How exciting off to the Galapagos….. that’s certainly how I felt, and had to keep pinching myself to believe that I was actually going. Here’s our guide for what to pack for a cruise of the Galapagos.
First and best tip for a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands – pack lightly, but include LOTS of photo storage!
The fewer things that you bring the more carefree and enjoyable your trip will be. It’s best to pack your clothes in two bags: one with warmer clothes and city clothes that can be left in your hotel in Quito. Most hotels in Quito will store your luggage for free. Then you should have a separate bag for the storage of your gear aboard the boat in Galapagos. You should ensure that your luggage is secured and locked regardless of where you are travelling.
Here are a few suggestions of things you may wish to consider taking on your trip to the Galapagos Islands:
Sun Protection – it gets very hot and tropical at times
There is usually plenty of time for snorkeling for those who are interested. For personal hygiene and to ensure that it will be there when you need it, we recommend that you bring your own gear. Snorkeling gear is provided aboard most of the yachts and ships. Some offer the equipment (mask, fins and snorkel) at no charge and some charge a nominal rental fee of up to $10 for 8 days. Whilst a wetsuit is not absolute necessity, but we suggest that you bring a 2mm “shorty” to help enjoy the longer spells in the water.
Camera Gear (now for the important stuff)
We would definitely recommend an underwater camera, as we were disappointed that we didn’t have one to capture the extreme underwater life. You will take hundreds if not thousands of photos, so lots of storage is essential too.
Most boats will have a safe in your cabin, but be aware that some boat cabins are not locked.
First Aid and Motion Sickness
From our experience it pays to have a few options for motion sickness if you are prone, because some just work different for different people. You can also be mindful of what foods you eat: dairy products, high protein and sodium foods, alcohol and strong smelling foods should be avoided (along with cigarettes), while light meals and ginger, chamomile or peppermint supplements or teas are deemed beneficial.
Pick a mid-spot section of the boat, stay away from other sick people (as the power of suggestion is strong) and focus on the horizon, don’t read or watch movies, but shutting your eyes and reclining can help. Fresh air is also soothing.
You will need to find the right balance between being well prepared for a variety of situations, and circumstances and not being overwhelmed by unwieldy luggage and gear. We were well equipped for the trip, although our one regret was not taking an under-water camera. We were also not fully prepared cash wise for the USD $600 tip we were expected to make to the guide and crew on the last day (more on this in our other posts on cruise trips in the Galapagos…).
Have you visited the Galapagos? What was your highlight?
Share your experience and travel tips in the comments section below!