For departures after 31 December 2014 this trip has variations.
Please click here for details.
This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with Peregrine.
We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.
Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, Canadians and British do not currently require a visa for Ecuador. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
Visa requirements for Galapagos Islands are the same as Ecuador.
Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:
Please ensure that you have a current passport well before travelling. It also needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.
Every Peregrine traveller is required to have comprehensive travel insurance. This covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. You can arrange your own insurance or we can recommend a policy for you. Remember to bring a copy of your insurance policy with you so your tour leader/guide can record the details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive at your destination without travel insurance, you'll need to organise this before you can continue on your Peregrine journey.
Apart from having travel insurance and being in generally good health, some pre-holiday health preparation is advised. We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations and in some places anti-malarial medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental checkup is also highly recommended before departure.
Yellow Fever: This vaccine should be administered at least 10 days prior to travel and must be recorded in an official certificate book. You may be asked to produce this certificate by immigration and health officials both whilst travelling overseas and upon your return to your home country so you must carry this booklet with you at all times.
Other vaccinations may be required or recommended for this trip so you should consult with your travel doctor to obtain the latest up to date information.
Remember, it is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return.
For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see www.traveldoctor.com.au or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport. Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel.
We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy and credit cards. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you.
No particular level of physical fitness is required for our Galapagos voyages, although you should be reasonably agile and enjoying good health. We do ask that you read through the trip notes to ensure that this trip is right for you. Please keep in mind that there are a number of shore excursions on your cruise. This involves boarding a small dingy or zodiac from the rear transom of the cruise boat. Disembarkation at some locations will be at steps or a small pier, whilst at other locations you may be required to disembark on the beach. This can involve having to wade ashore a short distance through shallow water. A degree of agility will be required for this. Once you are on shore you will undertake several walks, some across volcanic rock. For this a reasonable level of fitness is beneficial, as is a pair of good walking shoes or boots. You are more than welcome to opt out of activities or talk to your guide about tailoring a less physical option for you.
There are many opportunities to go snorkelling on our voyages. Confident swimming skills are required to take part in this activity. Depending on the weather conditions and park regulations, you could be snorkelling twice a day. If you take part in the snorkelling, you will not miss out on any land activities. For those not wanting to snorkel, there will be time to relax on the boat.
Quito is located at 2850 metres above sea level. At this altitude you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude sickness, such as dizziness, insomnia and a shortness of breath. If so, we recommend you avoid any strenuous activity.
Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel or sausage bag is the ideal form of luggage. It is recommended that you keep your luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option, but preferably one without a frame.
When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Keep in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.
Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.
- Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Peregrine travel itinerary and this document
- Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
- Spare passport photos
- Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
- Money belt and small padlocks
- Small first-aid kit.
- Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
- Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
- Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes/ tissues
- Insect repellent
- Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
- Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
- Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
- 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) and dry bags
- Refillable water bottle
- Phrase book
- Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
- Wind and waterproof rain jacket
- Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
- Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
Special Items required for this trip
- There are many opportunities for snorkelling during the voyage. Diving masks, snorkels, fins and some wetsuits are provided onboard the vessel and are for use by all passengers. Some passengers choose to bring their own, however this is a personal choice. Beach towels are also provided.
- Underwater disposable camera
- During our time in the Galapagos we are usually sailing and anchoring in sheltered waters. However, it is possible we may encounter some movement in open waters - if you are prone to motion sickness, and you might wish to bring some preventative medication.
Ecuador uses the US dollar (US$). US$1 = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of US$100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of US$1 and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
Ecuador uses the US dollar as the national currency. The US dollar is therefore the only valid currency on the islands.
Refer to www.xe.com for current exchange rates.
The US Dollar is the official currency of Ecuador. Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and at exchange houses (casas de cambio), the latter being generally the best option. The rate of commission varies between 1 per cent and 4 per cent, so it is worth shopping around. ATMs are available in large urban areas.Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
US dollars cash is the easiest option for purchases on the islands. ATM's are available in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz & Puerto Baquerizo on Isla San Cristobal. There are no ATM's in Puerto Villamil on Isla Isabela. In Galapagos there is only one bank and you can only get cash with MasterCard. There are no official money exchange businesses in the Galapagos. MasterCard is widely accepted in Galapagos and Ecuador, however there is a 10% service charge on all credit card payments.
You will need to take money with you to cover those meals not included in your tour cost. Other costs to consider are drinking water, tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short!
Before you check-in for your flight from Quito to the Galapagos, you will need to purchase a US$10 transit card (which you will need to hold on to as you will need to present it on your return from the Galapagos). You must pay US$100 entrance fee to Galapagos Islands National Park upon arrival at Baltra or San Cristobal Airport in the Galapagos. This has be paid in US dollar cash (credit cards are not accepted). If your trip visits Isabela Island, there is also a US$5 park fee to be paid upon arrival in some sites.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than others, others prefer to visit more optional sites. Remember that alcoholic beverages are expensive compared to other foods locally. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities.
We recommend you carry at least US$100 to allow for additional meals and snacks. There is a bar on board where the settlement of the bill is by US$ cash only. The Queen Beatriz does not have credit card facilities.
Please make additional allowance for bar expenses, however you will find the drinks to be moderately priced.
All prices are quoted in US$.
Cocktails: $6 - $8
Wine*: $35 - $60
Spirits: $8 - $ 16
Beers: $3 - $5
Softdrink: $1 - $3
*Red, white and sparkling wines are available by the bottle.
Please refer to the tipping section for additional information with regards to recommended amounts for tipping.
During stops in Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela Islands, you will have the opportunity to visit souvenir shops and internet cafes.
There are no international departure taxes to be paid at Quito airport.
If you are happy with the services received, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Peregrine destinations.
If you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$15 per day for the crew and US$10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey.
Please check the bill and if there's an addition of 10% service charge, there's no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropiate.
Markets & local shops:
At local markets, shops & basic restaurants, leave loose change.
Hotel porters/local drivers:
We suggest US$1 - US$2
Please use the amounts listed above as a guide. Tipping is entirely a personal preference; of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip.
An arrival transfer in Quito is included in your Galapagos trip. Please ensure that we have been advised of your correct flight details into Quito airport by either yourself or your travel agent at least 30 days prior to departure. A transfer guide (or our local representative PEAK Adventure Travel) will be there to meet you after you clear customs and transfer you to your hotel. Please look for your transfer guide at the airport immediately after exiting the customs area - they will be holding a sign with your surname on it and/or our company logo. If you are unable to find them, please call our local operator for assistance:
Office Hours: 02 2560419 or after hours: 09 94014877
In the evening you will meet our local respresentative and the other members of your group for a pre-tour briefing. Please check the noticeboard at reception to confirm the time and place of your meeting which is normally held at 6 pm.
In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.
M.C Queen Beatriz
The Queen Beatriz is a modern Catamaran. She has a comfortable lounge and dining area, as well as a sun deck where you can view the wildlife or just kick back and relax. She has eight well-appointed, air-conditioned cabins and yet, at 30 metres, she is small enough for us to offer an individual level of service. She's just perfect for a more personal look at this great marine reserve.
3 Standard twin cabins
4 Deluxe cabins with balconies – 2 x Twin and 2 x Double
All cabins are fully air-conditioned with private facilities
Length: 30.2 m
Beam 11.2 m
Speed 12 knots
Crew: 8 + 1 English speaking naturalist guide
Accommodation on board is based on twin or double share. Single supplements are available on request should you require a cabin to yourself.
Please remember that the sun in the Galapagos can be quite fierce. Make sure you bring along a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen. You should also bring insect repellent for use on some shore excursions and excursions into the mangroves.
The Galapagos Conservancy
We support the work of The Galapagos Conservancy. The Conservancy is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for Galapagos conservation. It is a membership-based organisation and the largest source of private support for conservation efforts. The 11,000 Friends of Galapagos are individuals and institutions who care deeply about the Galapagos Islands, and understand the scientific importance of preserving this one-of-a-kind ecosystem.
Funds raised by the Galapagos Conservancy support the core operations of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS), both located on the island of Santa Cruz.
If, after having visited this unique and precious region of the world, you would like to make a donation towards the protection of the Galapagos Islands, please visit www.galapagos.org.
Meals & Dietary requirements
All meals are included whilst on the Queen Beatriz. There is a chef on board who cooks up local and international cuisine daily, including a buffet breakfast.
Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform Peregrine of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.
Your group will be a mixture of Peregrine booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from our partner company, Intrepid Travel.
High altitudes may be experienced during this trip. Please refer to our Altitude Sickness document for more info.
For any assistance prior to travel, please contact your travel agent.
For assistance whilst you are travelling, please contact the local numbers listed below, as your call will be received in the same time zone by an English speaking representative.
PEAK Adventure Travel Ecuador:
When calling from outside Ecuador: +593 994014877
When calling from inside Ecuador: 0994014877
Alternatively, if you have already joined your tour, please direct your enquiries to your local guide.
|Ecuador, Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)|
|Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador||Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador|
As we fly from Quito to the Galapagos Islands, located in the equatorial water of the Pacific Ocean, we suddenly find ourselves in a very different world. As we board our vessel, the M.C Queen Beatriz, and follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, we start to encounter nature at its finest. This is indeed the Galapagos journey with something for everyone.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Meals included: 1 breakfast
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
At Peregrine we are always looking for ways to improve our trips and your feedback is invaluable to us and to our tour guides. It tells us what we're doing right, what you believe could be done better and what improvements you feel could help future travellers choose and enjoy Peregrine. At the end of your trip we ask that you to take a few minutes of your time to complete our on-line feedback form. Just go to http://www.peregrineadventures.com/tour-feedback for our easy to fill out questionnaire. We’d love to hear what you have to say!
29 August 2014