MAINLAND ECUADOR & GALÁPAGOS ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands welcome tourists from every country, and U.S citizens do not require a visa unless they plan to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days. Travel requirements for U.S. citizens planning a trip to the Galápagos are:
Valid passport—legitimate for at least 6 months after your expected return to U.S.
Proof of economic means of support (may be questioned by Immigration authorities)
Mainland Ecuador Customs
Most Galápagos visitors travel to the Galápagos archipelago by air. Flights generally take off from mainland Ecuador—usually from the principal cities of Quito or Guayquil—to one of the Galápagos’ two main airports: one on San Cristóbal and one on Baltra.
At the airport in mainland Ecuador, Galápagos visitors are required to have bags inspected by a quarantine staff and acquire a requisite tourist Transit Control Card for a nominal fee.
The Ecuadorian Animal and Plant Health Service and the Quarantine and Inspection System of the Galápagos (SICGAL) perform the quarantine inspection as part of a coordinated effort to prevent the introduction of non-native fauna and flora to the vulnerable Galápagos ecosystem. Visitors are also given a declaration form to fill out as another preventative measure of Galápagos conservation.
Galápagos Flight Regulations
Visitors may bring 1-2 checked bags weighing no more than 44lbs in total along with one carry-on bag weighing no more than 17lbs. Excess baggage may potential be left behind in an mainland Ecuadorian hotel (check with your hotel) or brought along at an additional charge.
GALÁPAGOS PARK REGULATIONS AND FEES
Upon arrival in the Galápagos Islands, visitors pay a mandatory entrance fee in cash to the Galápagos National Park. Currently, the fee is $100 for non-Ecuadorian adults and $50 for non-Ecuadorian children.
In an effort to conserve the Galápagos Islands’ ecosystem, the Galápagos National Park Service established Park rules for its visitors.
Visitors must familiarize themselves with these park rules:
Visitors must be accompanied by an authorized Galápagos National Park naturalist guide when visiting a protected area
Contract authorized services and boats when visiting protected areas
Respect signs and stay on marked trails
Respect the freedom and space of animals by keeping a distance of at least 6 ft (2 m)
Do not feed or touch animals
Do not transport live material—or even sand—from island to island
Take videos and pictures without flash to avoid upsetting animals
Do not introduce plants, animals, or food into the archipelago
Do not leave any litter or trash on an island or in its waters; do not mark or make graffiti on anything found within the Galápagos park
Motorized aquatic sports, aerial tourism, and mini-subs are not permitted in park
Fishing is not allowed unless on an authorized recreational fishing boat
No smoking or lighting campfires in protected areas
Do not purchase souvenirs or products made from banned substances such as volcanic rocks, tortoise shells, sea lion teeth, or coral
For a more comprehensive review of the rules as well as updates, check out the Galápagos National Park Service page and learn about how you can make sure you leave no trace behind in the Galápagos Islands.
PACKING FOR THE GALÁPAGOS
Flights to the Galápagos Islands have a weight restriction of 44lbs, and so we recommend guests to pack only necessary items to bring to the islands.