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Galapagos Hotel Based - Frequently Asked Questions
How many hotels are there in the Galapagos Islands?
All of the inhabited islands of the Galapagos have hotels. The majority of the hotels are located on Santa Cruz Island (Puerto Ayora-approximately 40 hotel options), then San Cristobal (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno-approximately 10 hotel options), Isabela (Puerto Villamil-approximately 7 hotel options) and Floreana (Puerto Velasco Ibarra – 2 hotel options).
Although there is no particular rating system for hotels in Galapagos, a general rule of thumb for Galapagos is: you get what you pay for! If you book into a 15$ a night hostel, you are likely to find yourself with cold showers and no frills. If you book into one of the luxury hotels, then you will receive luxury service and accommodation. There are hostels, hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, and specialized camping options.
Where are the hotels located?
The majority of the hotels in the Galapagos Islands are located within walking distance to the main peers. Despite a few hotel options in the highlands of Santa Cruz, all of the hotels are strategically located in the towns/villages.
All hotels in the Galapagos offer general services for their passengers, including chamber maid services, towels, soaps and shampoos. Some hotels offer breakfast included in the price, and some even include three meals a day. Depending on the hotel, the following services vary: in room television, bar, pool, Jacuzzi, book exchange, restaurant, airport transfers, air conditioning, wifi access, unlimited drinking water, travel agency or tour booking services.
The electric currency in the Galapagos Islands is 110, generally with a two-prong wall socket. Be sure to bring the proper adaptors you may need for your Galapagos Islands holiday.
Can I do hotel based tours?
Hotel based tourism is a growing trend in the Galapagos. Many hotels offer packages that include day tours to other islands, or can arrange such tours for passengers upon arrival. Tour operators and travel agencies can also book island-hopping trips (staying overnight on various inhabited islands). It is always best to book ahead, as things can quickly fill up.
How do I get to the hotels in the Galapagos Islands?
As the hotels are generally located within walking distance of the peer, travelers can easily walk to their desired hotel. In the Galapagos Islands, taxis are an inexpensive way to get around if you are traveling with heavy luggage, or do not wish to walk: A one dollar US fee (1$) is charged per trip to any destination in town. Taxis in the Galapagos Islands are white pick-up trucks and are easily accessible. Hotels that are out of town will cost more to get to, or offer daily transfer services.
Are there hotels on all the islands?
The Galapagos has four inhabited islands that each offer hotel options: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Floreana. The other islands and islets of the archipelago are not inhabited by humans, and do not permit any over-night stays. In fact, the visiting sites are only accessible from 6 am to 6 pm.
How easy is it to move from one hotel to another?
If for some reason you wish to change hotels during your visit, it will depend on the time of year. During the high season, hotels tend to fill up quite quickly and a reservation would be needed in advance. It is easy to re-locate on the same island, simply walking to your new hotel, or taking a taxi. (see question 7)
Is internet available?
Depending on the hotel, wi fi service may be included, or there may be a communal computer that can be used in the hotel lobby. There are several internet shops on the inhabited islands that provide wi fi as well as communal computers with a varying range of technological equipment : microphones, web cams, telephone booths, CD and DVD burning etc.
How do we move from one island to another when staying in a hotel?
Inter-island travel is a daily event and takes place either by air, or by sea: There are daily speed boat trips between San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz ($25-30$ each way per person). Each of these islands also operates daily flights ($158 one way, or $260 return) with advanced bookings. Keep in mind that the airport used for Santa Cruz is actually located on Baltra Island (a bus-ferry-bus system gets you there easily).
Can I make international calls from Galapagos?
There are several phone/internet centers on the inhabited islands that offer international calling options such as Skype, MSN messenger, or land lines. Some hotels may have in-room telephones as well. Depending on visitors´ cell phone providers, cell phones can be activated for use in the Galapagos Islands, but this is often pricy. The 3 cell phone carriers in Galapagos are: Porta, Movistar, and Alegro. Check with your local cell plan provider for details.
Are there ATM machines available and what cards to they take?
In Puerto Ayora and San Cristobal there are several ATM machines which accept the following card symbols: Mastercard, Visa, Diners, Cirrus, Plus, BanRed, Maestro, and Nexxo . Be aware that there is often a daily limit to the actual machines (as well as your card) in town to avoid running out of cash! There are also banks in Puerto Ayora where Traveler´s Cheques can be changed for a fee. (Beware the often lengthy line-ups!).
Is tap water safe to drink at my Galapagos Island hotel?
Tap water in the Galapagos Islands should not be consumed. Bottled purified water is always recommended. Certain hotels offer free refills of your travel bottle of water. There are several little shops and mini-markets where bottled water is accessible (by gallons or individual bottles).
Is there a “night life” in the Galapagos Islands?
The inhabited islands have several restaurants/ bars that have music and dancing in the evenings. Santa Cruz offers the most options, followed by San Cristobal, and then Isabela. There are often local outdoor concerts, fundraisers or events going on in town.
Is there a post office in the Galapagos Islands?
Mail can be sent from any of the inhabited islands, but be prepared for it to take a long time in arriving to its destination! Many people find the Post Office Bay visitor site, on Floreana Island, a faster way of sending mail!