A Galapagos Packing Guide
So you've booked your trip to the Galapagos, now you need help on what to pack! I'll be honest, I was a little out of my element when I went to the Galapagos and I had no idea what to bring!
I went to the Galapagos at the tail end of its rainy season (early November) for 7 days and 8 nights, so this packing guide will reflect on traveling during that time of year and for that amount of time.
Leggings or Lightweight/Breathable Pants - 3 to 4 pairs
I wore leggings for the majority of the trip. Especially during walks and hikes on the different islands, you want movable and breathable fabrics that are comfortable for long periods of time, rain or shine. Wear pants you don't mind getting wet, and that you know you'll be comfortable in if the sun comes out. There is a likelihood that you'll experience all four seasons in one day, so wear pants that can help you stay as comfortable as possible. Longer pants will also help protect you from those intense sun rays. I particularly liked my Fabletics leggings
with the side pockets. I was able to store my gopro and my phone in the side pockets when I wasn't using them, and then whip them out real quick for a photo opportunity. Not having to rummage through my backpack every time I wanted to take a photo was super convenient.
Shorts - 2 to 3 pairs
I packed two pairs of shorts for beach days and super warm hiking days. If you decide to wear shorts be sure to put sunscreen on your legs! On my first beach day in the Galapagos my legs got fried from that intense sun. The shorts I packed had a looser fit and made from comfortable and breathable fabrics like rayon and linen.
Tank Tops/T-Shirts - 2 to 3 to layer under sweaters, long sleeves and jackets.
Sweater - 1 to 2 for those extra cold days
Lightweight Long Sleeves - 2 to 3
I wore long sleeve tops most often while in the Galapagos, mainly because I felt more protected from those harmful sun rays. Tops that are meant for working out and have a looser fit are perfect for the Galapagos. Their fabrics are usually quick drying and super comfortable when it starts to get hot out.
Thin Rash-guard with UV Protection
While in the Galapagos, I layered my rash-guard over my tank tops every time I wasn't wearing my other long sleeve tops. After getting pretty sunburned the first day, my goal was to not make it worst and to protect my poor skin. This lightweight and thin rash-guard was perfect for that. Originally I brought this along with the intentions of swimming with it when we went snorkeling but the company we went with provided us with thicker wet suites so I mainly just wore it for our walking and hiking days.
Wind Breaker/ Rain Jacket - 1 to 2
It rains quite frequently in the Galapagos. Even though I was there at the end of the rainy season there were still days that it was raining pretty consistently or just for a few minutes while we were exploring different islands.
Even if it looked like it was going to be nice out the entire time we were walking or hiking, I always threw a waterproof rain jacket into my backpack just in case. What's great about this particular rain jacket is it rolls up into a little ball and so easy to just throw in your backpack when you don't need it. I've brought this rain jacket along on a lot of my travels recently and it takes up almost no space in my suitcase
Comfortable Walking Sandals
In the Galapagos you're going to be walking a lot. On the days where close toed shoes are not necessary, I recommend bringing along some comfortable walking sandals like those from Teva or Chaco. You'll be walking along many different kinds of terrain like sandy beaches, dirt path, rocky and wet surfaces. Make sure you get sandals with good support and you feel comfortable walking on different kinds of terrain.
I brought along my black Adidas tennis shoes and I wore them frequently. Make sure to bring tennis shoes that you don't mind getting dirty or wet. There is a chance you will be walking through mud or water. I did bring my summertime hiking shoes, but I never needed them, my tennis shoes worked just fine.
Socks - at least 5 pairs
Bring all the socks. Thankfully we had the resources to do laundry and I could wash the three pairs I brought and reuse them, but I wish I had brought more. There were days I was switching between tennis shoes and sandals then back to tennis shoes and my socks from earlier that day were either wet or dirty so I would need at least two pairs in one day. I wore my tennis shoes more frequently than I had anticipated and regretted not bring more pairs of socks.
Swimsuits - 2 to 3 for swimming and snorkeling in the ocean
Hats - 1 to 2 to protect your face from the sun as much as possible
Sunglasses to protect your eye, it can get quite sunny
Back-Pack to store items you might need during walking and hiking excursions. Extra helpful if it's a dry bag because chances are it will get wet.
Personal Water Bottle. Make sure you stay hydrated!
Camera to take pictures of all the amazing scenery and wildlife!
Binoculars to see animals and birds off in the distance when you can't get close
Reef Friendly Sunscreen. Bring all of the sunscreen and apply frequently. Trust me.
Reef Friendly Leave-in Conditioner for after swimming and snorkeling in the ocean
OTHER ITEMS (not essential but might be helpful/appreciated)
Lightweight dress - 1 to 2 for lounge days and walking around town in San Cristobal or Santa Cruz.
Kimono/Pool Cover-up to throw over your swimsuit for a little extra coverage.
Flip-Flops in case you don't want to wear either your tennis shoes or walking sandals.
Sweat Pants and Comfortable Sweater for end of day relaxation, can also be used for sleepwear.
First Aid Kit. Always a good idea to bring on any kind of travel.
Travel Journal to help you remember everything you experienced.
Sea-Sickness Medication. If you's exploring The Galapagos by boat and are concerned about getting sea-sick, bring some along. Don't risk feeling miserable while on your trip.
I hope this packing guide is helpful to you for you upcoming trip the Galapagos! If you have any other suggestions or found one item to be super helpful, leave a comment and share!
Feel free to also check out my blog post about my time in The Galapagos HERE!