Fact File for Galapagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands, being a small archipelago belonging to Ecuador and located in the Western Pacific, are an ideal destination for a luxury charter yacht. World renowned for the unique species found here Galapagos has to be on every nature traveller’s bucket list. Due to their isolation and limited human contact you will have the opportunity to experience up-close encounters like nowhere else. The islands themselves are volcanic and somewhat barren but there is a beauty in their starkness and being able to travel between them on your private crewed charter yacht is the perfect way to see them.
COORDINATES: 0° 46'38 S, 91° 8' 33 W.
LANGUAGE: Spanish (official), English (widely spoken)
CAPITAL: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island
WEATHER: Galapagos straddles the equator and as such the weather and climate remain relatively stable all year round, although there are some seasonal variations. January to May is the warm season which brings bright, clear skies with temperatures ranging from 27 deg C to 32 deg C while June to December is known as the "garua" season. Garua translates as mist and this season is characterised by an hour or so of light drizzle most days and lower temperatures (21 deg C to 27 deg C)
BEST TIME TO CHARTER: The Galapagos are a year round charter destination although some recommend that the best months to visit are April, May and November. Different times of the year appeal to people with different interests. Diving is best between January and March while February to April is ideal for the land birds, sea lions, turtles and tortoises.
AIRPORTS: There are 3 airports in the Galapagos. The busiest is Seymour Airport (GPS) on Baltra Island close to Santa Cruz, while the other popular arrival point is San Cristobal Airport (SCY). There is also a small airline / landing strip on Isabela Island.
CURRENCY: The US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. ATMS are limited to Puerto Ayora in the airport on Baltra, on the main island of Santa Cruz and in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal. The more up-market hotels, restaurants and souvenir stores accept major credit cards, but there is often a 5-10% fee charged. We do recommend that you carry cash with you and at least some of it in small bills. A USD100 park fee must be paid in cash at the departing airport prior to arrival on the islands.
ELECTRICITY: 110 V, 60 Hz
• 1 Jan - New Year's Day
• Feb - Carnival
• Mar/Apr - Easter Monday
• 1 May - Labor Day
• 24 May - Battle of Pichincha Day
• 10 Aug - Independence Day
• 9 Oct - Independence of Guayaquil
• 2 Nov - All Souls Day
• 3 Nov - Independence of Cuenca
• 25 Dec - Christmas Day
MAIN PORTS AND MARINAS: There are no marinas in the Galapagos islands and the following main ports: Floreana, Puerto Villamil on Isabela, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Wreck Bay) on San Cristobal and Puerto Ayora (Academy Bay) on Santa Cruz.
RECOMMENDED BEACHES: While not renowned for the beaches the islands do have their fair share of white stretches of sand. Three that we do recommend are Bahia Gardner on Española Island, Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz and Puerto Villamil, Isabela.
CULTURAL: The park is strictly regulated, and you must abide by all their rules including always being accompanied by a guide and restricting your visits to officially approved areas. Your Captain and crew will be able to advise as to what is acceptable and what is not. English is widely spoken but a few words of Spanish are always appreciated.