PACK LIGHT! It’s important to pack light due to luggage restrictions. We’ll be moving around a lot and dragging lots of heavy luggage is never fun.
*Please pack as light as possible!!! We will be moving around a lot on this adventure and the more you have to drag around luggage, the more burdensome it becomes. We will have limited space on our luxury yacht charter so please limit your luggage to one medium sized checked bag (no larger than 28”), and 1 personal item (backpack, purse, laptop sleeve, etc). An additional camera gear backpack/bag is also OK.
Included Domestic Flight Baggage Restrictions:
Hand luggage: Up to a maximum weight of 10 kg (22 LBS) and a maximum size of 55x40x20
CHECKED BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE (ONE checked bag per person)
The maximum weight for CHECKED BAG: 23 kg (50LBS)
Optional Overnight Bag (Amazon Extension Guests Only)
Those continuing onto the Amazon with us will have the option of storing their large luggage with our ground operator on the morning of March 30th who will deliver it to us upon our return to the Quito (UIO) airport on April 2nd.
The cost is only 15.00 USD per person if you wish to choose this option. We highly recommend it to avoid dragging large, heavy luggage in and out of airports and onto an Amazon canoe which takes us to the lodge for just these 3 nights.
Don’t forget your PASSPORT!!!
- Lightweight long pants and long sleeved shirts for walks
• short sleeve shirts
• bathing suit
• Hiking shoes or comfortable, sturdy sneakers
• Water Shoes for wet landings (Closed toe hiking sandals are preferred)
• light weight long sleeve shirts (for cool mornings/evenings)
• light rain jacket with hood or poncho
• fleece jacket and/or warm jacket (for cool mornings/evenings)
• wide brimmed hat/baseball cap
• sandals/flip flops
Toiletries & other essentials
- ear plugs (especially if sharing a room)
• sunglasses, prescription glasses and a spare pair
• Camera (body & lenses), extra memory cards/sticks, extra batteries or recharging gear
• daypack/small backpack
• Snorkel, Fins, & Mask (Included during our trip but bring if you prefer your own)
• Hiking poles
• Water Bottle/ bladders
• Flashlight and batteries/headlamp
• Insect repellent *A must for Amazon guests
• Sun protection/Sunscreen (sun cream / sunglasses / hat or cap)
• Plastic bags OR Dry Bag to protect cameras, phones, & other technology from rain
• Money Belt
• Sea sickness medication (optional – please check with your doctor)
• After bite
• Anti-bacterial hand lotion
First aid kit including:
- Tiger balm (for headaches)
- Prescription medicines
- Mosquito repellent
- Antibiotic cream
- Ace bandage
- Pain reliever
- Lip balm
• Vaccine certificates (*not needed but if you have them bring them)
• Visa: NO VISA REQUIRED FOR ECUADOR (*FOR US PASSPORTS)
Voltage & Plug adapters
The voltage in Ecuador is 110-220 (Same as in USA). Please go to the link below for more information. You will most likely NOT NEED to bring a plug adapter to charge camera batteries, phones, and any other electronics you may need.
IMPORTANT: We are not doctors and do not have the authority to give medical advice, including vaccine recommendations. Please consult your doctor and the website below and do as you see fit.
No vaccination proof is “mandatory” in order to get through customs however for your own personal safety the CDC recommends the following standard vaccines for all international travel including the Galapagos portion of the trip: Hep A, Hep B, & Typhoid vaccines.
For those joining us in the Amazon, the CDC also recommends malaria pills and to discuss getting a yellow fever vaccine with your doctor or nearby travel clinic. Neither are mandatory however.
* Ecuador uses the US Dollar, no currency exchange will be necessary.
Tips and gratuities to hotel, lodges, boat staff, drivers, & guide(s). Tips are optional but expected in the travel industry if you feel the service deserves it. In total we recommend bringing 130-200.00 USD per person to have for tipping throughout the trip, not including the Amazon Extension. Our tour director will assist with questions regarding this while on the trip.
* Tips for guides & drivers Scalesia: (Recommended 5.00-10.00 USD per day per guide, 3.00-5.00 USD per day for driver).
* Tips for guides & Yacht Crew Coral II: $15 per day per person for crew / $ 10 per day per person for guide.
BRING CASH for extra expenses (no ATM machines on Isabela Island). However, Scalesia Lodge & the Coral II Charter do accept credit cards.
*You do not need to tip in local currency (USD are OK).
Weather & Wildlife
March is the hottest and sunniest months with blue skies and sunshine. Technically the “rainy season”, the islands receive slightly more rainfall during this month with occasional heavy bursts in the afternoon, although most of the lower elevations stay quite dry. March averages two inches of rain, but it falls sporadically and not everywhere, every day. Great for snorkeling and you can spend a lot of time in the great, clear waters. Late March and April there is an explosion of blossom and many birds are mating, plus turtle’s nest on beaches.
* Air Temp (Max / Min): 31 / 24C, 88 / 75F
* Hours of clear skies: 6.0
* Average Rainfall: 5.1cm, 2.0in (in the highlands)
* Average Water Temperature: 25C / 77F
- Red-footed boobies and masked boobies breeding and nesting (year-round)
• Green Sea turtles nesting
• Marine Iguanas and Land Iguanas nesting
• Magnificent and Great Frigate birds nesting (year-round on North Seymour Only)
• Great Frigate birds mating and nesting on Genovesa (Tower) Island
• Tortoises laying eggs (in the wild)
• Flightless Cormorants, Penguins and Greater Flamingoes breeding and nesting (year-round, depending on food supply)
Snorkeling takes the edge off the heat and is excellent, with warm waters making it all the way to the western islands, a prime time to snorkel. You may see penguins next to tropical fish!
The summer equinox signals the arrival of the waved albatross to Española and the frigate birds can be seen inflating their red throat pouches on San Cristóbal and Genovesa Islands as their mating season begins. Some shores, especially those facing the north side, can receive deep surge (ola de fondo) coming from the northern currents. Wet landings at places like Puerto Egas, Gardner Bay, Bartolome can sometimes be a challenge.
Wetsuits, Snorkels, Fins, Masks
Snorkels, Fins, & Masks, & life vests (optional) will be provided during all relative excursions throughout the trip, though we do recommend bringing your own if you prefer, have custom fitted/prescription, etc.
Wetsuits are highly recommended when we are in the water. With the water temperature hovering between 75-77 F on average, it will not be freezing but certainly not tropical either. Having a wetsuit will allow you to stay in the water significantly longer than foregoing one. That said, everyone is different so some guests may be fine without, while it is essential for others.
Both Scalesia Lodge on Isabela Island & our Coral II yacht charter provide wet suits for rent. See the prices below:
Scalesia/Isabela Island wetsuit rental: 10.00 USD per person per day (only one day of snorkeling during this part of trip)
Coral II Yacht Charter wet-suit rental: 28.50 USD for the entire cruise (2 days of snorkeling during this part of trip)