Paul Schicke
Written by Paul Schicke Senior Expedition Designer

Updated: October 01, 2021
Published: April 27, 2016

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Adult Galapagos Blue-footed Booby

On Saturday, April 16th, Ecuador was struck by the largest earthquake it has experienced in decades. The quake was centered on the northwest coast of the country in the province of Manabi. While this region was hard hit, the Galapagos, which is some 600 miles off the coast was untouched and other areas like Ecuador's capital, Quito, experienced little to no disruption of travel services. All this spells an opportunity for travelers thinking about traveling to the Galapagos who can help Ecuador simply by traveling there, while taking advantage of lower airfares and Galapagos cruise prices. The summer is typically one of the most sought after times in the Galapagos when all three generations of families go there to experience those up-close encounters with the Galapagos Islands' exotic creatures. Here are 7 reasons why this summer & fall is the best time to visit the Galapagos:

1.) Galapagos Not Affected By The Earthquake:

The Galapagos was completely unaffected by the quake. Though a tsunami warning was sounded shortly after the quake occurred, none materialized. Except for Galapagos yachts sitting in deeper water just to be safe, there was really no affect on Galapagos cruises from the quake. Cruises are proceeding as normal as are Galapagos flights.

Bartolomé Island, a volcanic islet in the Galapgos archipelago, not affected by earthquakes

2.) Great International Airfares:

In the wake of the quake you can find some of the lowest fares between North America and the US seen in years. For example, in early June there are a number of roundtrip fares between New York and Quito starting below $450. Near term airfares to Ecuador are even better. If you can travel before the end of April you will find fares below $370 roundtrip from New York, which is virtually unheard of.

Low International Airfares for Ecuador Travel

3.) Galapagos Cruise Prices:

Spring is typically the time when many Galapagos cruise providers start to fill up those spaces with families and travelers looking to get away for the summer who failed to plan ahead. You can take advantage of better than normal deals offered by those companies concerned about filling those spaces as a result of the quake.

Galapagos cruise on award winning Grace Yacht

4.) Mainland Ecuador Tourist Areas Unaffected By Quake:

To get to the Galapagos travelers have to pass through the Ecuadorian mainland, which may be a cause of concern to travelers worried about the effects of the quake. Yet Quito, where most passengers stay before heading to the Galapagos, was largely unaffected by the quake. Hotels, transit services, roads and even the places tourists tend to visit, including Colonial Quito and the Otavalo hacienda highlands, have not experienced any interruption of service for Quito Day Tours. Guayaquil, along Ecuador's southern coast was also not affected much aside from the airport being closed for a few hours due to a communications problems, that was largely it so far as travelers were concerned. Flights in and out of both Quito and Guayaquil airport continued as usual and even travelers departing on the night of the quake made it home with little delay.

Fine outdoor dining on a Quito Day Tour with Quasar

5.) The Galapagos & Ecuadorian Highlands Unaffected By Zika:

With the Brazil Olympic games approaching, a concern travelers to Central and South American have is Zika virus. While Zika will likely continue to spread in low lying, mosquito prone areas of the Americas--including the USA--the risk to those visiting the Ecuadorian highlands and the Galapagos will remain low. That's because the Aedes mosquito species is the vector for Zika, and it is unlikely travelers will contract zika in the Ecuadorian highlands because one is unlikely to encounter mosquitoes at that elevation. For example, there is no malaria in the central Andes. In the Galapagos the National Galapagos Park has strong environmental controls in place that mitigate against the spread of a disease like Zika and the islands have a very small population to begin with. Typically one rarely encounters mosquitoes in the Galapagos, especially in the summer. The summer could very well be the best time to visit the Galapagos.

Ecuadorian Highlands picturing estancia and snowtop mountain

6.) You Can Help Ecuador By Traveling There:

While the effects of a large quake are devastating, those effects are unnecessarily extended when travelers decide to stay away from a destination based on incorrect assumptions they pick up in the media. One of the best ways you can help Ecuador as a country is simply by continuing to travel to those places that, as mentioned, were unaffected by the quake.

Ecuadorian woman with handmade panama hat

7.) Amazing Galapagos Animal Encounters:

Finally all the friendly and exotic creatures the Galapagos is famous for are all still there ready to meet you. The Galapagos is known for close encounters including tracking giant tortoise in the wild, watching blue footed boobies performing their mating dance, having sea lions blow bubbles in your face while snorkeling and many more. They are all waiting to greet you in the magical Galapagos. More on the wildlife you will encounter during a cruise.

Snorkeler swimming alongside a Galapagos Green Sea Turtle

The northern coastal areas of Ecuador were very hard hit by the quake and will take many months and, in some cases, years to recover. Ecuadorians are wonderful welcoming people. An excellent way to help the country weather this earthquake is simply by allowing Ecuador to welcome you as a guest so you can discover just how wonderful Ecuador and the Galapagos are.

To learn more & get additional information on Galapagos cruises ----> Contact Quasar Expeditions.

To read passenger reviews in the Galapagos with Quasar Expeditions ----> Galapagos Cruise Reviews.

Paul Schicke
By Paul Schicke
Senior Expedition Designer

Hello! My name is Paul. I am a photographer, traveler, teacher and writer. I have extensive experience in travel to Galapagos, Peru, Patagonia and the western seaboard of South America specializing in ways travelers can experience these once-in-a-life destinations like locals on the road. Lover of wine, chocolate, travel, coffee, and helping others plan vacations of a lifetime!

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One comment

  • Hey great blog ! The Galapagos are amazing and I realy want to go back to Galapagos. I can highly recommend the Hotel Silberstein which has delicious food.