Travelling to the Galapagos Islands is a journey filled with enchantment. The Galapagos Islands are also known as the Enchanted Islands and the lucky ones that come to visit here are undoubtably going to agree with the pseudonym. Each of the volcanic Islands are different, with its own charm and together the Galapagos has an unrivalled beauty and uniqueness, mainly due to the large number of plant and animal species that do not exist anywhere else!
Are you ready to come and visit us?
We’re very excited that we can now happily welcome you, as the Galapagos islands are fully open and tourists can come to visit without fear or major restrictions! Whether you are coming here to swim alongside the abundant marine life scuba diving, take a land tour to see what the different islands have to offer, or perhaps you just want come and chill out on the beautiful beaches next to the friendly sea lions with your family. Whatever the reason for your visit, we’ve got you! We’re here to give you the low down on getting to the Galapagos, the current COVID situation in the islands, along with any COVID restrictions and guidelines you need to know to be able to come and enjoy our enchanted islands!
What is the COVID situation on the Galapagos Islands?
We believe in full transparency and know that to travel with all the information you need, means you will have a more enjoyable, stress free vacation – exactly as a vacation should be!
Take a look at this map below. This is part of an infographic that is shared in the Galapagos community by official channels and created by the Ministry of Public Health (Ministerio de Salud Publica). It shows the latest numbers of active COVID-19 cases in the Galapagos.
Received in just the last few days on April 13th , you can see that the active cases across all the islands are low, thanks to the strict measures that have been in place over time and the care we are all still taking to finally get to the goal of zero COVID cases in the Galapagos islands! In comparison to recent numbers, the cases have reduced in Santa Cruz island (35 versus 58 cases reported the previous week), San Cristobal island has seen a slight rise in cases with just two more active cases and Isabella island only has one active case. Floreana Island has zero cases of COVID. Thanks to the quick actions made by the authorities, immediately closing inter-island travel when the pandemic hit the island has always been COVID free. Travel between the islands is available again and all of the Galapagos is open!
Despite having numerous islands and islets that tourists can enjoy by sea or foot, these forementioned islands make up the total four islands that are inhabited here.
Is it safe to visit the Galapagos?
Absolutely! Whilst there is risk everywhere in the world at the moment, the authorities in all of the Galapagos Islands have been working hard to ensure the locals and tourists travelling to the Galapagos Islands alike have the right services and help at hand.
As us locals do, you will need to wear your mask when outside your accommodation or around others, practise social distancing and avoid large gatherings.
All services are open once again. Restaurants and bars are open where the servers will greet you with a smile and a spray of alcohol for your hands before serving the real stuff in a happy hour (or two)! Galapagos day tours, scuba diving trips, boat charters and cruises are all up and running. Also, once again, the ferries are regularly running between the Galapagos Islands. You can travel between Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabella islands and are able to stay at all of them to enjoy the sites at your pleasure if you wish. Floreana is open, but as it is COVID free and we want to keep it that way, it is currently open for day tours or longer stays that require a negative PCR test 48 hours before entry to that island. Ferries run to and from Santa Cruz island to Floreana every two weeks. Luckily it is close to Santa Cruz and you can see all it’s beauty on land and in the water in a day. Did you know there are pirate caves there? Anyway, no need to worry about navigating it all yourself, that’s what we’re here for! Take a look at our package tours or why not custom your own?
Recently Ecuador received 1 million vaccinations, a portion of which arrived to the Galapagos islands. The vaccination plan for everyone here is going very well with the aim to vaccinate 2 million Ecuadorians by the end of May. We might be small islands far off the coast of Ecuador but we have not been left behind: the Galapagos was recently declared as the first province in Ecuador to finish phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccinations, with 4500 people having received their first dose of the vaccination
Are there any restrictions on entering the islands?
Yes, but it’s quite simple. All you need to do is enter with a negative PCR test that’s been taken within 96 hours of entering and a document (salvoconducto) which you receive with your accommodation or tour operator reservation.
Any international traveler wishing to transit via Quito or Guayaquil International Airport to the Galapagos should first arrive in-country with proof of a negative COVID RT-PCR or rapid antigen test taken no more than three days (96 hours) before entering… With the required negative results in hand, there is no quarantine required upon arrival in the Galapagos (nor to return to the mainland of Ecuador). Travelers to the Galapagos also need a “salvoconducto” from their tour operator, and should contact the operator directly for that document. – Us Embassy, Quito.
As a Galapagos tour operator we can help provide you with the required Salvoconducto, contact us here
What if I feel sick when I am there?
Don’t worry we have a free public hospital that is open to everyone as well as PCR tests available in 7 places across the three main islands.
If you book a trip with us you always have a contact here to help you plan your trip, travel with confidence and have the trip of a lifetime. We hope to see you soon!
Author: Charli Pocock