overview - packing for the galapagos islands

Welcome to The Galapagos Gear Shop! The items shown below have been carefully selected to enhance your Galapagos packing experience. Enjoy shopping this unique collection of Galapagos apparel and gear as you prepare for your Quasar Expeditions adventure of a lifetime! Knowing that you have everything you need before you go, that it works and that it fits will insure peace of mind. Remember that you will find our complete Clothing & Equipment packing list, as well as other valuable information to prepare for your trip, in the Pre-Trip Information linked to your Online Departure Center.

Quasar Expeditions' Galapagos cruises incorporate the full spectrum of activities in the archipelago, from walks & hikes, to snorkeling, zodiac rides, sea kayaking and more! The list of what to pack for such an adventures is varied, as you may imagine, but we have prepared a very thorough packing list for you.

Weather in the Galapagos Islands does not vary much throughout the year, so we recommend that all who travel to the islands use the same packing list detailed below. The only way to experience and enjoy this natural paradise to its fullest, is to come well prepared for all your daily activities.


snorkeling gear & wetsuits
Snorkeling Gear Galapagos

Experiencing the marvels of the Galapagos Islands marine reserve by snorkeling is a major highlight for everyone during our cruises. The islands are well known for their mixing of warm tropical and cold water currents, which means you can experience a wide range of temperatures even in one outing in the water. Quasar will provide you the use of a 3mm shorty wetsuits during your cruise. This will come down to your mid arm and mid thigh. While these get the job done for most people, we find that some people require a bit more insulation, especially from June through December when water temperatures are slightly cooler. These passengers report that purchasing a rash guard to wear under their wetsuit provides a good solution.

Quasar also provides the use of mask, snorkels and fins. However we do recommend bringing your own mask and snorkel for a better fit if you have them and for those with poor eyesight prescription masks have become fairly inexpensive to purchase online. If you choose to bring your own snorkeling equipment to the Galapagos, we recommend a good snorkel with a purge valve at the bottom and a wetsuit of at least 3mm thick. Masks and fins are fairly standard, although any sporting goods store can give you recommendations on good snorkeling gear for the Galapagos. Be sure to refer to our Galapagos Climate & Weather page for details on water temperatures in Galapagos throughout the year.

• Rash Guard Snorkeling Top

• Rash Guard Snorkeling Bottom

• Snorkeling Mask

• Snorkel with Purge Valve

footwear & day packs
Galapagos Footwear

Having good footwear for your Galapagos adventure will allow you to walk through the trails and beaches with more comfort and ease. Bring comfortable walking or hiking shoes with good traction for the Galapagos and Ecuador programs. Teva style sandals are good for hiking the island beaches and you do not have to worry if you get your feet wet. Crocs and other types of shoes that can get wet are also good for the Galapagos, but please make sure they have good traction on the sole. Single strap sandals are acceptable on deck, but are not good for hiking. A security strap is a good idea in the surf during wet landings.

Note: The shoes you wear during landings are kept in a bin on the yacht. If you want to wear them on board the yacht we can wash the bottoms but you may want to have a light pair of deck shoes or thongs for when on the yacht. Bare feet are also acceptable.

It is especially important that you bring a good day-pack that is waterproof, or that it comes with a waterproof cover. Keeping your gear dry while on the zodiacs or during wet-landings is important. If your day pack is not waterproof, you can also store your items inside in a dry-sack, which will keep everything dry in case the entire pack gets wet.

• Good comfortable walking / hiking shoes

• Teva-style sandals

• Deck shoes / Crocs

• Water shoes / booties

• Waterproof day pack

• Dry sack (13 - 20 liter capacity)

Patagonia Outerwear

The items detailed below are frequently needed when it gets cooler in the islands during the evenings, which is the time you will experience more breezes as we cruise to another location. If flying into the city of Quito, Ecuador before your Galapagos Islands trip, please remember that it can be cool and it can get downright cold if you go higher into the mountains.

• Light and warm Jacket or Fleece

• Wind / water-resistant Soft-shell Jacket

• Rain Jacket or Parka (for Quito and other visits in the mountains)

• Hat or Baseball Cap

clothing, swimwear & underwear
Galapagos Clothing

Below is a list of the regular clothing items that you should bring to your Galapagos adventure. The list below should be good to last you for the whole cruise (8 days), although we do offer laundry service on the days we visit Port. Remember to pack as light as you can, so that you can travel with ease around Ecuador and the Galapagos. A good, durable, medium-sized duffle bag is the ideal bag to carry your clothing and gear.

During dinners aboard our yachts, passengers are encouraged to wear slightly nicer attire including long pants, dress shorts or skirts for women and to forgo wearing a bathing suit to the evening meal. Of course this is just a suggestion and your choice of attire is entirely your own.

• 4 or 5 T-shirts

• 2 synthetic-fiber polo shirts (for quick drying)

• 2 short-sleeve button-down shirts

• 8 pairs of regular underwear

• 1 fleece sweater

• 8 pairs of comfortable, athletic socks

• 2 to 3 pairs of hiking shorts

• Dress shirts / blouses

• Lightweight full-length pants (synthetic or cotton)

• 1 pair of jeans for traveling

• 2 pairs of Dockers pants or slacks for the evenings

• 2 or 3 swimsuits

electronics, cameras & more
Galapagos Photo Camera

Photography is a highlight of any trip to the Galapagos or Ecuador. The best advice is to bring a camera and a format that you are familiar with and know will give you the results you are looking for. If you want to try something new, take time to become familiar with your gear before you head out on the trip. A good rule is to always bring more memory space than you think you will need.

While a good zoom lens can come in handy and render excellent up-close results, you probably don’t need anything larger than a hand held lens that does not require a tripod in the Galapagos, and that’s because it’s fairly easy to get close to wildlife. However, if you are looking for professional results you may want to bring both a long lens and tripod.

The Galapagos is a great place to bring along a disposable underwater camera or a GoPro camera with its underwater housing. The islands are an excellent place to make home videos, so having a video camera that you can take above and below water is a good idea.

Important: Sand and seawater are the enemies of any optical or electronic instrument. Keep this in mind when considering what to bring. A good measure to take for any photographic equipment is to bring dry bags or large high quality zip lock bags with a zipper locks to keep your camera in, especially when crossing to shore.

• Good digital SLR camera

• International outlet converter

• Two or 3 memory cards for your camera

• Extra batteries

• Sturdy camera case

• Dry sack (you can use same one on Gear section)

• Netbook, iPad or small laptop (optional)

• Sport or waterproof sunblock (SPF 15 or higher)

• Binoculars

• Insect repellent

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