How to visit the Galapagos

a. From Pto. Ayora (Yachts in transit)
If your sailboats or yachts (are until) carry up to 10 persons, you can stay and anchor in the first port of call [inhabited port: i.e. Puerto Ayora, or Puerto Baquerizo] up to 20 days without any "special permits". You cannot sail the National Park areas on your own yachts; and you cannot move to other ports of Galapagos [inhabited ports]. If the crew wants to visit places, they have to use the local tourist services / boats, dive centers, etc. (to visit the highlands and the tortoises in the wild, lava tubes, tours on bicycles, bay tours) and the possibility of booking cruises of 4, 5 or 8 days.

b. On your own private yachts (in the protected areas and/or other ports), specially for Megayachts
If your yacht is:
a) carries 10 persons or more,
b) And/or want to cruise on your own vessel around the Galapagos National park areas (even if you carry less of 10 persons),
c) and/or want to move to the other ports, you need a special permit before your arrival in Galapagos. In this case we have to start the paperwork at least 2 months before the vessel's arrival.

When this "special permit" is issued by the Ministry of Defense of Ecuador, once you arrive in Galapagos, it is presented to the National Park Service (in the case you wish to visit the protected areas) and they approve a special itinerary for the visit. You need a naturalist guide on board, trained by the GNP (Galapagos National Park); and have to pay a special tax of (*)U$200 per person per day while you cruise in the protected areas.
(*) These amount is subject of oficial modification

For example: your special permit of the Ministry of Defense authorizes your stay in Galapagos for 30 days. You anchor in Academy Bay (Puerto Ayora) 24 days and only cruise in the protected areas 6 days; this means, you only have to pay the GNP special tax for 6 days.(Everybody pays: crew and guests).

c. Scientific visits
These are visits, related to universities, study centers or organizations that want to come to Galápagos for scientific or study purposes. In these cases the special tax for a tourist visit is not paid, but the vessel has to present a scientific or educational Project that must be approved by the Ministry of Environment (in Quito), the Ministry of Defense, as well as the Galápagos National Park, where the nature of the visit is justified. The regular fees of the Marine Authority must be paid.

d. Forced Arrivals
Galápagos is a huge protected area, but its sea's towns, have not lost their ports conditions, which fulfill and adjust to all the international principles of arrival and navigation like any other port in the world. This is why: for ship's damages, illness of a crewmember, repair or expectance of any spare parts, you can make a forced arrival, previously fulfilling the steps and procedures established by the Ecuadorian Naval Authorities for this effect. We have all the capacity of representing you in these cases.