Is there cell phone coverage on the Galapagos Islands?
Yes, there is some cell phone coverage in Galapagos, but it is scarce and usually rather poor quality. You can expect your phone to work in and around the main centers of commerce and population: Baltra Island, most of Santa Cruz Island (especially Puerto Ayora), San Cristobal (especially Puerto Baquerizo Moreno) and a few southern parts of Isabela (especially around Puerto Villamil). The map below will give you an idea of likely coverage.
If you need mobile internet on your phone, we recommend buying a SIM card/chip on the mainland. The best idea is to get one from one of the shops at Quito airport. There are a few Ecuador cell phone providers, but in our experience the network with the best coverage on the Galapagos Islands is CLARO.
On a Galapagos Cruise, you can expect to lose cell phone coverage as soon as you leave port - there is no network on the open ocean or near the uninhabited islands. There are some ships, however, that offer satellite internet! Please click here for more info on internet / Wifi on board of Galapagos Cruises.
Picture above: This is an approximation of where you can expect your cell phone to pick up service in Galapagos. Don't expect any coverage out in the open ocean.