Galapagos travel Covid-19

Travel to Galapagos in Times of Covid-19

1: Introduction

Local authorities have added an extra layer of security for visitors to the islands, over and above that required for visitors to continental Ecuador. Enhanced documentation, health requirements, and procedures for entry to the Galapagos Islands. We provide this guide as a courtesy to our guests, but we are not the authority and you should still contact your local embassy for updated requirements or restrictions.

In addition to the enhanced security measures for entry to Ecuador and Galapagos, local authorities have issued a set of guidelines and protocols, to all sectors of the tourist industry, directing measures to minimize the risk of contagion while hosting, transporting and guiding guests.

The requirements, such as mandatory face masks, and social distancing are applicable to travelers as well as to their hosts and will be enforced by local authorities.

As with the underlying protocols, the Guide and Covid-19 Policy will evolve in response to changing circumstances, further knowledge, and experience. We will issue updates accordingly.

Definitions

The RT-PCR Test for Covid-19 infection is the only type of rapid test recognized by Ecuadorian health authorities. (RT-PCR = Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction). Travelers must arrive in Ecuador with a recent negative (i.e. no infection) RT-PCR test record. They will take a further test on arrival in Ecuador and may even require an additional test if spending more than a few days in continental Ecuador before departure for Galapagos.

Mandatory Isolation, in which you must stay in your current accommodation for 14 days is required for travelers and service providers who are identified as Suspect Cases, Confirmed Cases not requiring hospitalization, and even Contacts.

Salvaconducto is a type of passport \ safe passage form, issued by a MINTUR-registered tour operator, agency, or hospitality establishments where you will be staying in continental Ecuador and Galapagos. Torre Mar Galapagos Boutique Suites are registered as “Torre Mar”. Make your reservations sufficiently far in advance of departure for these forms to be processed and issued to you (minimum 48 hours after confirmation which will require confirmed payment).

2: Requirements for Travel to Ecuador & Galapagos.

For health security, Ecuadorian authorities need to know where you will be staying at all stages of your visit. So, it will be necessary to make all reservations prior to your departure to Ecuador. The requirements to enter Ecuador are supplemented by additional requirements for entry to Galapagos.

Documentation required for Visitors to Ecuador:

  • A passport with at least 6 months of validity.
  • Evidence of a negative RT-PCR test, from your country of origin, taken within 7 days of arrival in Ecuador.
  • Salvaconducto (safe passage form), issued by a registered agency or lodging establishment, for your lodging in continental Ecuador where you will be staying prior to departure to Galápagos.

Additional Documentation – For Galapagos:

  • Evidence of a negative RT-PCR test, taken within 96 hours (4 days) of your flight to Galapagos.
  • Evidence of comprehensive health insurance that specifically includes Covid-19 related costs and emergency air-evacuation to the continent in case of illness or accident.
  • Salvaconducto or salvaconductos (safe passage forms), issued by a registered agency or lodging establishments, for your accommodation in Galapagos.

Also Recommended

We strongly advise all guests to obtain travel interruption and cancellation insurance that includes disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

3: Procedure for Entry to Ecuador and Galapagos

On Arrival in Ecuador:

You must complete the Traveler Health Declaration form with contact information, details of recent travel, and current health.

You must undertake and pay for a new RT-PCR test.

You must stay in continental Ecuador at least 48 hours, pending results of the arrival RT-PCR test. That accommodation should be in a location that is not at a high level of alert for Covid-19.

On Departure for Galapagos:

At the counter of the CGREG (Galapagos Governing Council):

Provide the Salvaconductos issued by your tour operator or the licensed establishments where you will be staying in Galapagos.

Pay for and receive the Transit Control Card. It is preferable to complete the application online before reporting.

Next, report to the counter of the ABG (Agency for Regulation and Control of Biosecurity and Quarantine for Galapagos) for the standard luggage scanning & inspection.

Even if you have a boarding pass and no checked-in luggage, you must still report to the airline counter to present evidence of a negative RT-PCR test performed within the last 96 hours (4 days). If you have been in Ecuador longer, you will have to repeat the test.

You will also be asked to provide evidence of Health Insurance.

4: Mandatory Isolation

If at any stage, you receive a positive or even inconclusive test result, you will have to re-schedule or cancel your plans for Galapagos and enter 14 days of Mandatory Isolation. That will usually mean staying in your current accommodation.

You will have to cover all the costs of your mandatory isolation, including lodging, maintenance, transportation, etc.

Please take all due precautions in your travels prior to departure for Galapagos. Please self-monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 as it will better to know before you get here and get turned away at entry, need to isolate on the island, or even be evacuated back to the continent by air ambulance.

5: Special Measures Recommended for Guests

Plan and Reserve Ahead

Make lodging reservations sufficiently in advance to obtain the Salvaconductos you will need for entry to continental Ecuador and Galapagos. If you are making a reservation for the Galeodan Suites, we will apply to the issuing authority for the Salvaconducto once the reservation is confirmed by us and we have received the necessary details, such as complete names and passport numbers.

Traveling – Extras to Bring

You may find it difficult to find face masks, gloves, alcohol-gel, and other protective products during your travels, and availability in Galapagos is especially hard to predict (besides which it will be expensive). We strongly recommend you travel with a good supply of:

  • Protective Masks –Preferably washable\reusable
  • Gloves
  • Alcohol-gel

We further recommend the following:

Digital Oral Thermometer

On your journey towards Galapagos, you may undergo numerous temperature screenings using non-contact devices that could result in disruption to your vacation. We too are required to scan guests on arrival at the Suites and you may be scanned at the start of every excursion, by land or sea. Although scanning devices may provide a level of security, they are no substitute for a thermometer that measures true body temperature. It may help to have a proper thermometer at hand. (Note that you may not be able to carry a mercury thermometer in hand luggage.)

Mask & Snorkel \ Scuba Gear

While operators are generally assiduous with cleaning equipment between trips, having your own equipment, including short wetsuits, will provide more peace of mind. You will also be able to take advantage of snorkeling opportunities at the beaches.