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Galapagos Hotel-based FAQs

Find all the answers for your Galapagos tour:

Tour Options

Tour Options:

Q: What type of land-based tours do you offer?

A: Staying in a hotel on land in the Galapagos Islands allows for multiple types of tours depending on your preferences, budget, and how many days you want your visit to be. For instance, Hotel-based tours allow you to explore one particular island to its fullest, engage with the community, and partake in daily trips to surrounding visitor sites without the hassle of changing hotels.

Q: What is an Island Hopping tour?

A: An island-hopping tour that allows you to spend more time on the different inhabited islands. You will stay on one island for a few days and explore the surrounding areas before moving onto a different island for a few days, and so forth.

Q: What is a land-based Diving tour?

A: A land-based diving tour is a tour that allows you to sleep on land in a hotel (on 1 island for your tour), and during the daytime you will have excursions to different diving sites.

Q: What is an Adventure tour?

A: Our special designed multi-sport adventure tours allow you to kayak, mountain bike, ride horses, or snorkel up-close and personal with the world's most fearless wildlife. Tours include lodging in the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristobal, offering luxury and first class accommodations.

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Tour Operation

Tour Operation & Planning:

Q: What is the best island to stay on in Galapagos?

A: All the islands have their charm, and it is possible to stay in 3 of the 4 inhabited islands in the Galapagos. The island with the largest number of attractions is Santa Cruz, since from this island you can take daily tours to other nearby islands such as: Bartholomew, North Seymour, South Plaza, Floreana, and Santa Fe. Furthermore, on the San Cristobal and Isabela Islands there are several tour options that can be taken on each island.

Q: Can I choose the hotels for my land-tour?

A: All land-based tour rates are based in predetermined hotels, which have been chosen for their proven quality of service and amenities. Do you have a particular hotel in mind? Feel free to contact us to tailor-make your Galapagos experience, while keeping in mind that rates may vary.

Q: Can I mix a land based tour with a cruise?

A: Yes! You can combine as many types of tours together as you would like. Contact one of our trip advisors for free trip planning.

Q: How many and which islands can I visit during a land-based tour?

A: Depending on your tour length, you can stay on up to 3 inhabited islands – Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal – and explore the best visitor sites in each destination. Additionally, 1-day tours are planned to islands near Santa Cruz, such as Bartholomew, South Plaza, North Seymour, and Santa Fe.

Q: What is included in a land-based tour price?

A: Generally, land-based tours include accommodation, meals, guided tours, and transportation between visitor sites. Meanwhile, flights to and from the Galapagos, the National Park entrance fee, the Transit Control Card, and soft/alcoholic drinks are not included. Please check the “what’s included” section in each tour for more specifics.

Q: Who will provide tour services during the day?

A: Services are provided by trusted local operators, who are constantly monitored to ensure the best service and experience for the passenger.

Q: Should I buy Travel Insurance or is this included?

A: Travel Insurance is not included but is highly recommended for all travellers to the Galapagos Islands. Please check our preparations and requirements page to start planning your tour.

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Hotels In Galapagos

Hotels In Galapagos:

Q: How many hotels are there in the Galapagos Islands?

A: All of the inhabited islands of Galapagos have hotels. The majority of the hotels are located on Santa Cruz Island in Puerto Ayora, followed by San Cristobal Island in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Isabela Island in Puerto Villamil, and finally Floreana Island in Puerto Velasco Ibarra.

Q: What type of hotels are in the Galapagos?

A: We have a rating system that allows you to see what kind of hotel or hostel you can book. There is a wide range of options from budget to luxury, so you can choose what you like. There are hostels, hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, and specialized camping options. Not sure what’s right for you? Ask one of our trip advisors for some extra help!

Q: Where are the hotels located?

A: There are 4 islands that have small towns where hotels are located: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Florena. The majority of hotels in the Galapagos are located within walking distance to the main piers on each of these islands. Despite a few hotel options in the highlands of Santa Cruz, all of the hotels are strategically located in the towns/villages near the water.

Q: Are there hotels on all the Islands?

A: 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 overnight stays. In fact, visiting sites are only accessible from 6 am to 6 pm.

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Services & Accommodation

Services & Accommodation:

Q: What services do Galapagos hotels provide?

A: All hotels in Galapagos offer general services for their passengers. These include maid service, towels, soap, and shampoos. Some hotels offer an included breakfast 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, unlimited drinking water, travel agency, or tour booking services.

Q: What voltage and type of electrical outlets are found in Galapagos?

A: The electric voltage in the Galapagos Islands is 110v, generally with a two-prong wall socket (the same that is found in the United States). Be sure to bring the proper adaptors you may need for your Galapagos Islands vacation.

Q: Is Internet available?

A: Depending on the hotel, WiFi services may be included, or there may be a communal computer that can be used. There are several internet shops on the inhabited islands that provide wifi as well as communal computers with a varying range of technological equipment: microphones, webcams, telephone booths, CD and DVD burning, etc.

Q: Is tap water safe to drink in my Galapagos hotel?

A: Tap water in the Galapagos Islands should not be consumed. Bottled purified water is always recommended. Certain hotels offer free refills for your travel water bottle. There are also several little shops and mini-markets where bottled water is accessible (by the gallon or in individual bottles).

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Land-Based Activities

Land-Based Activities:

Q: Can I do hotel-based tours?

A: 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.

Q: What kind of activities do land based tours allow?

A: On a land-based tour you can hike, snorkel, kayak, swim, and have dinghy rides at the most pristine visitor sites the Galapagos National Park has to offer. Additionally, you can experience the social and cultural life of the charming port towns where your hotel is located. Diving and multisport adventure tours offer sport-oriented activities and diving, which are also available for land-based tours.

Q: How do we move from one island to another when staying in a hotel?

A: 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 ($20-$30 one way per person). Each of these islands also operates daily flights 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).

Q: Is there a “night life” in the Galapagos Islands?

A: 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.

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Transportation & Communications

Transportation & Communications:

Q: How do I get to the hotels in the Galapagos Islands?

A: As the hotels are generally located within walking distance of the main piers. 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 base $1.50 fee 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.

Q: How long does the speed boat take between islands?

A: The travel time depends on the distance between each island, the climate, and the current of the sea. The approximate times are: Puerto Ayora / San Cristobal (2 hours) and Puerto Ayora / Isabela (2 hours, 30 minutes).

Q: How easy is it to move from one hotel to another?

A: If for some reason you wish to change hotels during your visit, it will depend on the time of year. During high season, hotels tend to fill up quite quickly and a reservation will be needed in advance. It is easy to relocate on the same island, as you can simply walk to your new hotel, or take a taxi. (see question 7)

Q: Can I make international calls from Galapagos?

A: There are several phone/internet centers on the inhabited islands that offer international calling options such as Skype, MSN messenger, or landlines. 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 pricey. Check with your local cell plan provider for details.

Q: Are there ATM machines available and what cards do they take?

A: In Puerto Ayora and San Cristobal there are several ATM machines which accept the following cards: Mastercard, Visa, Diners, Cirrus, Plus, BanRed, Maestro, and Nexo. Be aware that there is often a daily limit to the actual machines (as well as your card) in town in order to avoid running out of cash! There are also banks in Puerto Ayora where Traveler's Cheques can be exchanged for a fee.

Q: Is there a post office in the Galapagos Islands?

A: Mail can be sent from any of the inhabited islands, but be prepared for it to take a long time to arrive in its destination. Many people find the Post Office Bay visitor site, on Floreana Island, a faster way of sending mail!

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