Galapagos information

Galapagos information

WEATHER

  • Galapagos has a unique condition: it is located directly on the equator line, but it is influenced by a cool arctic stream, the Humboldt Current. Its Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) is one of the world´s major upwelling systems, supporting an extraordinary abundance of marine life. But it also affects the weather. Despite being entirely in the tropics, Galápagos has cooler temperatures due to the oceanic upwelling and the presence of the Humboldt Current from May to November, with average sea surface temperature at 20°C (70°F). Windbreakers are useful, especially early morning or late afternoon and night. Shorty wet suits are available on board for rental.
  • From November until May, average sea surface temperature rises to 25°C (77°F). This allows rains to be present more often over the islands. The otherwise dry archipelago becomes green and vibrant in terrestrial life for a few months. While some texts describe this period as the ´rainy season´, statistically more hours of sunshine are recorded during this time. As the air temperature may rise up to 30°C (86°F), we start our daily activities a bit earlier than during the cooler season.

ABOUT THE WILDLIFE

  • Please do not touch or handle animals. Even the fearless animals of the Galápagos require a certain distance, and do not like to be encroached upon. Please respect this distance as attempting to touch them will disturb them. There is a 2 meter rule of distance with animals.
  • Please do not feed the animals. This can be dangerous to you and it will also affect the social structure and natural behavior of the animals.
  • Please do not startle or chase any animal from its resting or nesting spot.
  • Please stay on the marked trails. It is important that visitors do not damage vegetation or cause erosion.
  • Visitors into the National Park areas must be led by authorized Naturalist Guides.

ELECTRICITY

Electrical outlets on board are North American Type A, with two parallel blades or North American B, two blades with one grounding plug. Ecuador uses 110V 60Hz. 220V outlets are available on board too.

TIME ZONES

The Galápagos Islands [Central Standard Time or GMT (-6)] are one hour behind mainland Ecuador [Eastern Standard Time, GMT (-5)].

SAFETY NOTES

The route and program may vary according to National Park policies and regulations. The boat operator has the right to change the program if it believes the cruise might not be safe because of weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons, mechanical problems or wildlife encounters, you will be provided with an alternate itinerary. Safety will be always part of the daily programming of activities. Kindly follow all suggestions. It is mandatory to wear a life vest during all dinghy rides between the ship and the shore.

SEA SICKNESS

The Galápagos Islands are in the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (known as the “Doldrums” by early seamen), a tropical belt along the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans known for calm waters, and historically feared by sailors in the past for the exact reason it is preferred by most sailors now: lack of strong winds. For this reasons no ship in the Galápagos has the needs for stabilizers. Some pitching or rolling may be noticeable during the cooler months (May-Nov), but even then we rarely have guests bothered by motion sickness. Our experience is that most of the time, discomfort is psychosomatic. We suggest guests bring ginger items (candied ginger, ginger gum, jelly etc.).