Corona Virus (COVID-19) in Galapagos
One of our clients' most frequently asked questions
After Covid-19: Ecuador and the Galápagos are looking forward to welcoming you again
Last update: 14 February 2022
Since August 2020, travel to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands is possible again. The first Galapatours guests returned to the islands already in September 2020 and since then, dozens of happy travelers have returned from our trips to the Galápagos. The Galápagos Islands remain a safe place to travel.
The Status Quo
Ecuador is coming through the COVID-19 crisis far better than its neighboring countries. The vaccination campaign is showing great results. By September 2021, more than 80 percent of Ecuadorians over 18 are fully vaccinated. By the end of the year, the government aims to reach this figure for all 12-year-olds and older as well. On the Galápagos Islands, Corona vaccinations were obligatory: 99% of the islands' population has been vaccinated and there have not been reported cases since more than two months. Ecuador currently reports only 60 new infections per 100,000 (US: 840, Germany: 230).
All European countries have lifted their travel warnings for Ecuador already in September 2021. The US maintain a level 3 warning ("Reconsider Travel"), but we expect this to be lifted very soon, too.
National parks, beaches and main sights are open. Ecuador has a general mask requirement in public, which is strictly enforced by the entire population. Hygiene regulations are in effect in hotels and restaurants and are enforced very consistently. Respectful spacing also takes place. These measures mean that people are once again allowed to move freely around their country. The same applies to tourists. The fantastic mask in the picture above (Designed and sold by Lanine Fisher) can be purchased here, by the way. https://tinyurl.com/n29ww8o.
Entry to Ecuador: RT-PCR or Fully vaccinated
As of 11 February 2022, any traveler over 3 years of age must present a vaccination certificate with QR code or a COVID-19 vaccination card with the last dose at least 14 days prior to departure, or a negative result of a qualitative RT-PCR test performed up to 72 hours prior to traveling to Ecuador. In addition, a health declaration (download here) must be filled out. Quarantines do not apply. If arrivals do not have a test and proof of vaccination, they must take it directly at the airport and then stay in a hotel in Quito or Guayaquil until the results are available. Any passenger who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and after one month does still have a positive RT-PCR Test, must present a medical certificate issued in the country of origin which guarantee the passenger is no longer in a contagious phase.
The country's borders with neighboring Colombia and Peru remain closed. Travel is only possible by air. The airports in Ecuador are open since June 1, 2020. American Airlines, jetBlue, United, Delta, LATAM, Air Europa, Iberia and KLM all operate regular non-stop flights to Quito or Guayaquil several times a week. Domestic flights are available with Avianca and LATAM, as well as ground-based travel with intercity buses and rental cars. Entry to Ecuador is prohibited, for travelers who started their journeys in or transited through the following countries: South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Namibia.
Entry to the Galápagos Islands: PCR or Fully vaccinated
To enter the national park of Galápagos, you will either need a negative RT-PCR test or proof of full vaccination. The RT-PCR test must also not be older than 72 hours. Further entry formalities such as the Transit Control Card registration can be done online just like the check-in to the flight.
Travelers from the US will need a negative PCR-Test to enter the US. Since Ecuador is without a travel warning from the EU, European citizens no longer require a PCR test for their return trip to Europe.
Recap: Galápagos, a safe destination for everyone
- as of now, 99% of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19
- everyone coming to the islands must be PCR-tested OR vaccinated
- there is an extremely low population density with only 1.5 person per mi2 (< Canada)
- all visiting sites are remote and uninhabited
- there is only a limited number of travelers from a handful of nationalities allowed
- small yachts hold only up to 16 to 20 guests and are ideal for small groups
The founder and executive director of Galapatours, Benno Schmidt, was in Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands in December 2021 and experienced an almost normal country. Feel free to call us if you have further questions for our travel specialists or Benno himself. Click here to make an appointment.