Travel Tips

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If you are coming over, I recommend printing this page and bring it with you. If you would like tips on Mainland Ecuador Travel, go to "Ecuador for outdoors Dummies". And for Surfers, go to botom of this page " Mainland Surf Travel Tips".

Check "Wreck Bay" Town Map & Waves Map below.

Check this new site of Isla San Cristobal with very good updated information on Lodging, Map, PLaces, etc.



Main things to remember when you travel, to surf or not, to Galapagos:

All hotels, flights, and other services, even food at restaurants, can be very difficult to get during the months of Dec-February (high season). So make reservations well ahead of time. Remember, Galapagos towns, specially San Cristobal, are small and they do not have large Hotels. A big Hotel at Galapagos have usually just 10-20 rooms at most. Reservations on Flights (specially TAME airline) are the most difficult to deal with. We recommend AeroGal airline to flight to Glpgs especially to San Cristobal airport (where waves are) be sure you head there and not to Baltra airport, so you can get to waves much easier, faster and cheaper.

Always make sure (3 times at least) and check your flight ticket(s) and code number reservation, to be sure you have a seat on plane.

"AEROGAL" goes to San Cristobal island from Guayaquil all week except Tuesdays (Flights 030-036). Leaves 11:15 hrs (am) Call for updates
phones # at Guayaquil: (04) 2-310346 (UPDATED AGT-2006)
Quito: (02)2-920495
San Cristobal (Galapagos): (05) 521117, 521118, 521120
(Please if you care reffer to my name at Guayaquil Offices #phones)

1. AEROGAL & TAME airlines flighs 5 days a week. Flights are usually booked by regular tourist for charter boat companies and international agencies. So, flights get full anytime, especially December Thru February (SanCristobal Airport). TAME PHONES 2283808 (Arpt), 2310305 reservations commuter.

2. AeroGal and Tame airline flights frecuencies change depending on seasons, also does prices a little ($378 round). If you buy ticket outside Ecuador you ll pay about $100 USD more...but will get better available reservations dates. (2010 update)

EMETEBE INTER ISLAND FLIGHTS San Cristobal to Baltra or Isabela airports. Call Manager: Jaime Morales at 09-104003. Or at Cristobal Is. office ph# 5935-520793. Few boards are allowed on this crafts, so you may need to charter a whole plane aprox $ 140US/ per passenger.

Your luggage and boards will be checked by National Park officers from Agricultural Dpt. for introduction of species, etc. at mainland airports before checking. And you need to pay extra $10 USD for Ingala tax (local Galapagos institution)

3. Galapagos and especially Puerto Baquerizo M. has few hotels and rooms. So, make reservations in advance. Best recomended at San Cristobal is the hotels. The ones we recommend most are: Casablanca (by Pier with great rooms AC and great people talk to Jacqui and girls- daughters), Hosteria Pimampiro at hill back in town beautiful view of waves great service and people (talk to Juanita german manager), Casa Verde run my surfer guide Gevanny Sarigu of Hacienda Tranquila a well known resident of many years who knows the surf and runs the Hacienda at Hills of island a wonderful place to visit and see some green when sun is too hot at beaches. All this places have a link in our Links page

4. You will have to pay the Park Fee at arrival at airport. Take cash only for this.( $ 100 US!) And need to Pay $10 for additional tax. Totals $110 USD to get in Galapagos and you pay in mainland airports (Quito or Guayaquil).

5. Galapagos & the mainland can get very hot on "hot season" (Jan.-April). Take water with you on walks to surfspots, etc.There is little shade throughout coast of islands. DRINK ONLY BOTTLED WATER!..water in Galapagos can make you really sick as there is shortage of water. EVEN FOR BRUSHING YOUR TEETH!.

6. Exploring through the islands is not possible and prohibited and very easy to get lost especially after sunset(light goes very quick in the equator). People have died by finding themselves out of the trails!.

7. Locals, rationals and irrationals, are first here than anything and anyone. There are very few local surfers so, respect them. They are very easy going and like to remain that way. Surfing and Surfers are very recent. They are very welcome so far.

8. Surfing in Galapagos is new. There is very few people and operators that know about Surfing and surfspots. Check with someone who really knows about services, opinions, etc.

9. At San Cristobal dont pay attention to ("official prices on Sign by Pier") Taxis charge $1 all over town places. Loberia $2 (one way). Hiring boats to surf to Manglecito and other waves up north should be done with someone who knows surf, waves, and achorages. It can get big and you can capsize boats anytime. Also check for securities/safety equipment on Day tour boats. Boats we recommend are the ones by waterfront street like SharSky, Dive&Surf, and Martin a surfer(s) bros which you can call at 089728632 ask for Martin or you can talk to his Dad. They are great guys. Only spanish though. Also you can contact Geovanny if you dont speak any English and he can coordinate things for you (busy guy though running his other business) at 092-952847.

10. To easier access to "El Cañon", & "Tongo" (Navy areas) you better get your San Cristobal Surf Club ID Card which only costs $8 USD and you can get this done filling up a form at picture taken (takes a while to coordinate this) with people at "El Delfin" cyber call 097715305. This way you wont have to deal with Passports at Marines gate to get in..etc

  • Bring all your possible surfing needs. There is no surfshops at Galapagos, recently I found one at Pto Ayora-Sta Cruz Island, by Hotel Angermeyer and also Bodega Blanca (Warehouse store) may have few things. Mainland Ecuador has few; "Sunbawa"t at main Malls at Guayaquil and Mar Bravo Surfshop at Alborada (quite expensive though all of them Mar Bravo best prices). Hard to get weird Batteries for cameras, videos, etc., at Glpgs. Try to get everything at Mainland. Energy goes at 110-120 volts.
  • AEROGAL (all days except thursdays) TAME (please call for flights a day)airlines lands at Baltra Island (close to Sta. Cruz islands) and also landing in San Cristobal Island Flight 195 Gye-S.Cristobal Is. (where waves are.) There are Low and High fares for tickets. Ask your travel agent about it.
  • High season (Ene 16-Jun 14): Guayaquil(Gye)-Glps-Gye $ 378 USD (new 2010 price updated). If you are from "Pacto Andino" country (Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia), you have a especial discount! ask for especial price and all tickets buyer need to present documents passports-ID valid of citizenship, especially discounted tickets.
  • Extra Weight costs for BoardBags apply (2010) like this aproximate $1.50+Tax (12%) per extra Kilo (Aerogal airline). Little more in Tame ($1.59+tax/Kilo).
  • Galapagos Airplane Tickets (Tame/Aerogal) are not interchangeable or make sure with your travel agency they are.
  • Expensive drinks onboard a cruise. So get your own case(s) of beer in town, if possible.
  • Hotseason is really HOT! Drink lots of water (potassium) and keep under shade when out of the water. Bring lots of sunblock, hats, etc.
  • Water temps vary from spot to spot, island to island. Internet general temperature reports are no good for surfing Galapagos.
  • Access to serious medical attention is difficult. Just basic stuff. So be as careful as possible, and bring you F.Aid KIT with U!.

To surf at certain areas within Puerto Baquerizo (San Cristobal island) you will need to get this Surf Club ID. It cost about $10 USD. Its worthed so you can get through Navy Base gate. As locals how to get it otherwise you wont be allowed inside Base or leave there your passport etc.

Take plenty of books, tapes, etc., there not much entertaiment In town.

  • There is only ONE Flight a Day, seldom two, from each airport. Reserve in advance your departure. Anytime flights can be empty or get totally full.
  • Is good to bring a small pen flashlight for onboard use as well as town walking. Anytime, power goes off for a while...especially after 12-1 am. Drunk walking in Galapagos can have serious consequences.
  • If you are vegetarian, bring some especial food with you. Galapagos do not have much especial veggie products.
  • Let me know if you are a vegetarian wanting to go on a surfcharter. To get you an especial menu as possible.
  • Availability of rooms in hotels or pensions is limited. So, reserve ahead, if coming to stay some days in town after or before your cruise. We can help you with that.
  • Hotel rooms are usually basic, clean, quarters. Try to get A/C when on hot season. Cool season is cool mostly everywhere and pleasant to sleep.
  • A good and cheap way to discover surfspots in Galapagos is just to go climb to the top of an island in a clear day and check the coast with binos.
  • Another way but expensive is to rent a small plane (at S. Cristobal) and check the surf. You can go to other islands this way and is not so expensive. A group of 6 paxs pay $ 40-60 US. each.
  • Be carefull at Pier steps, they are very very slippery specially at low tides or when wet. Careful!
  • Dive or check new surfspots, be sure there are no shallow rocks on ride.
  • Sea Lions are cool if you are too..but better stay away from big males or females with pups.
Our Recommended Places

To sleep:

San Cristobal Island, Puerto Baquerizo M.:

Cabanas Pimampiro This place is our highly recomenden place with Buffet breakfast included in prices (around $35/night). Great people and great service and reasonable prices. This is located quite behind waterfront street but high enough so you can check from rooms balconies (if you get
a sea view room ask for it!) the bay and waves conditions of certain spots like Canon and Carola.
Call them at 052-520323

Casablanca. Maybe best in town, and our most recommended medium budget $30 (with AC) p.p night, includes breakfast, right in front of main Pier over looking at bay and waves.

Cabañas Don Jorge. Nice cozy cabins on a hill looking to the bay, aprox price $ 15-20/night/cabin two queen size beds small fridge-small stove and view balcony. Also very close to "Carola reef" in fact a bit closer and on its way to it. Very recommended. No A/C but since it is on top of hill is very fresh.

Hotel Mar Azul. The most recommended at a very economical price, aprox $12 double-15 single room/night, clean and good service, no bay looking but easy and budget place. Tf 05-2-520-139, Mr. Manuel Romero Owner. No view of waves or ocean.

(Your recommendations are very welcome for updates or places missing)


Toto Hidrovo (billingual)
Cel 091-692-183

Geovanny Sarigu (fully billingual)
Ph: 052-521732
Cel: 092-952-847

Jesus (Lobo) not billingual :
Cel: 089-274-530



To eat:

Pto. Baquerizo:

To get to this restaurants find the back street big park of town area. Barracuda is right there on same street. Parrillada San Jose and Cactus are going up the street from Barracuda. Updated Map will soon be uploaded. Or write and ask for it.

Restaurant Barracuda, run by family with good dishes, encebollado and "almuerzos y meriendas" (fixed menu lunch and dinner) home made style great food

Restaurant Cactus, good home made food style and also great menu. Right besides this place they have a Taco and hambrugers place which also is good.

Parrillada (grill) San Jose, ones of best grills I ever tried. Food expensive but worthed. Try Shrimp and Fish dishes etc.

Cabaña El Grande (real good prices & fruit smoothies/shakes). On second story floor.


Our Recommended Reading

Odyssey Illustrated Guide to the Galapagos Islands
by Pierre Constant

If you want more info on books go to NATURALIST.NET


Pto. Baquerizo Moreno (Wreck Bay) Town & Surf Maps.

(Isla San Cristobal)

Waves Map (distances) at Wreck Bay and Sorroundings.

Tips for Mainland Ecuador surf travel

Ok. So you are coming to the mainland too. Great idea! and you won´t regret this desition. Here are main Tips to come surf the coast of mainland Ecuador.

  • Come with all your shots done. We have all tropical deseases. So better come protected. Water in Guayaquil can be very bad!...
  • Bring cash or debit card. Also when possible change bills to lowest ($5 or $10) nobody have change in Ecuador for more than a $5 or maybe $10 dollar bill..
  • Be aware of sun is very hot and here you can wrinkle your face like a raisin in one month only, now if you have money and after get up to you...!ahaha!! no shit you are in equator not only in Ecuador and for hours on sun and salt water...well..
  • Be aware of taxis in Guayaquil, they always like everywhere in Latin world want to rip you off!..thats why I offer my services. Also in renting car better do it at airport they are little bit more $ but more reliable. Etc.
  • Bring, as in Galapagos Travel Tips, all your surfing equipment needs. There are few Surf Shops in certain areas/cities like: Guayaquil, Salinas, Manta-Montanita and that´s it...and it´s expensive and you won´t find a great variety of things and worse
  • Better if you travel with a local guide or friend. That way you know where are the dangerous areas are in terms of rocks or bad locals (not surfers, surfers in general are easy going and welcome foreign tourist, except for the guy with the diving knife at Montanita whom appears anytime...scaring the shit away out of all even locals.! I am joking....!)
  • If you come on December-February season, North swells season, so you better head for the Montanita and up north surfing spots, like Manta(Manabi), San Mateo, Mompiche(Esmeraldas) area. Many spots to discover and surf by yourself and buddies. (Check mainland map on Home page).
  • Roads are great right now (2008-2009) and should be enjoyed before another so called government comes (2008) and fucks up all and stop maintanance etc. Especially enjoy the road up the coast from Bahia de Caraquez-Manabi province to Mompiche-Esmeraldas province (now the Pedernales-Cojimies part is bad in maintanance (2008). . . You will find all the variety of landscapes driving along this road and throughout all the coast road from Playas to Esmeraldas. One thing for sure is that driving Ecuador in any direction, you will never be bored with same landscapes and environments. Its all changing from one hour to next.
  • If you come on July-September and you are around Montañita, make sure you get to Machalilla Naional Park (and even if you come on other seasons) and get on a tour to see whales mating by the Isla de la Plata, also worth visiting and to watch birds like Galapagos albatross and masked and red footed boobies nesting. Ask the guides for seasons.
  • Another recomendation around this area is to bike by the 5 Cerros area and take hikes around this wonderful Tropical Forest which stay green year round and have a great variety of fauna and flora.
  • Renting cars is expensive like Costa Rica (Vitara 2-5 door-$51-60/day, Rodeo 4x4 A/C ´99: $80/day or Double Cabin Pickups 2001- NO AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND CHECK CHANGING TIRES EQUIPMENT). Fuel of regular octanage is $1.85-regular-$2.40 super /galon.(Jan-08 update) Remember you wont find that much variety to choose from as models and brands. And be careful driving through Guayaquil-Montanita area as there are A LOT OF SPEED BREAK BUMPS WITH NO SIGNS AND SPECIALLY AT NIGHT!! You can kill your self or hit hard on your roof if not buckled up!. Please try avoiding driving at night!. Check Ecuadorfordummies for more on driving Ecuador etc.
  • One area I recomend most is the Montañita-San Mateo coast, which has a great road and has very different surf spots that break in different sizes and conditions. These area is very very uncrowded and needs more exploring and you should very likely discover a few new spots.
  • If you come on March-June season. This is South to West (actually a real West does not exist but is a combination swell N-SW) swells season and you can either stay at certain areas North of Montañita, or stay at Montañita which is great with big Wests, or head for "Playas" beaches. Careful with " EL PELADO" at "Playas", recently robberies have been occuring more than normal (Oct-02). We suggest you surf with other people and not by yourself. And avoid camping here or staying late..
  • Conditions on January-May are very hot and especially is el Niño hits. Montañita for some reason, has a very strong heat, probably due to the color of the beach. Anyway, wear good sunscreen and a hat. Early mornings glass is the comom occurrence all this season, with winds picking up from 10 am. to 3 pm and then slacking down to an evening glass again from 5-7pm. Nights can be very hot and humid when raining. Mosquitoe nets are a must or repellent.
  • If camping, pick up a good location away from roads so nobody can see your tent. That way you may not have a midnight visitor(s)..There is not much delinquency on beaches, but there are and one never knows when this may happen. So just do not atract attention too much. This is also a good reason for having a local along.
  • Average sizes along the coast is around 4-10 feet. more than that either they are braging or took some kind of pill or drink while surfing. Only Galapagos goes over 10 feet in all Ecuador.
  • Ecuador mainland has great waves and most of all uncrowded ones plenty. The surf can be either glassy or light offshore. Waves are definetly better than Costa Rica, but maybe similar. Although, being closer from the source, our waves have a lot more punch and speed.
  • Soon more info and if questions email me. Happy to help on you travels around Ecuador coasts. We are working on a surfing map especially for Playas at the moment. We should be have it online around December. For rest of spots check the wavemaps on HomePage
  • Best time for Montañita: end April- May-June especially little windier but OK(less crowds and good swells still). Best San Mateo: February-March. Best Playas spots: March-June but breaks thrughout November. Best Mompiche: January-Feb. Best North of Montañita spots: January-April. BEST LUCK BRAH!:)