What to Pack for a Trip to the Galapagos Islands
With the diverse array of landscapes and animals, crystal clear waters, and endless adventure opportunities, the Galapagos Islands were a total dream trip for me. I recently spent about a week island hopping on a cruise with Andando Tours, and what I found in the Galapagos completely surpassed my expectations.
However, it can be difficult to know what to pack for a destination so ecologically diverse, and preparation is definitely key to a comfortable trip. Check out this essential Galapagos Islands packing list to help you choose the most appropriate clothing, gear, and health items for your upcoming trip!
Galapagos Islands Packing List
All the toiletries you use at home are fine to bring with you on your trip, but just remember to remove all packaging from the items before you leave and to not dispose of anything in the Galapagos. Also, if you plan on doing a lot of swimming, snorkeling, or Scuba diving, it will be a good idea to bring some reef-safe shampoo and leave-in conditioner with you (which is great to help detangle salt-water logged hair).
As the Galapagos is right on the equator, you’re going to want to bring a lot of reef-safe sunscreen with you and to reapply often. I also brought a sun hat and a baseball cap with me for windy days.
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Whenever I know I’m going to be in the water a lot, I always bring along my long-sleeved rash guard, and my shortie wetsuit (or check and see if your cruise provides these, mine only provided long-sleeved wetsuits).
You’ll also want to pack a pair of water shoes for wet landings, a dry bag for dinghy rides, 2-3 swimsuits that you can rotate through, a quick-dry towel, and a kaftan or sarong to use as a cover-up.
As being on the water a lot is a given in the Galapagos, it’s recommended to bring some seasickness medication, and activated charcoal pills for any stomach-related issues.
Active Wear & Layers
You’ll be spending so much time outside in the Galapagos, and so you’re going to want clothing that you can move around in. I recommend bringing along 2-3 pairs of leggings and moisture-wicking tank-tops and t-shirts.
Also, while the Galapagos rarely gets cold, it does get cooler in the dry season, so if you head there from June through November, I recommend bringing along a light sweater. Alternately, if you’re going in the wet season, it’s definitely wise to bring a raincoat.
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Exploring all the Galapagos Islands have to offer means hiking a lot, so it’s essential to pack a pair of comfortable hiking shoes (these shoes are perfect because they are lightweight, but also waterproof) and a few pairs of moisture-wicking socks.
The beauty of the Galapagos is being able to explore the diverse landscapes and animals, so you’re definitely going to want to bring along quality camera gear. I brought along my GoPro 7 Black and waterproof floating handle for underwater shots, along with plenty of SD Cards and a portable power bank to keep me going. For a full travel photography packing list, check out this post.
To cut down on waste, I packed a reusable water bottle and filled it up before each daily departure. Also, if you’re into bird watching then a pair of binoculars are key.
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Additional Packing Tips For the Galapagos
Before you leave for your trip, make sure to check airline baggage requirements and try not to over pack. If you plan on taking a multi-day cruise, then you’re not going to want a ton of stuff in your small cabin anyway.
As I mentioned above, the Galapagos Islands rarely get cold, but it’s still important to pack according to the season. The dry season in the Galapagos runs from June through November and tends to be a little cooler, while the wet season is from December through May and brings along with it higher temperatures and daily rains.
Much of the Galapagos infrastructure relies on tourism, so whether you’re on a longer cruise or taking day trips with guides, make sure to bring about $500 in extra cash for gratuities, a transit card, and souvenirs.
Plan Your Trip to The Galapagos Islands
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