It usually takes around 16 hours flying time to reach Guayaquil - this is your gateway to the Galapagos islands. The flight from Guayaquil to San Cristobal is then around 2 hours.
The Galapagos has year round big fish. It's most famous for the schooling hammerheads, but from December to May, Manta Season is the warm season for Galapagos diving. Air temperatures go up a few degrees, but typically the water at Wolf and Darwin Islands will be anywhere from 25-27C. Despite the warmth, visibility is also usually the best Galapagos has to offer during Manta Season. Between June and November, the number of whaleshark encounters increases dramatically.
Covid Travel Information
International travel from the UK is prohibited until May 17th. Travel corridors are paused until this point.
On April 12th the UK government will update the rules for travel in 2021.
For British nationals, The Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office currently advises against all but essential international travel to the Galapagos. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
Travel to the Galapagos only: you will need to present at negative PCR test taken no more than 96 hours prior to arriving in the Galapagos islands.
Travel in Ecuador mainland: You will need a must show proof of a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test taken within 10 days of arrival
As long as the traveler does not present symptoms of COVID, all passengers who arrive with a negative PCR test result will no longer be required to carry out self-isolation (Aislamiento Preventivo Obligatorio APO).
As of 22 December, travellers arriving from the UK, Australia, South Africa and EU countries will also be required to take an antigen test (rapid test) on arrival at the airport
Upon arrival, all passengers will be required to sign a declaration form with their itinerary and local contact details.
In countries where the PCR tests are not available, passengers must agree to take a COVID-19 test at the airport in Ecuador on arrival. at their own cost ($120-$140 USD), at the checkpoint of the Ministry of Public Health upon arrival at the Quito UIO or Guayaquil GYE airport. results take approx 24-48hrs.
You have to complete this form online before you arrive in the UK from any country:
Form to provide your journey and contact details before you travel to the UK
Ecuador is currently a "red list" country requiring hotel quarantine on your return.
Updated 25th FEB 2021
Weather and Climate
The Galapagos has good weather all year round. The weather is not normally too wet (inspite of its equatorial location), with the dry season running from Jul - Dec and the warm season from Jan - Jun. Temps range from 21-30C.
Our holidays to the Galapagos can be quoted with most major airlines from Heathrow to Guayaquil or Quito. We are able to book most major airlines. If you would like to depart from a different UK airport (eg. Glasgow/Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham or Gatwick) or have a specific airline you prefer to fly with, simply let us know in your booking request. Times and any applicable costs will be confirmed by your travel consultant before you finalise your holiday.
If you wish to make your own flight arrangements to Guayaquil, let us know and we can remove the cost of the international flights from your quote. We are unfortunately not able to redeem airmiles on your behalf. Please do not confirm any flight arrangements yourself before your holiday is confirmed by us.
As there are no direct flight, it is simple to add a stop over en route - simply ask your travel consultant for a quote. Popular locations include the USA, Amsterdam or Madrid.
Arrange before you go
UK passport holders are able to obtain a free 90 day tourist visa on arrival. Do ensure your passport has 6 months validity from your return date to prevent any issues with immigration. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid and you fulfil entry requirements. Regulations can change: please review current FCO advice: click here
Scuba Travel requires all of our customers to have diving insurance. Please make sure that you have appropriate cover for your diving activities.
We also strongly recommend you have travel insurance. It's worth taking out travel insurance once you have paid your deposit to ensure you are covered for unforeseen events and cancellation.
Find out more about our combined dive and travel policy click here
Please speak to your local GP or check out the latest NHS advice on travel immunisations: click here
Preparing to fly
You will be able to manage your booking online once you have been ticketed (after you have paid your holiday balance). Most airlines will now enable you to select your seating at this point. There may be a small charge for prebookable seating before online check in opens. Please speak to the airline for more information about charges.
As you are flying with a scheduled airline, you will be able to check in online with your airline. Please visit their website for more information about when online check in opens.
An airport lounge is a great way to start your holiday or to while away flight connections in comfort. Scuba Travel works with Lounge Pass to offer a huge range of affordable airport lounges around the world.
Prebook your airport parking to save money! If you have a long way to travel, why not also look at booking an airport hotel. These aren't as expensive as you might think.
What happens when I arrive?
On arrival to the Ecuador mainland, you will need to clear immigration and collect your baggage. You will then be met outside of arrivals by a representative. They will be holding a board with either your destination or your name on it.
If you have any issues at all locating your rep, please contact us. We have an emergency contact, manned by a member of the team here in the UK. Please call 0044 7747 488 002. We will be able to help your rep locate you in the airport.
Quito airport is around 1 hour by car from Quito city. Guayaquil airport is closer to the city, and transfers to your hotel are usually no more than 30mins.
You will be advised locally of your pick up time for your return to the airport and flight to the Galapagos Islands. The flying time is around 2 hours between Guayaquil and San Cristobal
At the end of your holiday, your return transfer details will be advised locally.
On leaving the Ecuador there is an departure tax of $30-$40 which must be paid in cash.
The last night Sunday dinner is arranged locally.
The U.S. dollar the standard currency used in Ecuador. We strongly recommend taking cash USD to the Galapagos for gratuities and onboard charges are best paid in cash. This avoids any additional Ecuadorian taxes and service fees. Credit cards are subject to the 14% VAT plus 5% in bank fees.
Very limited, private calls might be made from the yacht by satellite phone with the crews permission.
Plugs and electricity
110 volts AC, 60Hz. Plugs used are American-style (two perpendicular flat blades above a circular grounding pin) and Japanese-style (two perpendicular flat blades). It is advisable to take an adaptor. We also highly recommend that you take a surge adaptor with you if using expensive and valuable appliances.
We recommend all divers bring their own mask, gloves, booties, fins, hood or hooded vest and computer. A personal wetsuit is also a good idea if you have space. Diving in Galapagos can be challenging and it is important that you are comfortable with the equipment you dive with.
Galapagos National Park fee: $155 (inc Hyperbaric Chamber fee & Tourist transit card). Option to prepay fuel surcharge and nitrox.
No souvenirs are included in the price, but there will be souvenirs available locally.
Nitrox is currently 150USD and can be paid either locally on the boat or prepaid.
Deposits and Balances
Normally from around £1000 deposit with full balance paid 90 days before departure. Special payment conditions apply to this booking. Your travel consultant will confirm the deposit required to secure your booking. All deposits and interim payments (where required) are non refundable. Cancellation at any stage will be with full loss of all monies paid to date.
Ways to pay
We accept mastercard and visa debit or credit cards. Alternatively, you are welcome to pay via bank transfer. All non sterling card payments and UK business debit cards will be subject to the 2% surcharge. Overseas bank transfers must add £6 to the sterling total to cover international handling fees. We are not able to accept PayPal transactions.
If you have booked as part of a group, you can still call and pay directly without needing to go via your group leader. Please have your trip reference number to hand to help us locate your holiday as quickly as possible. You will receive a transaction receipt - your group leader will forward your ATOL certificate and booking confirmation
Are you one of Scuba Travel's repeat customers? Over 60% of our customers trust Scuba Travel to book their next diving holiday, time after time.
And we believe you deserve a huge thanks for your ongoing support over the years, which is what our loyalty discount is all about! If you have booked directly with Scuba Travel, on your 3rd full price holiday you will automatically be eligible for a loyalty discount. That's all you have to do. No forms, no numbers to remember, no fuss, just a good honest price reduction. We are always happy to offer discounts as described below but these are not cumulative and we do not offer further discounts on special offer prices.
5% off for loyalty customers
Travel again with any Explorer Ventures liveaboard in 12 months and join the 5-5-5 programme. Book your next trip with only a 5% deposit and extra 5% discount. You can enjoy up to 5 dives a day (where possible) and there's no charge if you have to reschedule your trip within 6 or 8 mths (depending on destination)
Is this your 6th full price Explorer Ventures liveabaord? Then the fleet will apply the average price paid for those trips toward the standard retail rate of your sixth trip which, depending on the itinerary you choose, could be absolutely free!
Your liveaboard is based on a twin share cabin, twin or double bed, on a full board basis, including alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages, premium alcoholic beverages available for an additional charge
A 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included with up to 4 dives daily (weather permitting)
Transfers within Galapagos Islands for same day arrivals & departures
Excluding international flights to Ecuador or San Cristobal. Ask for a competitive quote to add flights and en route hotels to your booking.
To pay on board are the departure tax, Galapagos park fees ($100), chamber tax ($35), tourist card ($20) and nitrox ($150). Fuel tax is included as of July 2021
Crew gratuities are not included in your package. The boat suggests in regards to crew gratuities (if of course you are happy with the service which you have received) on dive trips in Galapagos is between 10% and 15% of the package price per passenger.