What to Expect

You are embarking on an overseas adventure in a place and amongst people whose lives are very different from your own.

Many aspects of life in the Galapagos Islands may seem unusual. Remember that these are often the same aspects that make an area an exotic and attractive destination.

While the activities require a mid level of fitness, you you should prepare to be physically active throughout this trip and the fitter you are the more you will enjoy each activity.

In addition to the personal physical challenges you may face, travel conditions can present unexpected obstacles, such as rough and bumpy roads and changeable weather.

To prepare for this “pack” a flexible and relaxed attitude. Bring a spirit of adventure and inquiry, a healthy sense of humour and a willingness to encounter the unexpected, and you will find your trip to the Galapagos Islands the adventure of a lifetime!

Travel Documents

A valid passport is required by all foreigners travelling to Ecuador.

Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your trip concludes (return home date) to allow you to apply for a travel visa.

Ecuadorian Tourist Visa

Australian passport holders can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa. You will require a visa if you want to stay longer than 90 days.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice.

Check here for the most up to date travel advice:

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/americas/ecuador 

International guests, please consult your relevant government advisory body.

Hotel Accommodation

(IN SAN CRISTOBAL)

On the Galapagos, where possible, we utilise Comfort Class. These properties are high quality bed & breakfast hotels. By Galapagos standards, they are the most comfortable in their class.

Hotel accommodation details: Exact property TBC

Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for any non-recoverable air or land expenses should you have to cancel your trip due to personal or family illness or leave the expedition early due to other reasons. It will also cover any emergency medical evacuation expenses should you become ill during the expedition. We strongly recommend that you take out baggage loss and accident insurance. You can avail such policies in most western countries. In the event that an aircraft evacuation is required, No Roads Expeditions will undertake to arrange the evacuation on the condition that the expenses will be reimbursed by the passenger before departing the country. You can obtain the correct insurance, assured you will be covered for evacuation through our website at www.noroads.com.au

Please bring 2 copies of your Travel Insurance Certificate to Ecuador to give to your Guide. Please make sure you also carry a copy for yourself whilst travelling.  

If you should receive an injury 12 months prior to your travel date, you must contact the insurance company with details to ensure you are covered for this injury whilst travelling. Should you not do this and you require medical assistance for this injury whilst travelling you may not be covered by the insurance company.

Note: Accidents caused by the inappropriate consumption of alcohol or drugs may void your travel insurance.

COVID 19 Insurance Disruption: COVID has affected all of us and it is no different for the travel insurance market. Providers had to deal with an unprecedented amount of claims and as a result, many of them had to undertake procedure changes.

During this process, No Roads has reviewed the insurance policies of different providers to ensure we can offer our guests the best options on the market and you are covered adequately.
We are currently in the process of finalising an alliance with a new provider and will be able to sell domestic and international travel insurance to all of our guests again soon.

For all other nationalities please explore insurance providers in your country.

Again, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask info@noroads.com.au.

Getting There and Away

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Most international flights into Ecuador enter via the capital Quito (UIO).

Travelling from Australia, this would typically include a transit via the USA (Los Angeles) or via another South American hub (such as Santiago).

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Australia.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

Flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos are generally from either Quito or Guayaquil (GYE).

As all of our Galapagos expeditions start on the island of San Cristobal, and conclude on the island of Santa Cruz, it makes sense to arrive by flight into San Cristobal (SCY), and to depart from Baltra airport (GPS).

NOTE: All flights are at an additional, and individual cost. They are not included as part of the tour booking.

Important Information: The weight restriction per person for the inter-island flight from San Cristobal to Isabela is 12 kgs in one piece of luggage.

About Ecuador

Despite being South America’s 2nd smallest country, it packs a lot in. From the unique Galapagos islands, to the Amazon Jungle and from the Pacific Coast to the Andean volcanos.

There is so much to see and do in Ecuador whether you are looking for an adrenalin packed adventure, or a wildlife extravaganza.

About the Galapagos Islands

Located 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland, the Galapagos archipelago consist of 13 major islands, 5 of which are inhabited.

The total land area is just under 8,000km2 and is spread over 45,000 km2 of ocean. The population is around 23,000

Packing for your trip

PERSONAL GEAR

During the day, you will only need to carry a small pack. That said, inter-island flights have a limited baggage allowance (see under Domestic Flights). With this in mind, please try and pack as light and efficiently as possible. 

The luggage that is transferred for you during the day should be packed in a duffle bag or a large sports bag. Suitcases are not recommended.

In your day pack, you will carry water, a light rain coat, perhaps some snacks, and whatever else you would like to take (camera, sunscreen, etc).

SLEEPING

This is obviously a personal decision (whatever you feel comfortable in), however, be mindful to remain respectful to the local people 

DAY WEAR

Ultimately you want to be comfortable. Consult our recommended packing list, but above, try to ensure that what you wear during your trip, is not being worn for the first time!

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

Camera film, Spare camera batteries, lens cleaner & paper. A small supply of favorite snacks – bigger supply for longer and remote area trips. Binoculars, notebook, etc

Note:
If you have any questions regarding the above list or any other items that you want to ask about please contact us. We can provide you additional information at any time.

To download our handy Packing Check List

  • Passport
  • Insurance Papers (3 copies)
  • Tourist Visa
  • International Airtickets
  • Comfortable clothes for travel   
  • Plastic Zip Lock bags for paperwork
  • Smart clothes for nightlife
  • Personal Toiletries (toothbrush & toothpaste, deodorant, etc) 
  • Hiking Shoes (or sturdy sandals)
  • Day Pack 
  • Rash Vest (lightweight swim top) – We can provide a wetsuit, please ask your guide
  • Rain Jacket     
  • Water Bottle
  • Trekking/Hiking clothes (non-Cotton)
  • Sunblock/Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Insect Repellent
  • Swimsuit/Swimshorts 
  • International Power Adaptor(s)
  • Bike Shorts (optional)
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, anti-septic cream, after-bite, anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. 

Supplied Equipment

  • Two-person tent
  • Thermarest sleeping pads
  • Extensive First-aid kit including Oxygen
  • All eating and drinking equipment
  • Dining, cooking and toilet tents

Fitness

All guests should ensure they are suitably fit for the expedition. No Roads is not a medical adviser and we take no legal responsibility for medical or other emergencies that may arise on the course of a trek. As the service provider and hosts, we will take all necessary steps needed to evacuate injured or ill clients on the understanding that all costs involved will be paid to us before leaving the country (see Insurance).

We hope this helps you all enjoy your time on the expedition.

Immunization

A valid Covid-19 vaccination is currently required for entry to Ecuador. You should also consider typhoid and hepatitis vaccinations and make sure your tetanus cover is up to date. Please consult your doctor on these matters.

COVID 19: To protect yourself, fellow guests and our team, a full COVID-19 vaccination status is a mandatory requirement to participate in any of our expeditions.

Typhoid: Recommended for Ecuador. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.

Hepatitis A: Recommended for Ecuador. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.

Influenza: Recommended for Ecuador. Most common vaccine-preventable illness in travellers. Vaccine recommended, effective for 1 year.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for Ecuador. Ideally 2 months before travel.

Rabies: Recommended for Ecuador. Consult your doctor for the most suitable medication and timeline.

Yellow fever: Ecuador is one of the most at-risk countries for yellow fever, according to the World Health Organization. Ecuador requires a certificate of Yellow Fever vaccination for every entering traveller. The vaccination against yellow fever should be taken earlier than 10 days before your travel. 

Malaria: Consider this seriously for Ecuador.

Plan ahead for getting your vaccinations. Some of them require an initial shot followed by a booster, while some vaccinations should not be given together. This also applies to some malaria prophylactics, which have to be begun at least a week before you leave home.

WATER

Visitors should drink only bottled water, which is widely available. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels, and try to avoid drinks with ice. Many hotels and guest houses will have a large jug (think office water cooler) from which you are able to fill your own bottle.

Note: However, no matter how safe the water may be, we insist that all travellers use either water purification tablets such as Aquatab (iodine) or Steri Pen.


WOMEN’S HEALTH

On top of the normal health considerations, women are advised to bring a tube of Canesten and an applicator. The Canesten is used for the treatment of thrush (which can be very painful if left untreated) and can be applied to both internal and external thrush. 

Prescriptions can be filled at farmacias and boticas; it’s best to know the generic name of your drug, however, to save time and possible confusion, it is recommended you bring most of your medicinal and sanitary needs with you. 

MEDICINES AND FIRST AID

All travellers are recommended to carry a personal first aid kit with medicines for common ailments, cuts and bruises, pain killers, etc. Anyone using any prescription medicines regularly should carry a supply for the whole duration of their expedition. Please consult your doctor and include items and medicines that may be required for you or for the area you are traveling in. No Roads does not supply any medicines and takes no legal responsibility for any medical treatment or professional medical support to our clients.

We will do everything we can to support guests that have disclosed a medical condition, allergy or anaphylaxis, by informing all in country personnel and ensuring reasonable provisions are made. We do however, suggest and encourage all guests in this situation to assist us by reconfirming this information in situations or instances where it may be required to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable adventure experience.

*If you have something you are particularly prone to such as ear infections, sinus problems or mild asthma bring what you need with you.

The No Roads Guide will be carrying an extensive Wilderness First Aid Kit.

Your personal first aid kit should contain:

Band aids, Paracetamol, Deep Heat or other muscle liniment, Blister pads, Crepe bandages, Antibiotic cream for cuts and scratches, ‘Imodium’ tablets, Strapping tape (for knees and ankles), Anti chaffing cream e.g. Pawpaw cream, Foot powder, Waterless hand disinfectant, Anti-malarial drugs (see your doctor. This is largely only if you are also visiting the Peruvian Amazon in the Loreto Department), Anti-inflammatory cream, Broad-spectrum antibiotic tablets, Anti-Nausea Tablets.

Money

In Ecuador, the official currency is the US dollar.

If carrying funds from home, this money can be exchanged at banks or exchange vendors (look for Casa de Cambio).

Alternatively, you can use your ATM card to withdraw money in most large towns (research if your card type will function abroad, and be sure to alert your bank before you travel so they don’t flag your account for suspicious activity). 

TIPPING

Tipping in many countries can be a problem and can add a great deal of stress to your holiday. Remember Tipping is entirely voluntary and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received, and also how much you can realistically afford.

For greater context for how much of a difference you may be making, Ecuador has a minimum salary just over US$400 a month. In many of the lower-paid jobs (eg waiters, porters etc) this is not always enforced.

 

THE ENVIRONMENT

Many of the places you will visit are pristine. As travelers, we should try to have as little impact on these natural environments as possible. As such we recommend the following:

  • Please do not dispose of plastic bags and wrappers along the trail. These may be put in your backpack and disposed of at your local hotel at the end of the day.
  • Follow the well-marked walking trail (for both your safety and to maintain the integrity of the landscape). 
  •  Do not touch or fed any wildlife spotted on the way as you might cause severe harm to the animal.

By abiding by these simple guidelines, you will be protecting the local environment for the people who live there and for their children’s children.

POWER IN ECUADOR

Electricity in Ecuador is 120V, with a frequency of 60hz, the following plugs are used:

If you have 3 prongs or 2 prong angled appliances you will need to bring an adaptor.

GALAPAGOS WEATHER 

Due to their equatorial location, the Galapagos Islands are blessed with pleasant weather all year round so can be visited throughout the year. There are slight climatic changes though – from June to December, it is the ‘dry season’, with blue skies, midday showers, cooler winds, and the water is cooler.

This is the time when sea and land birds are most active (although wildlife activity is always good whenever you visit).

The warmer waters head towards the Galapagos around December, so warmer for swimming and snorkeling. December to May is the ‘warm season’ when the climate is more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies and no wind.

FINAL CHECKLIST
 

Please make sure you have all the items on the packing checklist before you travel to the airport for your flight to Peru.

WHAT NOT TO DO IN GALAPAGOS

The Galapagos is a place where the wildlife largely lives without fear of humans.

As such, many species will either show zero interest at all or at times, playful curiosity.

Please try not to touch them if it can be avoided, for both your safety and theirs.

SOME BASIC SPANISH TO GET YOU STARTED

Hello ~ Hola ~ o.la
Goodbye ~ Adios ~ a.dyos
How are you? ~ Que tal? ~ ke tal
Fine thanks~ Bien gracias ~ byen gra.syas
Excuse me ~ Perdon ~ per.don
Sorry ~ Lo siento ~ lo syen.to
Please ~ Por favor ~ por fa.vor
You are welcome ~ De nada ~ de na.da
Yes ~ Si ~ see
No ~ No ~ no

PHRASES 

My name is ~ Me llamo ~ me ya.mo
Do you speak English? ~ Habla ingles? ~ a.bla een.gles

PHRASES (continued…)

I don’t understand ~ No entiendo ~ no en.tiyen.do
Where is..? ~ Donde esta..? ~ don.de es.ta
The bill please ~ La cuenta por favor ~ la kwen.ta por fa.vor
Cheers! (To your health) ~ Salud! ~ sa.loo
How much is it? ~ Cuanto cuesta? ~ kwan.to kews.ta
That’s too expensive ~ Es muy caro ~ es mooy ka.ro 

SIGNS

Open ~ Abierto
Closed ~ Cerrado
Entrada ~ Entrance
Exit ~ Salida
Toilet ~ Banos

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & SUPPORT:

For Australian led expeditions, your guide will be in contact with you 6-8 works prior to departure where they can further assist with any questions or advice should it be needed as additional support.

If you have any comments, questions or want more information please let us know (especially if your departure is self guided). 

We are here to support you with all the information you need to help you prepare for your travels to Ecuador.

Our Contact Phones & Address

Pease make sure to carry our full address with contact numbers (given at the end of this message) in case you need to contact us for any reason.

NO ROADS EXPEDITIONS

In Australia Office : (03) 95988581

24 Hr Access Peter Miller : + 61 425 726 623 Irene Miller: + 61 430 705 222

In Country:

Pre-Departure Information Ends.