What to Pack for a Trip to Galapagos

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After you have booked your trip to the Galapagos Islands, the next step is to figure out what to pack for the journey. Traveling to the Galapagos for the first time is exciting, but in order to get the most from your trip, you need to equip yourself with the appropriate provisions.

  1. 1 Small backpack (waterproof)
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Sneakers with rubber soles
  4. Shorts
  5. Long pants
  6. T-shirts
  7. Long and Short-sleeved shirts
  8. Windbreaker
  9. Bathing suit -wetsuit for snorkeling in cold months
  10. Socks
  11. Hat or cap
  12. Toilette kit (biodegradable shampoo please)
  13. Sunblock
  14. Sunglasses
  15. Binoculars
  16. Camera & camcorder
  17. Any medicine you may be taking
  18. Book/ Notebook

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Diego Zapata

Rosa Mena

Sandy Lara

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Diego Zapata

Rosa Mena

Sandy Lara

When It Comes to Packing, Travel Light

Taking a vacation to the Galapagos is not like taking a trip to see the sights in Europe or elsewhere. You should try to pack as lightly as you possibly can, bringing only the items and clothing that are essential. In doing so, you will be much freer to enjoy your time exploring the beauty that awaits you. Additionally, a light load can save you the headaches associated with lost luggage and added fees for extra bags. Concentrate on bringing the items as outlined and leave the unnecessary stuff at home.

If you want to be extra sure and the question “what you should I wear on a Galapagos Cruise” is still roaming around in your head, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

Essential Items, what to pack?

There are some items that are absolutely essential for your trip. Of course, you shouldn’t forget to bring your passport. Make certain that your passport’s expiration date is at least six months after your scheduled departure from Ecuador. You’ll also want to double-check that you have your boarding information for any flights or cruises, as well as any prescription medications, credit cards, and currency in U.S. dollars. Having some medication on hand for seasickness is also smart. Also, bring toiletries, but make sure to review and adhere to TSA guidelines for traveling with liquids, gels, and medications. It’s important to stock plenty of sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, as the sun’s rays are stronger in the Galapagos Islands. Bring your sunglasses, but also bring a strap to keep them on during windy conditions.

Necessary Gear

Galapagos Islands Packing List
There Are Plenty Of Opportunities And Places That You’Ll Want To Save Forever. Be Sure To Pack Your Camera To Capture Incredible Moments In The Islands!

Besides the bare essentials, you’ll also want to bring some gear to make the memories from your trip last. Make sure to bring your camera, video camera and additional memory cards to capture everything you see. Also, bring a camera that you can use underwater to catch the stunning array of sea life while snorkeling. Some plastic totes are sturdy for protecting your phone for underwater photography &filming. A small pair of binoculars will be helpful for seeing birds and wildlife that are further away. It’s also a good idea to bring a small pack to use during the day to carry your water bottle, sunscreen, and binoculars.

The optimal amount of clothing will depend on the length of the trip, but the key is to travel with as few garments as you can get away with for your particular journey. For a short trip, you’ll generally want to bring two or three short-sleeve shirts and one long-sleeve shirt, keeping in mind that the long-sleeve shirt will provide better protection from the sun. Two to three pairs of shorts, a pair of pants, and a sweatshirt are all good to bring. Additionally, a rain poncho and a wide-brimmed hat can help to protect you from the elements. You’ll also want to bring two bathing suits. This will allow you to let a wet bathing suit dry out while you swim using the other one. Be mindful of the weather reports, and bear in mind that the warm season lasts from January to June. If you don´t have a good hat yet, you can purchase broad-brimmed hats locally, with Ecuadorian /Galapagos motives.


Santa Cruz's Guests Walking On Fernandina Island.
Walking During A Sunny Day On Fernandina Island.

A lot of your island exploration will be done on foot. This means it’s important for you to bring either light hiking shoes or walking shoes (“trainers” or “sneakers” are ideal). They should preferably be comfortable shoes that you have had for a while, as you don’t want to endure the discomfort of breaking in new shoes while hiking the islands. Pairing your shoes with thick socks can help prevent blistering. If you plan on taking cruises or boat rides, you don´t need to bring rubber-soled boat shoes. Water shoes or sports sandals that have good grips are useful but not necessary for wet landings when you’ll need to step out into the water to get to shore.

Optional Extras

If you bring electronic devices with you, you’ll also want to bring extra batteries, too. Some people enjoy bringing a book to read while lounging about onboard the ship in between destinations. Extra memory cards or film for your camera may also be good to have on hand. Ecuador´s electric outlets are type A & B (similar to the USA). If your country has a different outlet design, make sure you bring adaptors (available in most airport´s stores).  Finally, many people enjoy bringing a journal in which they can write down all of the different types of wildlife and species they see, just as Charles Darwin famously did in 1835.

Galapagos Packing List
The Galapagos Islands Are A Great Place To Get A Close Look At Animals. Remember That Touching Or Petting Animals Is Forbidden And Could Result In Expensive Penalties.

If it’s possible, bring only biodegradable personal care products to prevent damaging the delicate ecology of the Galapagos. Biodegradable hygiene products, including sunscreen, lotion, and the soap should be available at your local pharmacy or health store. Finch Bay Hotel, Santa Cruz II, Isabela II, and yacht La Pinta provide biodegradable toiletries in your room.

Taking the time to pack carefully and lightly can help you make certain that your trip will go smoothly and provide a lifetime of precious memories. When you are heading to the Galapagos Islands, the beauty and nature awaiting you far outweigh the importance of the individual items you bring. Bringing just the basics as outlined can help you to get through baggage handling more quickly and leave you with fewer things to keep track of or to worry about.

Javier Garcia

Eduardo Silva

Carolina Escobar


Javier Garcia

Eduardo Silva

Carolina Escobar

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Updated:March 5, 2024

Published:June 8, 2016