are available for $159 per person, per night and include airport transfers, lodging, breakfast, and the 24% Ecuadorian tax and service fees. In order to ensure your reservation is made with the group and airport transportation is arranged, additional nights must be paid for in advance with STI.
Hotel accommodations in the Galapagos Islands are limited. Additional nights may be reserved pending availability. Please contact hosts Sarah and Robert at email@example.com as soon as possible to confirm cost and make reservations.
The itinerary is established in advance and may vary due to unforeseen circumstances. However, if you opt to do something that is different than or in addition to what is planned for the group, you are at your own expense.
Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation. If Singles Travel International issues a promotional economy fare, granting of frequent flyer credit is entirely at the airline’s discretion. If the flights are eligible, to ensure you earn frequent flyer credit from the airline, give your frequent flyer account number when you check in for your flights. In addition, save your boarding passes and the passenger receipt from your airline ticket. You may need to submit these to the airline (not to Singles Travel International) to claim any credit allowed.
3 Nights Accommodations on San Cristóbal Island and 3 Nights Accommodations on Santa Cruz Island. Depending on the group size and seasonal availability, Galapagos tour accommodations will be selected from one of our many trusted, highly-rated partners in the Galapagos Islands. All feature Private Bathrooms, Pool or Jacuzzi, On-site Restaurant and Wi-Fi, unless specifically indicated. All have been personally reviewed so we can ensure quality accommodations and service.
Hotels are located within walking distance to restaurants and shopping, with taxis readily available for about $1.00 per ride.
Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every trip sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 20 years, we have perfected the singles vacation experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day. From the moment you join our tour, our STI Travel Directors are waiting to meet you (in this case, Robert & Sarah, from MVI). Our first day begins with an orientation and the camaraderie builds as we go along. The nature of the trip is trying something new, challenging yourself and motivating those around you. The bonds that develop on our adventure tours are by far the strongest and longest lasting.
Our Adventure is perfectly suited to physically active members in the 35-65 age range. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee the ages or ratios.
Be sure and take advantage of our community features including the viewing of profiles of those already signed up to go. Send messages and meet your fellow travelers even before you take off!
The average daytime temperature for the Galapagos in the fall varies from 70s to 80s.
From June to December the southern trade winds bring the colder Humboldt current north to the Galapagos. This means that the water is cooler, and a layer of high atmosphere mist pervades the island skies. In effect, the highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush, while the sea level islands and shorelines have little precipitation. Wet suits are available for rent along with other snorkel and dive gear if required.
Thus, June to December is generally called the “dry season “known for its blue skies and mid-day showers.
Ecuador’s climate is strongly influenced by ocean currents, trade winds, and altitude, which make generalization difficult. Our resort is in the heartland of the Andes at a lower altitude than Quito and enjoys perpetual spring like climate with temperatures in the high 60s. Weather in Quito is similar year-round, with warm sunny days giving way to very cool nights. Our resort enjoys the perfect weather with 60s in the early morning and nighttime, but reaches temperatures of 75-80 during the daytime, all year round.
Currently, most airlines will allow you to check two bags, weighing 50 pounds each, for a fee. In addition, you may carry-on one bag plus a personal item such as a purse or briefcase. However, for the flights to and from the Galapagos there are weight restrictions for both checked and carry-on baggage. You may check 1 or 2 bags, with a total weight restriction of 48lbs. You may also bring 1 carry-on not weighting more than 18 lbs. Please check with your air carrier for up-to-the minute regulations and fees for checked baggage.
Please abide by the carry-on luggage restrictions. All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. All items must be stored in a clear, 1 quart, zip lock bag.
Just in case your luggage is lost, we strongly recommend that you pack a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack money, travel documents, jewelry or medicine in your checked baggage. Hand carry these essential items!
The Galapagos and Quito are located along the Equator, so be prepared for intense sun exposure. Days in November are mildly hot with temperatures in the mid-80’s. Evenings are cool with temperatures in the high 60’s. If traveling through Quito, prepare for high elevation with evening temperatures dropping to the high 50’s. Spring/summer clothing is best, with lightweight layers and a warm jacket or sweatshirt. Lightweight, long sleeves and pants will help minimize sun exposure. Minimize packing and suitcase weight by mixing and matching using 1-3 colors, such as khaki, brown and white that you can layer as needed. Comfortable walking/hiking shoes are a must, and water shoes or secure sandals are recommended for snorkeling excursions.
**Packing Tips:** Take only what you need; don’t over pack. Save room for souvenirs and purchases. Pack flat and full to avoid wrinkling. Bring wardrobe basics; mix and match around one or two colors. Don`t pack anything valuable, fragile or perishable. Label your luggage with an outside tag, and place an identification card inside each suitcase. This tour includes boat and bus rides. If you suffer from motion sickness, Dramamine or a similar medication is recommended.
**Essential Items: We highly recommend that you bring the following items.**
– A good, comfortable pair of broken-in hiking shoes for easy to medium terrain
– A pair of shoes for restaurants (loafers, sandals, etc)
– Water shoes or secure sandals for snorkeling and walking along beaches
– Clothing for walking/light hiking, beach wear, and casual evening attire for restaurants
– 1-2 bathing suits
– Lightweight raingear, poncho
– Sunglasses, sun block (30 or higher for face), sun hat, baseball cap or visor
– Toiletries: all your daily essentials
– Prescription medications: sufficient supply for the entire trip plus legible written prescription in case of loss. Keep medications in their original, labeled container. Always pack your medications in your carry-on bag!
– Eyeglasses, contacts, contact lens solution. You may want to bring along a written prescription for your eyewear in case of loss.
– Over the counter medications: cold remedy, aspirin/pain reliever, antacid/stomach upset remedy, Band-Aids, anti-bacterial medication, Dramamine (if prone to motion sickness), neosporin, anti-itch cream.
– Mosquito repellant
– Photography Equipment: Water Protection, extra memory cards and batteries recommended
– Ziplock baggies to carry wet clothing
Ecuador requires a valid passport from all people entering the country and proof of return tickets to the traveler’s home country or another country after Ecuador. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your departure from Ecuador. We recommend keeping your passport safely at the resort, and carry a copy with you at all times while in Ecuador.
Upon entering it is mandatory for visitors to complete an international embarkation/disembarkation card; it is then stamped with your passport. Do keep this card in your passport; losing it can make problems when exiting the country along with spot checks on buses, clubs, restaurants or in the streets.
110 Volts, 60 cycles which is the same as the US.
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands do not practice daylight savings time and in comparison with the US. The Galapagos Islands are at UTC -6:00, and Quito is at UTC -5:00.
The currency used in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is the US Dollar.
Many locations do not accept major credit cards and ATM machines availability may be limited. It is required that you bring US Dollars for Galapagos Registration Fees ($120). We recommend you bring US dollars in small denominations, $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills that are not too old, worn or ripped for personal purchases, incidentals and tipping.
Although no inoculations are required, pre-departure health checkups are essential for any major Latin American trip so do check in with your doctor for vaccinations in plenty of time before journeying or even a Latin American specialist if your doctor is not qualified sufficient to help. Today immunizations against smallpox and Cholera are not necessary or recognized even by the World Health Organization.
If you choose to get vaccination, we highly advise completing at least 3 weeks prior to travel. This will allow you to ensure you do not have complications and that you are healthy to travel. The major vaccinations recommended for Latin America travel to combat diseases are as follows: Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Tetanus, Poliomyelitis, Infectious Hepatitis, & Rabies in the jungle areas or other epidemics that may have recently sprung up such as Meningitis.
Two excellent websites outlining the major precautions are: www.cdc.gov and www.who.int which are the official sites for the centers of disease control prevention and the World health organization respectively.
**Take Precautions:** Never eat from street vendor stalls due to contamination of the handlers or street pollution from passing vehicles or drink the local water unless you have purification tablets, preferably iodine based.
Use bottled water when possible as the iodine taste can be overpowering. Also, always wash and clean fruits thoroughly before eating as well as your washing and drying your hands on clean hand towels or paper tissues. Brush teeth with bottled water and avoid eating uncooked foods unless you are familiar with the source.
Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and in addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation. If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days.
Your Final Vacation Details & Meetup Info document, available here on the FAQ tab 14 days prior to departure, will include a phone contact number for your Hosts and Hotels. Instructions on international dialing codes will be provided. We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.
**United States:** Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.
For easy communication in Ecuador, you may be able to use your own phone plan, generally .99-1.99 per minute (check before departure).
All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.
On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.
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Meet Your STI Concierge
Sarah & Robert
We love sharing Ecuadorian Sites and Culture through our Mountain Views Inn B&B and Tour Company. Robert's family moved from Ecuador to New York just before he was born. Sarah met Robert on the STI Ecuador NYE Adventure and we married in an epic destination wedding. We're so happy to be sharing the adventures of Ecuador and beauty of the Galapagos Islands, making sure you relax and enjoy the most memorable vacation.