AND THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Both Quito and Guayaquil have modern airports with all the services you expect. Quito’s new airport is 45 minutes away from the city. Guayaquil’s airport is located inside the city so it will take you no more than 15 minutes to reach your hotel.
Upon arrival to Ecuador, you will have to clear customs. All of your personal baggage will be scanned for items such as fresh fruit and or other fresh plant and animal foods.
If you hired airport transfer through us, your van and guide will be waiting for you once you clear customs. Once you arrive at your hotel, your driver and the hotel staff will take care of unloading your baggage. We recommend you keep an eye out for your baggage so that it is not mixed up with that of other passengers.
On the day your group flies to the Galapagos for the start of your cruise, please arrange to meet our Quasar representative at the airport an hour and a half prior to your flights departure. While we do not include transfers to the airport for your Galapagos flights in the price of your cruise, you can arrange these with us in advance at additional cost
Once you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by a Quasar staff member who will handle your check-in process with the airline. He/She will also take care of your baggage. This involves a routine bag check and scan by the Galapagos Islands authorities (INGALA) to make sure you are not taking any plant or animal substances such as fruits or seeds to the Islands. Our staff member will give you your airline ticket with checked bag receipts and instruct you to proceed to your gate.READ MORE
Ecuador is 5 hours behind GMT or 1 hour behind USA Eastern Standard Time. Spanish is the official language of Ecuador and its provinces such as the Galapagos Islands. English is spoken in the main tourist centers, important hotels, on our yachts, by our guides but not by the general population. If you require a guide in a language other than English you should let us know well in advance and an extra fee may apply. Electricity on all yachts and on the mainland is 110W, 60 cycles, AC, (2 flat prongs), which is the same as in the United States. Travelers coming from Europe should bring their own converters as it is not easy to find them in Galapagos.
Like most places around the World, Ecuador’s cities have good and bad areas. Many of the best hotels are located on good, safe areas. You should take the same precautions as you would if you were to travel to a major city such as New York or London. Be mindful of pickpocketers when walking in the street or in crowded public areas. Don’t walk around with expensive jewelry or with a lot of cash on hand as the vast majority of stores accept major credit cards. Use only registered and certified taxi cabs. Be wary of people who randomly approach you. Don’t venture into places you have not previously asked about. It is not recommened to walk in the streets after dark.
In general, people in Galapagos and in Ecuador are very friendly and courteous but we suggest you proceed with caution when interacting with locals. Please follow your guide's recommendations as to your conduct when relating to the local population. Some guidelines include: do not photograph people, products in local markets and food in restaurants or in the street without obtaining previous consent.
If you booked a city tour or any other type of tour while in Quito or Guayaquil, your tour guide will be waiting for you at the hotel lobby at the specified hours based on your itinerary.
When you arrive to the Galapagos and after you disembark your flight, you will proceed to immigration control and entrance to the Galapagos National Park. After immigration control, your personal hand bags and carry-ons will be inspected for fresh plant and animal foods again. Finally, you will go to baggage claim to retreive your baggage. Once you clear these proceedings and exit baggage claim, your cruise naturalist guide will be waiting. He will identify himself to you by holding a sign with your yacht’s name.
Your guide along with other Quasar Expeditions’ staff will take care of your baggage and will safely take it onboard to your cabin. Your guide will inform and coordinate the boarding process to your yacht.
Once onboard your yacht, you will be welcomed by your captain, cruise director and crew and offered a refreshing drink. Your cruise director or guide will take you to your cabin where you can settle in and relax. You do not need to worry about what to do next as your guide or cruise director will inform you through your cabin’s announcement speakers.
AND THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Once you book your Galapagos trip with us, you will be directed to your yacht’s departure center. This is an exclusive page that will prepare you for your trip and walk you through the pre-trip process, which involves reading up on important information and learning more about your yacht and your itinerary. You will also need to prepare and submit the following documentation.
Reservation Form - here you will provide your personal travel information such as passport info, special health or dietary needs, emergency contact info, international flight info, etc.
Medical Form - here you will provide us with your personal health information such as height, weight, blood type, medical conditions, your doctor’s contact info, etc. This information will allow us to better assist you in case of an emergency.
Quasar Expeditions Booking and Cancellation Policies - Although by this point, you will already know our booking and cancellation policies, you will be able to download a copy through the departure center.
If you are traveling with minors, you will need to sign “The Agreement and Assumption of Hazards concerning minors” document. Signing this document means you understand and acknowledge the risks involved in taking a minor on a trip of this nature.
If you have a disability, you will need to sign the “Safety Agreement and Assumption of Risks for guests with disablities” document. Signing this document means you understand and acknowledge the risks involved in taking a trip to the Galapagos with your disability.
You will also need to hire travel insurance that has a good trip cancellation/ interruption policy, as well as emergency medical evacuation coverage.