What are the entry requirements for Galapagos?
Do you need a visa for Galapagos islands?
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Ecuador, which simplifies entry into the country. However, a passport valid for at least six more months at the date of entry to Ecuador is essential. If this is not the case, you will not be allowed to enter the country and you will need to fly back to the airport you flew from. Also, holders of passports that show an extreme amount of wear and tear can be refused entry. Please note that every traveler is responsible to check the individual visa restrictions for his/ her nationality.
Upon entering the country of Ecuador, you will be given a visa stamp, which permits you to stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days. Sanctions including fines and deportation can occur if you stay past this time period. You will also need to show proof of departure from Ecuador to customs and immigration as you arrive in the country; this can simply be a return or onward airline ticket. To enter Galapagos, the first official requirement is a valid Ecuadorian tourist visa stamp in your passport - this should have been issued to you upon arrival to mainland Ecuador. Click here fore more info on this topic.
Similarlly, you don't need a visa for Galapagos Islands from UK, Germany, and most other European countries.
Health insurance + Hotel bookings + Flight tickets
A health insurance coverage is not obligatory to enter the Galapagos islands because the law has never come into effect but we strongly recommended it. Upon entering Ecuador, you must be able to proof that you will be leaving the country by producing a bus or flight ticket, as well as hotel bookings or a cruise booking for your entire stay in Galapagos and Ecuador. If you stay at a friends' place you need an invitation letter wich prooves your stay. Please don't hesitate to ask us if you have any questions regarding these entry requirements!
There is a possibility that key-point checks may be carried out in the migration process and proof of this must be provided in English on the spot. Please click here for more more detailed advice on insurance for a Galapagos Cruise.
Upon arriving in Galapagos, you will have to pay a 100 USD National Park entrance fee. Only cash payment will be accepted. Please make sure that the bills are not torn. This fee is for the national park and is used for the maintanance of paths, helps the local community and supports projects focusing on educational, environmental, sport, health and tourism topics. Please feel free to check the Galapagos National Parc Website for more Info on their local projects.
Also, your passport will be checked, as your luggage for organic goods (to avoid biohazards caused by fruit flies, bacteria or similar). Please keep the receipt of the entrance fee, you may need to show it before you go on bord the ship.
There is also a 20 USD immigration control card that is payable to INGALA at Quito or Guayaquil airport and is only payable in cash. The reason why this is necessary to enter Galapagos, is because the ecuadorian immigration department needs to register the number of tourists and wants to control illegal immigration. Please keep this Transit Control Card until the end of your Galapagos stay, as it will be checked upon you departure.
At the following link you can find out more about vaccinations for a Galapagos trip.