Ecuador y las Islas Galápagos / Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Ecuador y las Islas Galápagos / Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

We are working together with a travel agent that has negotiated group deals with different hotels on the island according to the information provided by you on the registration form. To finalize your accommodation arrangements please email directly Mónica Chávez from NEOTROPIC EXPEDITIONS at Mónica will contact you directly with additional information required from you as well as payment details. Although there are several accommodation options in San Cristobal, given that it is high season, these options are limited (especially in the lower price ranges) and will be given to participants on a first come first served basis. A first payment must be made in order to finalize the booking. Your booking must be finalized before May 2nd.

Basic Travel Information

The Galápagos Islands can only be accessed through domestic flights within Ecuador. Travellers will most likely arrive to Ecuador in one of two major cities: Quito or Guayaquil. It is recommended that travellers purchase airfare from one of these cities to the Galápagos separately from their international airfare to arrive in Ecuador. There are sometimes promotions available for flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galápagos that cannot be accessed through purchasing international airfare to Ecuador. This also gives travellers the wonderful option of staying in one of these historic cities for some time before continuing on to the Galápagos Islands. For travellers intending to stay only one night in Quito or Guayaquil before leaving for the Galápagos, lodging near the airport is recommended, since flights to the Galápagos leave early in the morning and transportation between the airport and the metropolitan area can be complicated. For travellers opting to spend multiple nights in one of these cities, lodging within the metropolitan area is recommended in order to have the opportunity to experience the city more fully.

Visitors to the Galápagos Islands are required to pay a National Park Entrance Fee. The fee is $100 for each adult foreign visitor and $50 for each adult Ecuadorean visitor. These fees are reduced by 50% for children under 12 years of age, as well as visitors from Comunidad Andina and Naciones del MERCOSUR. This fee must be paid in cash at the San Cristobal airport upon arrival. In addition, there is a fee of $20 for each passenger flying to the Galápagos that must be paid upon departure from the airport in Quito or Guayaquil.

Travellers visiting only during the conference must arrive to the Galápagos on the island of San Cristobal (be advised that there are multiple islands that have airports). The code for the San Cristobal airport is SCY. The following airlines have service to San Cristobal, either from Quito with a stop in Guayaquil or directly from Guayaquil.



LATAM Airlines

San Cristobal does not have luxurious hotels, although some of them might be classified as 4-stars hotels. They are modest, but clean, and sometimes very colorful and eclectic. Below are estimated costs for lodging in San Cristobal, which include tax and breakfast daily.

  • $40-$120 per night for a single-person room.
  • $35-$100 per person per night for a two-person room.
  • $27-$80 per person per night for a three-person room.

Citizens of only a small number of countries are required to possess a visa in order to enter Ecuador. Visitors may stay without a visa for a total of 90 days over a 12-month period. More information can be found using the link below.

The Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos islands are a wonderful place to spend as a tourist with or without family (including children). There are two main ways that tourists visit the islands: one can tour around the islands via a cruise that lasts several days or else opt for a stay in one or more of the islands and do day trips to the inhabited islands.

Located in the Pacific Ocean, 1000 kilometers from the South American mainland, this Ecuadorian Archipelago, made up of 14 major islands and more than 60 smaller islands and islets, surrounded by its marine reserve, the world’s second largest, is known as a "living laboratory" or "showcase" of evolution. The combination of converging marine currents, a volcanic geological structure, and oceanic isolation has resulted in this “melting pot” of unique species, found nowhere else on earth. Some of the most famous examples are the marine iguanas, the giant tortoises (called "Galapagos") and the 13 varieties of Darwin’s finches.

This uniqueness inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, following his visit to the islands in 1835. Since then, they have become a Mecca for scientific investigation. Today, as a strictly protected National Park, and the world’s first natural area designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Galapagos are also one of the world’s most fascinating tourist destinations and a true wonder of nature.

Mainland Ecuador

The Andean Region

Welcome to a kaleidoscopic vision of all the possible varieties of green, combined with golden and orange colored fields and valleys, flanked everywhere by the imposing vision of enormous and awe-inspiring volcanoes, covered with bluish glaciers and perpetual snows, towering well over 4, 5 and 6 thousand meters of elevation above sea level. The Andes traverse Ecuador from north to south, just like a two-lane avenue with these colossal mountains orderly lined up in two chains, eastern and western, leaving in between a continuous series of verdant valleys and river gorges, occasionally crossed by smaller mountain ranges. All along the Andean region, your encounters include dramatic mountain scenery, picturesque villages which fly high with color and local produce on the traditional Indian markets, an ancestral tradition, maintained until present day, when visitors can be part of the everyday life of the local ethnic groups. The most famous Indian market is Otavalo with its piles of weavings and textiles full of color and quality.
Everywhere, samples of the rich and varied culture are to be found: imaginative handicrafts, full of creativity and color, a rich and varied gastronomy based on local products such as corn (maize) in its many varieties, potatoes, delicacies prepared with pork meat, poultry, beef, lamb and exotic fruits and juices.

The Amazon Rainforest

An immense green ocean, as seen from the air, marks Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, the most remote, pristine and biologically diverse corner of the Amazon Basin, yet easily accessible by land and air from Quito and other Andean cities.

These are the domains of 100 meter-high kapok or ficus trees, myriads of flowers, amazing orchids and bromeliads, the home for thousands of species of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. This is also the home of majestic rivers, mighty tributaries of the Amazon, as well as dozens of smaller rivers, creeks and fascinating lagoons of all sizes, hosting amazing natural surprises everywhere. Around a hidden corner on some of these waterways you may be stunned by the almost mighty presence of the pink river dolphins. Here you will marvel at the flight of dazzling bright blue morpho butterflies, colorful and noisy parakeets and macaws or laugh at the antics performed high in the canopy by dozens of species of monkeys.
This is one of the earth’s hotspots of biological diversity which attracts nature oriented tourists and visitors just as much as it does to scientists and investigators. This is the perfect venue to explore, to discover, to learn and to respect the wonders of nature. For this reason, the area holds several National Parks, Ecological and Biological Reserves and Protected Areas to guarantee the everlasting natural richness of the area.

The Pacific Coast

Ecuador’s Pacific Coast is a fascinating blend of charming flatlands, covered with banana plantations (Ecuador is the world’s leading producer), coffee and cocoa fields, fine wood and rice plantations, small and picturesque coastal villages and along 800 kilometers of coastline, a never ending string of magnificent bays and coves with stunning white sandy beaches and the omnipresence of the Pacific Ocean.

The coast of Ecuador is much more of course. Here, the earlier cultures that inhabited Ecuador established their first settlements and developed admirable social organizations and a natural vocation for fine art, whether with jewelry, pottery or other elements found in the lush tropical vegetation of the area. While culture flourished in many ways, fishing and trading became important activities which are still vital aspects for the country’s economy until present days.
All along the coastal stretch, archeological sites and museums display the evidence of the formidable cultures that lived there, thousands of years ago. Quaint yet colorful fishing villages dot the coastline, while gastronomy is a fabulous experience with the most delicious combinations of seafood cooked with plantain, coconut milk, peanut sauces and other exotic produce of the zone.

Ecuadorians love the beach and this has led to the existence of fine coastal resorts with comfortable infrastructure, fantastic beaches, mostly with calm waters, other sites are hot spots for surfing and a variety of watersports including deep-sea fishing and scuba diving.

More Information on the Internet

Metropolitan Touring

Ecuador Travel Guide

Things to see and do in Ecuador

Ecuador’s Official Travel Site

Specific places of interest

Mainland Ecuador

Quito (in the Andean Region)

Otavalo (in the Andean Region)

Baños (in the Andean Region between Quito and the Amazon rainforest):

Guayaquil (on the Pacific Coast)

The Galápagos Islands

San Cristóbal (where the conference will take place)

Santa Cruz (the most populous and developed of the islands)