Getaway Compass

The Ultimate Galapagos Islands Packing List: What to Pack for the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are incredible volcanic islands with animals that you won’t find anywhere else. Packing is always hard, but for the Galapagos Islands it is even more difficult to know what to pack because most likely none of your friends have been so they can’t really help you much this time. Below is my recommend Galapagos Islands Packing List that will make sure you are fully prepared to have an incredible trip.

Packing for the Galapagos will largely vary depending on the type of cruise that you booked or if you are planning to do day trips. If you go on a lower tier budget boat, you can dress very casual the whole time, but they will also provide you less toiletries, amenities, etc so you need to bring more with you. If you go on a nicer boat you will most likely need nicer clothes for the evenings. Packing light is important especially if you do a cruise because the cabins are very small.

Galapagos Packing List: Travel Essentials

  • Travel Insurance: Things can go wrong while traveling, so getting appropriate coverage can save you a lot of money.  SafetyWing offers affordable travel medical insurance that includes coverage for when you get in an accident or sick while traveling and require medical assistance.
  • Cash: Make sure you bring plenty of cash because many places only take cash. If you book a last minute cruise in the Galapagos they will also only take cash, and the local ATMs have a limit on how much cash you can take out, and charge you a transaction fee each time.
  • Camera: Make sure to bring a good camera to capture all the unique islands and animals.
  • Toiletries: Not all boats provide toiletries. If you booked a cheaper cruise, make sure to bring shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and anything else you need with you. These reusable bottles are perfect for filling up with your shampoo, conditioner, body wash and any other liquids you need and are small enough to go through security.

Galapagos Packing List: Clothes

  • Hiking Clothes: Most of your adventures in the Galapagos will involve either hiking or snorkeling. Make sure to have comfortable clothes to hike.
  • Bathing suits: Bring at least two bathing suits because they can take a while to dry in the small cabins on the boat.
  • Sweatshirt: Some of the boats can have strong air conditioning and it can get a little cooler at night. Make sure to bring some warmer clothes for night time and the wind.
  • Windbreaker: It can get very windy while the boat is moving so make sure to bring a windbreaker so you can comfortably enjoy the breeze.
  • Socks: Bring enough socks for each day for hiking.
Galapagos Bachas Beach

Galapagos Packing List: Shoes

  • Waterproof Hiking Sandals: You will often have wet landings where the raft will need to land on the beach, so your feet will get wet. On most islands you will be hiking so you want to bring sandals that can get wet and you are comfortable hiking in. I recommend Teva sandals which is what I wore in the Galapagos. These sandals are comfortable, sturdy, not expensive, and dry quickly.
  • Sneakers: Sneakers will be needed for when you have dry landings and longer island hikes. Make sure to bring sneakers that dry quickly in case they get wet, like these nike sneakers.
  • Flip Flops: if you are allowed to wear shoes on the boat
  • Comfortable hiking clothes: leggings, gym shorts
San Cristobal View

Galapagos Packing List: Other Important Necessities

  • Daypack: A daypack is important for when you explore the islands, since you will want to bring your camera gear, water, sunscreen, and other items with you. 
  • Dry Bag: If you do a cruise you will take a small raft from the boat to the beach or dock on the island. Sometimes there can be big waves and your stuff can get wet. Make sure to bring a dry bag with you to keep all your valuables safe. This dry bag is very light and perfect for traveling, I use it all the time for my camera.
  • Sunscreen: It can be very sunny in the Galapagos and since its so close to the equator the sun is strong. This Neutrogena sunscreen is my go to because it is small enough to bring in a carry on.
  • Sunglasses: It gets very sunny so make sure you can see everything clearly by wearing your sunglasses.
  • Dramamine or other sea sickness medicine: Unfortunately I am one of those people that get very seasick. I got through the cruise by taking dramamine everyday. If you are not sure if you get seasick make sure you bring medicine with you just incase! 
  • Fast dry beach towel: Many of the cheaper cruises do not provide a beach towel so make sure to bring one with you.
  • Snacks: The boat we were on only provided food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and one snack between lunch and dinner. In case you get hungry in between meals, I recommend bringing snacks with you. Clif bars are always a great option for energy.
  • Water bottle: The boats provide drinkable water that you can refill your water bottle with, so make sure you bring a water bottle.
  • Hand wash detergent: This is important in case you need to wash any clothes during your trip. Woolite has these travel liquid detergent packets that are perfect for hand-washing clothes on your travels.
  • Emergency aid kit: This is necessary in case you get hurt as not all boats have appropriate gear on hand. Make sure to bring band aids, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone, allergy medicine.
Galapagos Sea Lions

Galapagos Packing List: Nice to Have

  • Underwater Camera: This is a must in order to capture all your incredible snorkeling adventures with sea lions and interesting fish and plant life. I use the Go Pro which allows me to capture incredible photos and videos underwater.
  • Extra memory cards: Don’t get stuck in the Galapagos with limited space on your memory card to take photos. Make sure to bring extra memory cards with enough space to capture all of your adventures.
  • Binoculars: Make sure to bring good binoculars so you can spot animals from far away.
  • Snorkeling Gear / Wet Suit: If you prefer to use your own gear instead of renting in the Galapagos then remember to bring your snorkeling gear and wet suit. If you are small I recommend bringing your own wet suit because they don’t always have all sizes and if you wear a wet suit that is too large it will only make you more cold (from experience).

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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