Galapagos Islands

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Galapagos Islands Money-Saving Tips

Pack sport sandals

Bring along a pair of rubber sandals with Velcro – they accommodate walking on everything from volcanic rock to sandy beaches.

Be your own captain

The archipelago consists of 13 large islands, six smaller ones, and numerous tiny islets; all with unique flora and fauna. Know in advance which species you want to see, as most boats stick to a few main routes visiting a handful of islands.

No touching!

This heavily enforced rule is more than enough reason to invest in good camera equipment and a fine set of binoculars.

Diving is back

In mid-2007, diving was suspended briefly in the Galapagos, but it has since resumed on a permit-based system, so book well in advance. Permits can be arranged through your tour operator.

Tourist cap

For the moment there is no official limit on the number of tourists in the Galapagos. However, the growth of tourism on the islands has far outstripped the means of support, so expect higher prices and a potential cap on numbers in future years.

Money

In the year 2000, Ecuador switched its rapidly sinking currency, the Sucre, to the US dollar.

Real-life fantasyland

Be prepared to see things you have never seen before. Most of the reptiles, half of the birds, 25-percent of the fish, and 32-percent of the plants are endemic to the Galapagos.

Point of pride

Visit Ecuador’s mainland and anyone from the Galapagos will let you know where they are from within minutes.

Lonesome George

The last known Pinta Island tortoise, first seen in 1971 and now held at the Charles Darwin Research station, has become a symbol of the Galapagos and conservation efforts around the world.

Goat be gone

Whalers, pirates, and others left feral goats to populate some islands for easy access to food, which destroyed many plants and the species that lived on them. The world’s largest eradication program is still in the works.

Darwin's theory

When a young Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835 he noticed the differences in the beaks of finches and land and marine iguanas, which resulted in his Theory of Evolution.

Entry fee

Every visitor to the Galapagos pays a $100 entry fee, tightly divided amongst the National Park Service, Municipal Governments, Quarantine and Inspection System, Marine Reserve, and several other organizations.

Marine iguana earrings

If endangered-animal-inspired jewelry is your thing, check out Galápagos Jewelry on Charles Darwin Avenue in Puerto Ayora, or find outlets in hotels in Quito and Guayaquil.

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