PACKING LIST for Yacht and Cruise Trips in the Galápagos Islands
It’s always a good idea to travel light by bringing only what you need for your trip. Being over burdened with luggage can make transfers and travel difficult. For your flights, always wear or carry on the items that are absolutely necessary to your trip.
Keep in mind that flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos limit you to a maximum of 20 kg or 44 lbs for your checked luggage. You are allowed one carry-on, which is limited to a maximum of 7 kg or 15 lbs. If you are traveling in the Galápagos on a land-based trip (not on a cruise), you may have a flight between two or more of the islands. Please check your itinerary. These flights operate in much smaller airplanes, and have different luggage restrictions. On these flights, you are limited to a maximum of 11 kgs or 25 lbs in one bag for your checked luggage, and you are allowed one small carry-on, such as a purse or day pack.
These allowances should be enough for what you’ll need to bring, but if you have extra items you wish to leave in Quito or Guayaquil during your trip to the Galápagos arrangements can be made to leave extra bags at your hotel.
Following are our recommendations for luggage for this trip:
• Daypack or Fanny pack: This bag stays with you at all times, will most likely be your carry-on and is where you will keep such Galápagos necessities as your camera—unless you have a camera bag—sunscreen, glasses, windbreaker and other similar objects during your hikes. Some people prefer both a daypack and a small fanny pack. Because you will be the one to carry this bag(s) you’ll want to keep the weight down.
• Duffel Bag: In addition to your carry-on bag you should only need one duffel bag to serve as your main luggage for the trip. This can also be a carry-on but check with your airline to insure it meets specifications. Your duffel or suitcase should be well made and durable to take the punishment the airlines and traveling can dish out. A medium size duffel or suitcase of 30” X 15” X 14” with a capacity of 110 liters or slightly larger should be sufficient.
• Spare Duffel: It’s a good idea to carry a spare duffel rolled up in your main luggage piece. This is not only good in case you want to leave belongings in Quito while you are in the Galápagos or Amazon, but it comes in handy for those who like to do a good deal of shopping.
• Small Padlocks: These are always a good idea when traveling and discourages anyone inclined to zip open your bag to see what they might find.
• Plastic Bags: Sturdy zip lock bags are great to keep important items dry while in the Galápagos or Amazon.
• Comfortable walking or hiking shoes with good traction
• Teva or Chaco style sandals are good for hiking the island beaches and you do not have to worry if you get your feet wet. Thongs are acceptable but are not good for hiking though they are good on deck. A security strap is a good idea in the surf.
Note: The shoes you wear during landings are kept in a bin on the yacht. If you want to wear them on board the yacht we can wash the bottoms but you may want to have a light pair of deck shoes or thongs for the yacht. Bare feet are also acceptable.
• Wind shell (ideal for the islands) and or rain jacket or poncho with hood
• Medium to light fleece jacket or fleece sweater (wool is fine too)
• Cotton sweat shirt
• The above are frequently needed when it gets cooler in the islands during the evenings, which is the time you will experience more breezes as we cruise to another location. Also remember that Quito can be cool and it can get downright cold if you go higher into the mountains.
Shirts & Blouses
• T-Shirts / Polo shirts / Light blouses (can be purchased along the way)
• A long sleeve shirt or blouse for cooler evenings and sun protection
• Two swimsuits
• Women report getting a lot of mileage out of swim suite wraps that can be worn as a dress or skirt
• Lightweight neoprene wetsuit: Optional. This allows you to spend more time in the water. A less expensive substitute is long underwear made from a water resistant fiber such as capilene. You can also inquire about renting a wetsuit or body glove.
Trousers & Skirts
• Hiking shorts
• Lightweight full length pants either synthetic or cotton is fine and great for cooler nights in the highlands or islands
• Pair of dressier shorts
• Women may want to bring a casual dress or skirt (see below)
• Sun hat or cap. Wide brim hats should have chin strap in case they blow off your head. Unless you have a really thick head of hair and never burn sun visors are out.
• Bandana (great to shield your neck)
• Sun glasses with security strap (polarized lenses will help you to see more when looking in the water to spot turtles and rays). It’s a good idea to bring two pairs, especially if you need prescription glasses.
• Comfortable athletic type socks for walking and hiking
• Snorkel gear: Most trips include the use of snorkel gear (fins, mask, and snorkel) in their rates. If this gear is not included, it will be available to rent (please check the included / not included information of your trip). However, you may want to bring your own mask, so you will be sure to have a mask that fits you.
• First aid Kit: While we do carry first aid kits on our yachts, you are responsible for bringing along your own personal medical kit including medications, especially prescription drugs, or vitamins you regularly take (fill prescriptions BEFORE you travel), including any over the counter drugs you might take such as pain relievers, motion sickness pills or indigestion tablets.
• Seasickness medication: While Galápagos waters tend toward calm, there are at least two crossings during the typical cruise. In case you are susceptible to sea sickness or if the seas do get high please bring along medication for seasickness if you are susceptible.
• Toiletry kit: Tooth paste, toothbrush, shaving kit, etc.
• Insect repellent (for those going to the Amazon see above / Galápagos travelers sensitive to bites)
• Sunscreen with SPF rating of 15 or higher (you are on the equator so bring a full bottle)
• Aloe gel of a high quality
• Lip gloss with sunscreen of SPF rating of 15 or higher
• Hand sanitizer for a quick way to keep hands clean when traveling on your own
• That book you have wanted to read and the stationery for the letters you have wanted to write
• Binoculars: Even though you can get up close to much of the wildlife in the Galápagos you will still want a good pair of binoculars. Water resistance is a plus.
• Water resistant travel alarm watch
• Water resistant compass
• Small flashlight or headlamp (good for searching in your duffel and when in Amazon)
• Spanish / English pocket dictionary or electronic pocket translator