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Galapagos Packing List

Galapagos Packing List

Don’t let packing be a stressful part of your Galapagos Islands adventure - just follow this packing list and you’ll be prepared for the vacation of a lifetime!

When packing your clothes for any trip, it’s helpful to think from your feet to your head:

Footwear:

  • Sandals with ankle strap for walks on the beach and wet landings.
  • Shoes with good ankle support for hikes up volcanoes and over lava flows.
  • Casual shoes or sandals for walking around the hotel or yacht.
  • One pair of socks per day of travel.

Pants:

  • Lightweight/ convertible pants
  • A few pairs of shorts
  • At least two swimsuits (use one while the other is drying)
  • Undergarments (one pair/day)

Shirts:

  • Lightweight/ wicking t-shirts (one per day of travel)
  • Lightweight/ wicking long sleeve shirts for walking in intense sun
  • Long sleeve shirt for chilly evenings
  • Compact rain jacket or windbreaker

Headwear:

  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Prescription glasses & case (make sure your glasses have a cord in case they fall off in water); Replacement contacts & eye drops.

Once you have your clothes packed, think about all of the extras - accessories, travel documents, and any miscellaneous items.

Accessories:

  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Water bottle
  • Day-pack
  • Binoculars

Carry-on

  • A good book!
  • A backup change of clothes & maybe a travel toothbrush

Travel Documents:

  • Passport (with more than 6 months until expiration or you will be denied entry into Ecuador).
  • Airline tickets (print them out just in case you have problems with your phone in the airport).
  • Printed confirmations of your itinerary, just for reference.
  • $120 in cash/ person for the Galapagos Islands National Park entrance fee & the transit card you will have to pay at the airport upon arrival.
  • Enough cash for tips ($10/ person/ day is a good rule of thumb, so for a family of 4, around $320 is plenty).
  • Copies of everything in a separate part of your suitcase, in case anything gets lost.

Miscellaneous:

  • Camera with any necessary equipment & accessories (lenses, cleaning kit, tripod, filters, protective carrying case, charger, and memory cards).
  • Wallet with cash & cards
  • Journal & pens (just like Darwin!).
  • Anything for the airplane (iPad, headphones, etc)
  • Phone (if you do international roaming or buy a local SIM chip, you will be able to use your phone in the airports, on the mainland and in the main Galapagos port towns, but otherwise you will be out of range of signal).
  • Any medications.
  • Motion sickness pills or bracelets.

What to leave at home:

  • Anything that you would be heartbroken to lose (that’s a good rule for any vacation!).
  • Dress clothes & Jewelry (don’t worry- you’ll never have to get dressed up on your Galapagos cruise, so leave the fancy jewelry at home and enjoy the casual attire).

Packing Tips

Packing is more of an art than a science, since every suitcase is a different size and everyone chooses to bring different items, but at the end of the day, airlines generally restrict you to 50 pounds per suitcase and usually just one or two carry on items. Here are some ways you can fit everything you need into your luggage:

  • Roll your clothes - this saves valuable space and prevents wrinkles.
  • Use ziploc bags to “vacuum seal”  and organize your clothes - label your bags with black marker so when you need to grab something, it’s easy to find.
  • Leave a bit of extra space for souvenirs.
  • Bring along an empty bag for dirty laundry.
  • Use your shoes to protect anything valuable or fragile.
  • If you’re combining your trip with a few days in the mainland, pack accordingly - the coast is similar to the Galapagos, but the highlands can get pretty chilly, and the Amazon is hot, but requires long sleeves and long pants to protect against mosquitos.