What to Bring on a Trip to Galapagos Islands

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Written By ArmandoPeterson

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The Galapagos Islands are a dream destination for me because of the diversity of wildlife and landscapes, clear water, and endless adventure possibilities. A cruise with Andando Tours took me island-hopping for about a week. What I saw in the Galapagos was beyond my wildest dreams.

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It can be hard to choose the right clothes for such a diverse destination. Therefore, preparation is key to a pleasant trip. This essential packing list for Galapagos Islands will help you select the right clothing, gear, or health items for your trip.

Galapagos Islands Packing List

  • Toiletries

You can bring all the toiletries from home, but you must remove any packaging before you leave. Also, you cannot dispose of anything in Galapagos. It is a good idea, for example, to bring a reef-safe shampoo or leave-in conditioner if you are going to be doing a lot snorkeling, swimming, or Scuba diving. This will help to detangle your hair from salt water.

  • Sun Protection

You’ll need to have a lot reef-safe sunscreen and reapply frequently, as the Galapagos Islands are right at the equator. For windy days, I brought a sun hat as well as a baseball cap.

  • Water Gear

My long-sleeved, rash-guard-protecting rash guard and my shortie Itsuit are always on hand when I’m in the water. (Check with your cruise line to see if they have these. Mine only had long-sleeved).

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A pair of water shoes is a must for wet landings. You also need a dry bag to carry on dinghy rides.

  • Medication

It is recommended that you bring seasickness medication and activated charcoal pills to treat stomach problems.

  • Active Wear and Layers

Because you will be spending so much time outdoors in the Galapagos you will need clothing that is comfortable to move in. You should bring 2-3 pairs of leggings, moisture-wicking tank tops and tee shirts.

The Galapagos is not cold but it can get cold in the dry season. If you plan to visit the Galapagos from June through November, I suggest bringing a lightweight sweater. A raincoat is also a good idea if you are going during the wet season.

  • Gear for Hiking

You will need to hike a lot to explore all that the Galapagos Islands has to offer. This is why it’s important to bring a couple of lightweight hiking shoes and some moisture-wicking socks.

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  • Camera Gear

You will find the Galapagos’ beauty in being able explore diverse landscapes and animals. This is why you should bring quality equipment. My GoPro 7 Black, waterproof floating handle and plenty of SD cards were all part of my kit. I also brought a portable power bank and an extra battery to keep me going. This post contains a complete list of travel photography essentials.

  • Miscellaneous

To reduce waste, I brought a reusable water container and filled it before every departure. A pair of binoculars is a must if you are interested in bird watching.

Additional packing tips for the Galapagos

  • Be Light

Check the airline’s baggage restrictions before you depart for your trip. Also, don’t overpack. You won’t need a lot of stuff if you are taking a multi-day cruise.

  • Climate

Although the Galapagos Islands are rarely cold, it is important to dress according to the season. The Galapagos’ dry season runs from June to November, and is generally a bit cooler. However, the wet season runs from December through May, and brings with it higher temperatures as well as daily rains.

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  • Extra Cash

Tourism is a major component of Galapagos’ infrastructure. If you are on a longer cruise, or just taking day trips with guides and guide, bring $500 extra cash to pay gratuities, purchase a transit card and buy souvenirs.