Travel to Galapagos Islands

10 things to pack for travel to the Galapagos Islands

I recently came across a travel journal my husband and I kept while on our trip to the Galapagos Islands.  After reading through it and reminiscing, I figured it’d be a good time to finally blog about it!  We booked our trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2011 through Friendly Planet.  It was our first experience with the company and it was incredible (we also booked our South Africa trip through them in 2016).

The exact trip package we went on doesn’t appear to be listed anymore, but there are several similar trips still offered.  I believe our trip was about a week long.  We flew from Miami, to Guayaquil – Ecuador, and then over to the Galapagos Islands.

For more detailed information about each of the islands we visited, check out my previous posts: Santa Cruz, Floreana, & Isabela.  Keep reading below for more pictures, & packing tips!

If you’ll be heading to the Galapagos on a land focused type trip like ours was, check these suggestions out:

10 things to pack for your trip to the Galapagos Islands:

1. Wildlife field guide:

I didn’t think to bring one with me, so I picked mine up one of our last days on the Islands.  It made a great souvenir, but having something like one of these listed below would have been nice to have the entire trip!

Travel to Galapagos Islands
Marine iguanas & white-tipped reef shark

2. Underwater camera:

For snorkeling!  The visibility was low on the days we snorkeled so our underwater photos didn’t turn out so well on this trip but you never know what it will be like and it’s nice to have on hand.  I’m sure there are a lot of great underwater camera options out there, but of the cameras we’ve had we really liked our Lumix (picture below is a link).  It worked great for us on many other snorkel adventures, and we’d use it on land a lot too, to avoid having to carry a second camera.


3. Daypack:

A daypack to carry the essentials while hiking with your naturalist guide is helpful!  It’s nice to have a side compartment for a water bottle too.  Regular backpacks worked fine for us.

Travel to Galapagos Islands
Scalesia forest

4. Wristwatch:

This is always good to have on trips, but especially when traveling with a group so you can be sure to meet up on time if the group separates.

5. Alarm clock – battery operated:

They may have one in the hotel but just in case… I consider this a MUST!  I was counting on my phone working as my alarm, but have had troubles with this on many trips for one strange reason or another.  Maybe you have better luck (or a better phone!) but when it comes to clocks I’d rather be over prepared than to miss a day of scheduled tours because I overslept.

Travel to Galapagos Islands

6. Hiking/tennis shoes:

We ended up buying Merrell’s before this trip, and found them to be super comfortable.  Whatever shoe you wear, make sure they are broken in beforehand so you don’t get blisters or aches.  We didn’t do too much walking, but comfort is key.

7. Beach shoes:

We also brought Keenes along (link on picture below) for beach shoes.  They were nice for getting wet, but don’t keep much debris out.  Depending on how much time you’ll spend walking on the beach there may be better options out there.

8. Camera + extra batteries & memory cards!:

Backup battery packs, and plenty of storage space for your pictures are a must!  I usually start each day with 2 fully charged battery packs to be on the safe side. (figure out how long your camera batteries last and plan accordingly)

Travel to Galapagos Islands
Galapagos tortoise

9. Sun protection:

A hat and sunglasses are good to have along.  We also brought rash guard shirts for beach days to snorkel in, and wear for skin protection.  (Photo below is a link) We both have short sleeved rashguards, but I think a long sleeved could be nice too.

10. Travel journal:

Having found our travel journal from this trip, it’s pushed me to bring one along for our next adventures.  Sometimes it’s annoying to take the time to write about what you just saw or did… but it’s a lot of fun to read later!  There were so many things we had forgotten about, but reading our travel journal, all the memories came back!  On long, tiring days, we’d make it a goal to even just write for 5 minutes, and I’m glad we did.  For our trip to South Africa we started doing video recaps of each day rather than writing it down, which worked well too.

Travel to Galapagos Islands
Sea lion waving

If you’re heading to the Galapagos (or have been there) leave a comment below!  I’d love to hear about your travel tips & adventures too.

Travel to Galapagos Islands


Come back next Monday for a post about our last adventures from the Galapagos trip, as we explored a bit in Guayaquil, Ecuador!


This list is not all inclusive, and should be tailored to your specific travel plans.  Other important things to consider include electricity/outlet set ups in your hotel, snorkel equipment, first aid kit, small sewing kit etc.  I just found these 10 items to be particularly helpful in our adventures!  This post includes amazon affiliate links, all opinions are my own.

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