COVID- 19 Galápagos Restrictions & FAQs

On July 13 2020, Galápagos Islands opened again to the world, allowing tourist from different countries to visit again the Enchanted Islands.

The Galapagos Islands, being an archipielago, has had very low impact of the covid 19 pandemy, compared to ecuadorian mainland or other touristic destinies around the world. For this reason and the special protocol established by the goverment and the Galapagos National Park, since the beginning of the pandemy, the Galapagos Islands remain a covid safe place to travel.

However, to keep it safe, besides the usual rules of Galápagos and entry requirements, there is a few additional requirements that will be mandatory to enter while the pandemic remains.

If you are planning to visit the Galapagos Islands, read this post for all the details about the protocol to follow before, during and after your stay.

covid galapagos restrictions

If you already have your tickets to Galápagos, you should know that there are not direct flights to the Galapagos Islands and you always have to do a stop either in Guayaquil or Quito Airport before you go to Baltra or San Cristóbal.  Covid-19 protocols may vary from one airport to another in Ecuador mainland, so keep this in mind when you depart.

Covid 19 Galápagos mandatory requirements

galapagos health insurance

Before you travel

1. Negative PCR test done in the country of origin

LAST UPDATE: PCR test are not necesary if you are vaccinated

Since April 2021, the government admit the covid vacination certificate as a valid document fo enter the Galapagos National Park. If you are already vaccinated from covid,  and have the covid vaccination certificate, you are exent to present a negative PCR when travelling to the Galapagos Islands.

To enter Ecuador mainland, you have to bring a negative RT-PCR test, done at least 10 before the departing flight. Once you land in Guayaquil or Quito an authorized doctor will review your test and if everything is correct it will allow you to enter Ecuador. Don’t forget to print it to save time, since a digital version on your mobile or any digital device wont work, it needs to be printed.

However, to access Galápagos this requirement changes and instead of 10, the required PCR to enter Galápagos should be no more than 96 hours before your flight to Galápagos.

Es muy importante que en los resultados de laboratorio se especifique que la técnica realizada para la prueba es PCR (no se tomarán como válidas pruebas de anticuerpos o test rápidos) y que se indique la fecha en que se tomó la muestra.

What happens if my PCR is positive?

If your PCR is positive, the airile would not let you enter the flight and travel to Ecuador. However, most of the airlines now have very flexible policies and make it easier to change dates so you can postpone your trip for when you are fully recovered and able to get a negative PCR.

What happens if I don’t bring any PCR test? 

In the very unlikely case that the airline knowing that you don’t have a negative test and allows you to jump in the flight what will happend when you land in Ecuador is that you wont be able to enter and will have to go over a mandatory quarantine in one of the hotels specified by the goverment and of coruse, the hotel fees will be paid by yourself. You’ll have to stay on the hotel until your PCR (the test will be paid by you too) turns negative, allowing you to go out.

2. Health Form

Every person (locals and foreign) need to fill a special Health Declaration Form before entering the country. This document should be filled at the arrival in any ecuadorian airport and its usually handed out by the airline, so dont forget to show it along with your documents. Protip: always bring a pen to avoid contact and to avoid wasting time.

3. Mandatory mask

Masks are mandatory in public and in the Airport. In Galápagos, masks are also mandatory when the safety distance of 1.5m is not possible to achieve. Also, a mask will be required during transfers, tours (except at the moment of snorkeling) and whenever you are in close contact with other.

Entering Galápagos

1. Negative PCR done 96 hours before the flight to Galápagos 

To enter Galapagos is necessary, same as it is to enter Ecuador, a negative PCR. The main difference is that to enter Ecuador PCR could have been done 10 days before the departure flight, but to Galápagos it has no be no more than 96 days. This means that if you take the PCR in the country of origni, make sure that you dont spend much days in Ecudaor mainland to avoid having to take another PCR in Guayaquil or Quito.

If you have plans to travel around Ecuador mainland (Quito, Guayaquil, Amazon, etc) you’ll have to take a second test before your flight to Galápagos. If this is your case, you can get PCR test from $50 Usd. Here’s a quick list of laboratories we recomend:

  • Junta de Beneficencia $50
  • Synlab PCR + Fast test $65
  • Interlab $90

Results are usually available 1 day after the test its done. In the case of Interlab, if you take it early in the morning, in the late night the same day sometimes results are already available.

2. Hotel booking 

You will need to show, before entering Galápagos a booking for all the nights you will be staying in Galápagos. If you need help booking tours or accommodation, feel free to drop us a line. 

4. Tours booked with authorized agencies & safeguard document

To be able to travel you will need to make sure that you book your tours with a certified agency that complies with all covid safety protocols. Remember that in Galapagos Low Cost you can book in advance tours and we can help you make the most out of your trip with a personalized itinerary. Contact us here. 

5. Health & Travel Insurance

A new requirement caused by the pandemic is to have a privated health and travel insurance covering covid 19 to be able to enter Galápagos. However, even before pandemic in Galápagos Low Cost we recommended to have insurance to avoid any trouble in case you have a smal accident in the Islands. A little thing like a twisted ankle could be transformed into a big rescue operation if this happens to you on a remote location. To make sure you dont travel without insurance we got you a 5% discount if you book with Mondo clicking here. Click here to get 5% in health and travel insurance. 

galapagos health insurance

6. Follow regular entry requirements and rules

Remember that Galapagos Islands is a protected area and to be able to preserve its diversity there always have been (even before covid) some requirements and protocol while you are visiting and before entering the islands to avoid legal problems.

If you want to find out the latest entry requirements and norms make sure to read our dedicated blog entries here:

reglas galapagos, normas galapagos

Must have items for your Galapagos Trip

What is the current covid-19 situation in Galápagos?

Covid 19 situation in Galápagos is good and reaching almost no active cases on the Islands. In order to maintain this as a covid safe space, if you feel sick or have any covid 19 symptoms we ask you to stay home and remember that most agencies, including us, now have a more flexible cancellation policy for tours and accommodation, giving you the opportunity to move the bookings for a later date to avoid the spread of covid on the Islands.

Daily tours and cruises are operating regularly? 

Since september 2020 agencies starting working normally again on daily tours and cruises. However, we need to warn you that some tours may require a minimum amount of people to be able to depart (specially snorkeling tours) so it could happend that there are not enough people to do the tour you want to.  Similarly, to be able to guarantee safety distance in the tours, for some of them there are limited spaces so we highly recommend you to book the tours in advance to avoid missing the chance to do them. We’ll be happy to help you booking tours or solving any questions regarding your travel to Galápagos. Drop us a line here! 

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