What to Pack for the Galapagos Islands

What to Pack for the Galapagos Islands

This is what you need to pack for the Galapagos Islands

The Islands of the Galapagos, straddling the equator 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, are a year-round destination.  Despite their location, they are not burdened with the oppressive heat and humidity as other countries with the same latitude.  The “rainy season” lasts from December-May with the average air temperature ranging from 72-86F and the water temperature about 25F.  The “dry season” from June-November brings cooler, dryer air, ranging from 66-79F,  and water temps around 22F.  So, what do you pack for a trip to the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are favorable for plenty of hiking, beach walks and snorkeling.  Packing will be a breeze.  In addition to a few pairs of shorts, t-shirts, lightweight pants (convertible to shorts if you can find them!) and tops will take up most of your suitcase.  Make sure they are lightweight, breathable with quick-drying fabrics and UV protection as well!  

You can download a printable version of this packing list at the end of this post.

In addition to the above, this is what else you will need to pack for the Galapagos Islands:

Waterproof Jacket

You will need a lightweight, breathable, easily packable, waterproof jacket such as this one from Columbia.  The Galapagos Islands are extremely susceptible to frequent, sudden and sporadic downpours.  

Water-resistant backpack

A Water resistant backpack is a must on a trip to the Galapagos.  You will need this to hold your binoculars and extra camera equipment when you are out walking and hiking.  Must be at least water-resistant to protect your gear from the rain and ocean spray while out in the zodiac.  This backpack is great as it folds down into a small pocket when not in use.  It won’t take up too much room in your suitcase and can serve as a carry on bag on the way home if you buy too many souvenirs!

Water shoes

These shoes are essential for any Galapagos trip.  Many of the zodiac landings are wet landings (jumping out of the boat into the ocean to walk to shore) proceeded by walking on the beach or hiking rough terrain.  Shoes should be comfortable, sturdy and suitable to get wet.  Flip flops are NOT recommended for zodiac landings.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are recommended for dry landing days (zodiac will dock or land on the beach) for longer all-terrain hikes.

Rash Guard

Rash Guards are extremely useful and multi-purpose in the Galapagos Islands.  I would recommend 2 or 3 for your trip.  Make sure that it has SPF/UPF as well.  Not only can a rash guard protect you from the sun, it can also protect you against mosquito bites and jellyfish stings.  It also helps keep you warm while snorkeling during the cooler months of the year.  Most expedition companies do provide wet suits for snorkeling, but may only be of the “shorty” variety.  

Fleece Jacket

Mornings and evenings can be cool in the Galapagos, depending on the time of the year.  A fleece jacket is a lightweight, portable, easy-to-pack solution for those cooler moments.


For ladies only!  A Pareo makes a fantastic addition to your packing list.  Like a rash guard, a pareo, or sarong, can have many uses on your trip:  Wear it as a beach cover up for warmer days either on deck or out on the beach.  Use it as a cover up if the weather is cool, or when the sun is very strong and you need something to cover your shoulders and neck. It also makes a great blanket to sit on in any circumstance!

Safari Hat

Last but not least – a hat.  I would recommend a safari hat.  Something breathable and lightweight (always the name of the game), but also a hat with a neck flap to protect your neck, and possibly your ears from the burning sun.

Other Miscellaneous items to pack:

Travel alarm clock – The days are jam packed and sometimes the best part of the day is early in the morning!

Swimsuit or swim trunks – at least 2. Sometimes you can be in the water twice a day, and who wants to put on a wet swimsuit!

Yoga or athletic wear for morning yoga and stretching classes up on deck.

A pair of long, knee-high socks for rubber boots for specific wet landings.  Most cruise companies will provide the rubber boots.  Check before you go, not all itineraries and cruise companies have the same excursion.

A decent pair of UV sunglasses.  Eye protection is always important, and especially for those extra sunny days when the bright sun reflects off the water.

Lip balm, sunscreen and insect repellent

Binoculars – For birding and wildlife spotting which is everywhere in The Galapagos!  Some companies will loan these out for the duration of the cruise – check before you buy.

Camera and all the accessories – An expedition cruise is a photographer’s paradise.   Come prepared to take some epic photos!

A waterproof bag or cover to go over your backpack if it is not waterproof.  Essential to protect your camera equipment and binoculars as well as your hat and rain jacket.   Important when getting in and out of zodiacs, or putting stuff down on the sand or bottom of the zodiac while taking pictures.

Don’t Overpack

It can be easy to get carried away with packing for a trip like this, but honestly, aside from a few pairs of t-shirts, shorts and lightweight pants, you don’t need much else.  Evenings on the ship are laid back and relaxed.  No Captain’s Galas or formal wear required.

You can grab the complete, downloadable version of my packing list by entering your name and email below.

Til next time,

Explore. Discover. Learn.


Celebrity Cruises has a theory of evolution, and its’ name is Flora

Celebrity Cruises has a theory of evolution, and its’ name is Flora

Celebrity Cruises has a theory of evolution, and its’ name is Flora

Celebrity Cruise Lines and the Galapagos

Where modern luxury and evolution create a new off-spring named Flora

Pop quiz! Who created the Theory of Evolution?

A. Jean Baptiste Lamarck
B. Charles Darwin
C. Louis Pasteur
D. Celebrity Cruise Lines

This gives me flashbacks to my middle school science days. Panic!

Who is it?

If you guessed “B,” you’d be correct! While Jean Baptiste Lamarck preceded Charles Darwin in his research, it was Darwin’s expeditions aboard the HMS Beagle throughout South America that fielded his discoveries and brought about the Theory of Evolution.

What does that have to do with Celebrity Cruises?

A lot actually.

The newest ship in the Celebrity fleet is launching May 2019. Designed in 3D and purpose built with the destination in mind, the Celebrity Flora takes inspiration from the islands it will call home – The Galapagos Islands.

Environmentally sound and eco-friendly

Due to its’ proximity to the equator and temperate climate, The Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination.  The Celebrity Flora brings the outdoors to life. The ship has an outward facing concept where all public spaces and staterooms offer floor to ceiling windows.  This concept brings the rugged natural beauty of the islands into the everyday living spaces, making the Celebrity Flora a ship you can enjoy whether inside or out.

Sustainable, natural, locally sourced materials envelope the spaces creating a calm, serene and relaxing environment. The Celebrity Flora is an eco-friendly, environmentally safe ship with the most advanced technology. The dynamic positioning system eliminates the need to anchor and the solar panels reduce emissions.  In-room water filtration stations convert sea water and air conditioning condensation into pure, fresh water.

The Celebrity Flora Experience

Limited to 100 guests in 50 staterooms, the Flora is an all-suite experience with floor to ceiling windows in most bedrooms and bathrooms.  The Discovery Lounge is a central hub. A full bar and comfy seats set the stage for an evening of entertainment or your daily naturalist briefings.

Another cozy area on board is the Observatory – More stunning floor to ceiling windows encompass the spectacular views where you can learn more about the history, geography, and wildlife of the islands.

The Vista is THE place to be on board – your outdoor hub for relaxation. Small, quiet – intimate. Yes, it has your sun-loungers, hot tubs and cabanas.  It also has a superb cocktail bar (because how can it not?).

What the Celebrity Flora does not have

100’s of passengers shoulder to shoulder on their deck chairs listening to the loud, obnoxious music.  Cruise staff egging you on to do the Macarena.  Nor does it have dozens of children in the kiddie splash park.

Just you and nature at one.

Even on a ship with 100 passengers, the Celebrity Flora has more than one dining option.

3 to be precise:

The Seaside Restaurant is your main dining room with menus crafted by Michelin-starred chefs and ingredients locally sourced at the destination. The Ocean Grill is your go-to al-fresco dining area for a casual meal at lunch or dinner.  Room service is available for those days when you have hiked one too many trails or snorkeled with one too many sea lions (Can this really be a thing – I think not!).

Take a look at this short 1 ½ minute video of the Celebrity Flora and tell me what you think in the comments:

While it’s unlikely the HMS Beagle possessed any of these luxuries, Celebrity Cruises has taken Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to new heights. The Flora’s innovative design is the first of its’ kind in the Galapagos Islands. If that’s not the epitome of evolution, tell me what is.

Not yet out of the shipyard, most of its’ inaugural season is sold out, and 2020 is booking up quickly. If you’re looking to be part of the evolution in the Galapagos, the time is now…

I personally have added yet another line to my bucket list. Tell me, is the Celebrity Flora on yours?

Interested in more information on the Galapagos Islands?  Read this

Get your free guide to expedition cruising

If you would like more information on the Celebrity Galapagos program, click here

‘Til next time




Why your next family vacation should be to the Galapagos Islands

Why your next family vacation should be to the Galapagos Islands

Why your next family vacation should be to the Galapagos Islands

Why SHOULD your next vacation be to the Galapagos Islands?

Does this sound like your last vacation?

Long lines; tired, cranky children, 2 minutes away from a tantrum because they have been standing for an hour waiting to go on a ride that will be over before it starts.  Back to the mega resort for a dip in the overcrowded pool with hundreds of other guests, standing in line again to go down one of two slides before the kids decide they have had enough.

I feel your pain.  Been there, done that.


Visiting theme parks in the summer is hot, humid, crowded and totally overpriced.  What’s more there is zero educational value in one of these trips.


I know parents who have taken their children out of school to go on vacation during off peak travel times to avoid the crowds, and save money.  Smart idea?  Sure.  What would be even better, is if in doing so, your children would receive some kind of educational benefit for their time out of class.

Consider this: A family expedition cruise to The Galapagos Islands.


Travel as Darwin did—aboard an expedition ship equipped to give you the most engaging experience possible. With a maximum capacity of 100 passengers, there won’t be any standing in line and with moderate temperatures all year long, there won’t be whining or complaining that it’s too hot.

Sail from one unique island to the next, making fresh discoveries daily. While your ship anchors off-shore, you can reach land by small group zodiacs and explore the islands where you will see that each one has its’ own indigenous species. Mornings are spent hiking and exploring the islands on the lookout for blue footed boobies, frigate birds, sally light foot crabs, flamingos, and sea lions lazing on people-free beaches.  Back to the ship for a nice relaxing lunch.  No corn dogs here!

Afternoon excursions are yours to go birding and wildlife spotting from your zodiac (beats the line for Dumbo the Elephant any day of the week).   Go kayaking or paddle boarding (The only standing you need to do!)  If that sounds like too much work and you are ready for a dip in the Pacific Ocean, then try snorkeling with sea turtles, marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions and a plethora of beautiful fish.  Don’t be surprised if an occasional manta ray or octopus graces your presence.

Your daily schedule is flexible and can be adapted to the marine and wildlife activity in the area.  No rushing around trying to make that all-important next show at the other end of the theme park with your cranky kids in tow.

Take a look at this video from National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions:

While a trip to the Galapagos can be done at any time of the year, if you do happen to take your kids out of school, then you can sleep at night knowing that the trip was educational.

And nothing says educational like visiting Darwin’s Enchanted Islands.  This should easily get you an “A” in science, don’t you think?

Until next time,