Travel Information Villa Escalesia Galapagos

Travel Info

The Galapagos experience is unique in more ways than one; the Islands are different from any other holiday destination and it is important for us to set the expectation for you. These Enchanted Isles are one of the most unspoilt and natural habitats you will ever visit in your life. Often described as a living laboratory of endemic plants and creatures, you will experience first-hand the rare and harmonious existence between humans & wildlife.

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Living Area

Before You Leave

Air Travel
Flights to the Galapagos depart from Quito and Guayaquil in Ecuador. Quito is the country’s capital situated high in the central Andes, offering plenty to do at the start and end of your trip. At 9,000 feet above sea level, some travellers elect to skip Quito altogether due to the altitude and fly in and out of the Ecuador’s largest city, the modern port of Guayaquil. Flights between Quito and the Galápagos typically stop in Guayaquil in both directions. The flight from Quito to Guayaquil takes just under 1 hour. The flight from Guayaquil to Baltra on Santa Cruz takes 2 hours. There is a $10 TCT (Transit Control Card) fee payable in cash at Quito and Guayaquil airports upon departure to The Galapagos.

Villa Escalesia Address: Barrio de Pelican Bay, Av. Charles Darwin y Seymour, Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador
Tel: + 593-5-252-7408/9
Direct enquiries and bookings tel:  + 593-2-252-0000
Email: [email protected]


Valid PassportCopy of the Picture Page from PassportAirline TicketsHotel Confirmation
Emergency Contact NumbersTraveller's Cheques / $ currencyTravel InsurancePre booked tour confirmation

As of August 2008 visitors to Ecuador no longer require a visa but there are exceptions. The following countries do still require a tourism visa to enter Ecuador: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia.  

Ecuador requires travellers to carry photographic proof of identity and some form of legal identity on them at all times. You may also be asked to show your passport when making large purchases with traveller’s cheques or credit cards while in Ecuador. The Galapagos is a little more relaxed, you won’t need any official documents unless you plan to make a purchase using credit cards.

No inoculations are required for travel to the Galapagos Islands, please consult with your doctor 4 - 6 weeks before your trip to discuss any health precautions you may wish to take. The Royal Palm has access to the local clinic and doctors who can assist with basic ailments. The nearest fully equipped hospital is in Guayaquil on the mainland. Although there are mosquitoes in Galápagos, none of them are carriers of malaria or dengue fever. Anti- malarial medicines are not essential but just a good mosquito repellent.

Due to the high elevations, if you are flying in or out of Quito (9,000 ft / 3,000 m) and have high blood pressure or a heart condition, please seek your doctor’s advice before traveling. Those who should avoid high elevations may prefer to fly in and out of the city of Guayaquil rather than Quito.

The US Dollar is the official currency of Ecuador. When traveling it is wise to make sure you bring a selection of small bills (for tipping). It is also a good idea to carry an amount of change with you since coins can be difficult to come by and if you do not have the coins needed the bill is frequently rounded up to the next dollar amount. We suggest:-

  • Traveller's Cheques
  • $100 cash for Galapagos Park Fee (payable on arrival into Baltra)
  • $10 cash for the Galapagos Tourist Transit Card (payable at the departure point)
  • Collection of low denomination bills for tips and miscellaneous Items
  • Credit Cards

Credit Cards including American Express, Diner's Club, Visa and Master Card are widely accepted in the tourist areas. Some businesses add a surcharge from 6% - 10% for transactions paid by credit card. It is best to ask if your card is accepted and the total amount of the transaction before making a purchase. The same applies to Traveller's Cheques. American Express Traveller's Cheques are widely recognised in most of the country; Visa Traveller's Cheques are only accepted in a few locations.

Packing for the Galapagos

Sun hatSmall backpackShortsT-shirts or vestLight pants
Sweat shirtWater and wind-proof jacketHigh factor sun blockWalking shoesReef sandals

Travel Insurance
Doctors, clinics and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Many hospitals do not accept credit cards. The Royal Palm and associated tours will apply cancellation fees for late cancellation. Please ensure that you are travelling with sufficient travel and medical insurance cover.

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Villa Escalesia

When You Arrive

Entry Fees
The Galapagos National Parks entry fee is $100 per adult and $50 per child under 12, payable in cash upon arrival at Baltra airport.

The transfer from Baltra airport to Villa Escalesia takes around 1 hour. Once you have cleared customs and collected your luggage, look out for a welcome board with your name on it. There is a 10 minute drive by bus to the Itabaca Channel which divides Baltra Airport from Santa Cruz Island. The ferry crossing takes about 10-15 minutes. The driver will meet you at the other side and will take you to the Villa. The transfer fee is $25 per person each way, on a shared basis. Private transfers are available by prior arrangement. Please ensure that you have advised us of your arrival date, flight number & time and transfer requirements. There are no taxi ranks or car rental desks at the airport. A welcome drink awaits you which mark the beginning of your holiday! Once you have settled in, the town of Puerto Ayora is on your doorstep. The team are always available to help you with any arrangements to ensure a happy and memorable stay.

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When you arrive at the Villa Escalesia in the Galapagos Islands

Your Destination

Banking Hours & ATMs
Banking hours are from 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday. ATM machines are located throughout major cities.

Galapagos National Park
Please help preserve the special nature of this environment by following these simple rules.
Click here (National Park Rules pdf) for the Do’s and Don’ts whilst visiting our home.
Thank you for your consideration.

The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. However, English is widely spoken at hotels, restaurants and shops. Almost everyone involved in hosting you during your stay speaks English.

Voltage: 110 volts. Sockets are a mixture of the European, two-pronged round variety and US flat-pin.

Time Zones
The Galápagos Islands are one hour behind the mainland and 7 hours behind GMT.

Tipping & Gratuities
We are often asked what gratuity is appropriate to leave your guide and other staff while in the Galápagos. Of course the quality of service should determine the extent of any gratuity. It is customary to leave a tip of 10% on any restaurant bill and to tip taxi drivers, guides and crews as you see fit.

The water is perfectly safe as it is purified. Elsewhere on the island, it is recommended that you drink only bottled water.

The Galápagos sit on the equator, so seasonal temperatures vary only slightly. The climate is subtropical making the Galapagos a year-round destination with average low temperatures of 18–21C° / 65-70F° and highs of 85-90F° / 29-32C°.

There are two seasons:
The 'cooler, dryer season' is roughly June to December. The 'warmer, wetter season' runs December to June with March and April usually being the hottest and wettest months.

Weather Calendars

JanuaryRainy and warm season (until May). Water and air temperature rise until June. Best underwater visibility (until March)
FebruaryHighest water temperature (reaches 25°C / 79°F) until April
March / AprilRainy season reaches its peak. Sporadic tropical rains, intense sun and hot climate. Air temperature reaches 31°C / 91°F
May / JuneBeginning of the Garua season (cool, dry season until December)
July / AugustWindiest months (force 4 – 5)
AugustLowest sea water temperatures (21.5 c / 71 F) Lowest air temperature (24°C / 77°F)
Sept / Oct / NovHumboldt current is strongest - strong ocean currents
DecemberStart of the warm season
MonthAverage air
Average sea
Average hours
of clear sky
Average monthly
 Max °CMin °CMax °FMin °F°C°F inchesmm
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After your visit to the Royal Palm Hotel

After Your Visit

Becoming a friend of the Galápagos
The fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos was finally brought under protection when the islands became part of Ecuador’s national park system in 1959. The Royal Palm Hotel is committed to preserving this unique and priceless UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Eco tourism has a pivotal role to play in preserving our islands while simultaneously providing employment and economic stability. We believe that by educating our guests and by adhering to responsible practices we can assist in the long term preservation of this unique region. We encourage you to visit the Charles Darwin Foundation which demonstrates the conservation issues and the importance of protecting the diversity of this rare ecosystem.

Many of our visitors form a strong emotional connection with the islands and its preservation and wish to continue their relationship with the Galápagos long after their visit. We encourage you to support conservation of the creatures and habitats of these magical islands by joining one of the following organizations:

Galapagos Conservancy
11150 Fairfax Blvd, Suite 408
Fairfax, VA 22030
+ 1 703 383-0077
Email: [email protected]
Charles Darwin Foundation
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
Galapagos, Ecuador
+ 593 2526-146/147
Email: [email protected]
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive
Suite 100, Arlington
VA 22203 - 1606
+ 1 800 628-6860
Email: [email protected]
Galápagos Conservation Trust
Charles Darwin Suite
28 Portland Place
London W1B 1LY
+ 44 (0) 207 399 7440
Email: [email protected]
Suite 300, 744 Montgomery St
San Francisco, CA 94111
+ 1 415 834-3174
Email: [email protected]

Villa Escalesia thanks you for helping us preserve the Galápagos Islands!

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