A Galapagos budget: Can you afford it?

Galapagos budget
Meeting the locals

Is it possible to visit the Galapagos on a budget?

There are a lot of Galapagos budget articles online and each person had/has there own way of doing it. This is a place where you definitely need to plan ahead for your trip and set some realistic goals. Otherwise, you will either waste a lot of money or you will miss out on what you really want to see or both.

My trip came about at a time when I was having one of my least fun periods travelling. I was not going to let this stop me crossing off one of the major items on my bucket list. Being in Ecuador it would have been a disaster if I didn’t make the trip and having talked to a lot of backpackers doing it, it was obviously very possible. Going ended up being one of the best things I did in South America.

Galapagos budget
My trying to look cool with a tortoise.

Let’s see this Galapagos budget.

Total cost: $1200ish (USD as its the Ecuadorian currency)

Number of Days: 6

Paid excursions: 3 (Two snorkelling and one scuba )

Islands visited: 2 major and one minor

I did have a much better break down as I wrote down my daily expenses, however, I seem to have lost this. The information is coming from memory and bank statements. If there is one thing I remember it is where my money has gone, so please trust me this is pretty accurate.

Although $200 a day seems quite steep that does include flights at $395 return. Scuba diving at $180 and then two snorkelling trips at $80 and $110 each.

The accommodation was surprisingly cheap at $15 for a private room. It also had decent Wi-Fi which I was very surprised about. The hostel was simply called Santa Cruz hostel (You might need a little Spanish to get a room here as nobody spoke a word of English).

Galapagos budget
Some stunning scenery

Useful info:

There are a ton of travel agents and scuba diving stores located in Puerto Ayora the main town on Santa Cruz island. Look around and check what offers the best deals for what you want to see and do.

I had a list of the animals and some of the places that I really wanted to see before I arrived. I managed to see most of them and I wasn’t disappointed by any of the trips I had taken.

You cannot forget though that this is a natural wonderland and animals tend to do their own thing so sometimes it is down to luck. I was happy when I managed to spot one hammer-head shark, then an hour later another group told me they saw 30 together. It would have been a lie to say I wasn’t disappointed but what could I do.

I did my trips individually and didn’t book it all at once, this gave me some freedom on what to do in my time there and also ensured I wasn’t being ripped off. It gave me the option of going with different tour companies. I ultimately stayed going to the same guy mainly because of how nice he was in dealing with his customers and his prices were quite reasonable.

Galapagos islands
Godzilla taking some time out after a hard day.

A few more things:

To save more money there are some stores which you should use to stock up on large bottles of water and some snacks. In the evening there is a street in Puerto Ayora which turns into a nice restaurant alley with reasonably priced meals that will fill you for the night.

There are also a lot of free activities and walks that you can do. On these, you can stumble across seals, penguins, iguanas and a host of other animals and birds that populate the islands. Be wary of the sun as it is quite hot and it will take its toll on your skin and energy.

The Galapagos islands will definitely eat into your budget especially going solo and as a backpacker. Set money aside for what you want to do and then go and book it. You will not regret it although you will want to do more than your Galapagos budget allows.

What does your Galapagos budget look like?

The Galapagos islands which are part of Ecuador are a nature lovers paradise. Visitors can Photograph giant tortoise, seals, whales and Iguanas. Getting there, where to stay, what animals to see and how much to spend are questions that are always asked. My guide to the Galapagos shall answer all these questions. I will show you where to find penguins, craft stores, the best food and the helpful locals. From the Darwin observatory to the different Isla options, you will never be short of things to do. #galapagosislands #darwin #budgettravel The Galapagos islands which are part of Ecuador are a nature lovers paradise. Visitors can Photograph giant tortoise, seals, whales and Iguanas. Getting there, where to stay, what animals to see and how much to spend are questions that are always asked. My guide to the Galapagos shall answer all these questions. I will show you where to find penguins, craft stores, the best food and the helpful locals. From the Darwin observatory to the different Isla options, you will never be short of things to do. #galapagosislands #darwin #budgettravel

The Galapagos islands which are part of Ecuador are a nature lovers paradise. Visitors can Photograph giant tortoise, seals, whales and Iguanas. Getting there, where to stay, what animals to see and how much to spend are questions that are always asked. My guide to the Galapagos shall answer all these questions. I will show you where to find penguins, craft stores, the best food and the helpful locals. From the Darwin observatory to the different Isla options, you will never be short of things to do. #galapagosislands #darwin #budgettravel
The Galapagos islands which are part of Ecuador are a nature lovers paradise. Visitors can Photograph giant tortoise, seals, whales and Iguanas. Getting there, where to stay, what animals to see and how much to spend are questions that are always asked. My guide to the Galapagos shall answer all these questions. I will show you where to find penguins, craft stores, the best food and the helpful locals. From the Darwin observatory to the different Isla options, you will never be short of things to do. #galapagosislands #darwin #budgettravel

12 Comments

  1. I would love to do that! I’ve got a feeling I would need to go without a budget though… either that or without a credit card.

    1. Haha yeah a budget is a pain but pretty necessary ha. I’d recommend a cruise so that way it’s all in and everything is covered.

    2. Do it. A cruise would be ideal. All inclusive.

  2. Awesome, this is definitely on my list!!

  3. Thanks for this information, this is an island I have always wanted to visit. I will get there one day, so this information is so helpful. I’m so glad you had a great time and saw want you wanted to see!

    1. There are a ton of islands but only a few which people are allowed to visit.

  4. Galapagos is an absolute pending for me 🙂 thanks for sharing this!

  5. Really want to go to Galapagos! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Oh man… now that I know it’s not that expensive I want to go even more!!!! Thanks for this!

    1. Noting is to expensive if you can budget or not eat, that’s what I usually do. Ha.

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