Getaway Compass

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

Galapagos South Plaza Island

The Galapagos Islands are incredible volcanic islands located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The best way to explore the Galapagos Islands is with a cruise. Check out our guide for how to visit the Galapagos Islands on a budget to start planning your trip. To make packing for your Galapagos Islands adventure easier, I put together a packing list of things you don’t want to forget! This recommended Galapagos Islands Packing List will make sure you are fully prepared to have an incredible trip.

What you need to pack for your Galapagos Islands trip will 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 and amenities so you need to bring more with you. If you go on a nicer boat you will most likely need fancier clothes for the evenings. Packing light is important especially if you do a cruise because the cabins are very small.

Travel Medical Insurance for Your Galapagos Trip

Don’t forget to get a travel insurance policy for your trip! SafetyWing offers affordable, flexible, and reliable travel medical insurance that can be purchased ahead of your travels or while you are already traveling.

Galapagos Packing List: Travel Essentials

Kicker Rock Galapagos
  • Cash: Make sure you bring plenty of cash because many places only take cash. If you want to book a last-minute cruise in the Galapagos they will also only take cash. The local ATMs have a limit on how much cash you can take out and also charge you a transaction fee.
  • Camera: Make sure to bring a good camera to capture memories of the unique islands and animals. I currently use the Sony A7RIII which would be perfect for a cruise in the Galapagos.
  • Toiletries: Keep in mind that not all cruises 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 bring in your carry-on.

Galapagos Packing List: Clothes

Galapagos Packing List
  • Hiking Clothes: One of the best way to explore the Galapagos Islands is by hiking with your guide. Make sure to bring comfortable hiking clothes for warm weather.
  • Bathing suits: Snorkeling is one of the main ways that you will explore the Galapagos so you will want to bring plenty of bathing suits. 
  • Sweatshirt: Some of the boats can have strong air conditioning and it can get a little cooler at night. Make sure to bring warmer clothes for the evening and if it gets windy.
  • 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: You will want to bring enough socks for each day that you will be hiking on the cruise since you won’t be able to do laundry on the boat.

Galapagos Packing List: Shoes

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby
San Cristobal View
  • Waterproof Hiking Sandals: You will often have wet landings to get on the islands 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. These hiking sandals are perfect for your Galapagos Islands adventure.
  • 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.
  • Flip Flops: Bring flip flops for your time exploring the Galapagos before and after the cruise as well as days where you will be snorkeling but not necessarily hiking. Note that most boats do not allow you to wear flip flops on the boat.

Galapagos Packing List: Important Necessities

Galapagos Bachas Beach
  • 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 bring it on every trip with me.
  • Sunscreen: Since the Galapagos is so close to the equator the sun can be strong so make sure to bring plenty of reef-safe sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses: It gets very sunny so make sure you can see everything clearly by wearing your sunglasses.
  • Sea Sickness Medication: Unfortunately I am one of those people that get seasick. I took dramamine (24-hour) everyday and felt great. If you are not sure if you get seasick make sure you bring medicine with you just in case!
  • Fast dry beach towel: Most of the budget cruises do not provide a beach towel so make sure to bring one with you. This towel is lightweight and dries quickly making it perfect for your Galapagos adventure.
  • Snacks: The boat we were on provided meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one snack. In case you get hungry in between meals, I recommend bringing snacks with you. 
  • Reusable Water Bottle: The boats provide drinkable water that you can refill your water bottle with, so make sure you bring a reusable water bottle on the Galapagos Islands cruise.
  • Emergency aid kit: This is necessary as not all boats have appropriate gear on hand. Make sure to bring band-aids, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, and allergy medicine.
Galapagos Sea Lions

Galapagos Packing List: Snorkeling

Sea Turtle Galapagos
  • Underwater Camera: If you want to capture all your incredible snorkeling adventures you will need an underwater camera. A Go Pro is a great option for taking pictures and videos while snorkeling with sea lions and sea turtles.
  • Extra memory cards: Don’t get stuck in the Galapagos with limited space on your memory card to take photos and videos. Make sure to bring extra memory cards with enough space to capture all of your adventures.
  • Snorkeling Gear: Make sure to bring your own snorkel and goggles that you are comfortable with. This snorkel set is a great option that is easy to pack with you.
  • Wet Suit: Most boats have wet suits that you can rent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will have the right size. I recommend bringing your own wet suit with you so you don’t have to pay to rent one and can ensure that it will keep you warm. The water can get particularly cold near the western Galapagos Islands.

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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Reut and Zack Elopement-5

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