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August 13, 2020
Tourism returns to the Galapagos Islands!
This content is available in English only

Last week Galapagos welcomed their first tourist flights with national and international visitors arriving in the islands.

Since the beginning, a great effort has been at work to control Covid-19 in the Galapagos Islands. Mandatory quarantines, lockdowns, curfews, island-wide cleaning projects, rigorous testing and contact tracing, compulsory mask-wearing, educational initiatives, and more have been a part of the last several months for the locals. 

With so few active cases (single digits on each island), all the hard work has paid off. In anticipation of tourists returning to the islands, new protocols have been put in place to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus and allow tourism to return to the islands safely and controlled. The locals (and all of us here at Galakiwi) are eager to share Galapagos with the world again. It’s been lonely without you! 

Although tourism has been at a standstill over the last several months, we’ve been hard at work. This temporary hiatus from running tours has given us plenty of time to focus on creating and implementing new Covid-19 safety protocols to ensure the return of our trips in the safest possible way. The safety of our guests, team and the local community has always been our number one priority. 

Below is a summary of recommendations, requirements, and what Galakiwi is doing to keep you safe: 

General Travel Safe Recommendations

Galakiwi Tours

  • Small Groups. You will be part of the same small group, with the same guide throughout the whole tour. By limiting the number of people our guests come in contact with, we reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread.
  • Local Company. Galapagos is our home. We are on the ground on every island to double-check all logistics and safety measures and ensure compliance with all COVID-19 safety protocols. Being onsite helps us guarantee the high standard of service we are known for and your safety. 
  • Support for Local Community. Our land-based adventures work closely with the local community and support the local economy. The only way for Galakiwi to offer the safest possible tours is by making sure our suppliers and providers are safe as well. We are available to help all of our partners navigate the new government requirements and make sure they understand our additional protocols. 
  • Comprehensive Training. All team members will be fully trained on the new enhanced safety and hygiene procedures. 
  • Additional Support On Tour. A safety and welfare specialist will be available for guests’ support on each island. Your guide will inform you of the protocols to follow for each activity and site visit. 

Galakiwi Partners 

  • Full Compliance. Galakiwi will only be working with local partners who fully comply with all biosecurity protocols required by the government and Galakiwi. 
  • Full Support. We will be working closely with our chosen partners to ensure all safety requirements and procedures are being followed. 

Land Transportation

  • Private vehicles will be used on tour for all land transportation.
  • Vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected before and after each activity.
  • Each vehicle will utilize no more than 50% of its capacity to allow for social distancing.
  • Air conditioners will not be used during the journey. 
  • Face masks must be worn by everyone on board throughout the journey.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for guests.

Boat Transportation

  • Private boats will be used on tour as much as possible.
  • Boats will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after each activity. 
  • Face masks to be worn during the embarking and disembarking process only.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for guests.


  • Small hotels (where we are often the only guests) will be utilized.
  • There will be enhanced daily cleaning and disinfection of all areas.
  • There will be additional cleaning throughout the day of frequently touched areas. 
  • Face masks must be worn by staff at all times. 
  • Face masks must be worn by guests in social areas only.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for guests in social areas.


  • Small restaurants with outdoor seating will be used primarily.
  • There will be enhanced daily cleaning and disinfection of all areas.
  • There will be additional cleaning throughout the day of frequently touched areas. 
  • Face masks must be worn by staff at all times. 


  • Alfresco Dining. Most, if not all, meals will be in outdoor seating.
  • Social Distance. Tables will be pre-reserved, ensuring an appropriate social distance is maintained from other tables and guests.
  • Streamlined Dining. Meal orders will be taken before arriving at the restaurants for a smoother and efficient dining experience. 


  • Clean Hands. Guides will offer hand sanitizer and handwashing facilities at regular intervals.
  • Social Distance. Social distance to be maintained throughout the activities: 1 meter in open spaces and 2 meters in closed areas. 
  • Tailored Protocols. Guides will advise guests of the protocols for each activity.  
  • Full Planning. All visits have been fully planed with our local knowledge to ensure the best experience in the safest way. 
  • Open Air Interpretation. Guides will ensure the interpretation happens primarily in an open space at visitors’ sites to guarantee guests have space to practice social distancing. 

Equipment & Supplies

  • Masks and hand sanitizer will be readily available for all guests and team members throughout the tour.
  • All activity equipment provided for guests’ use will be thoroughly sanitized before and after each tour.

Pre Trip Information

All our guests will be supplied with the following:

  • Ecuador airport information and protocols.
  • Arrival protocols.
  • Safe travel tips and recommendations.
  • Amended recommended packing lists, including Covid-19 personal protection recommendations.
  • A designated local adventure specialist available by email or phone to answer any questions or support needed.

If you have any questions about what we are doing or how we are doing, please reach out.

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