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What a Trip to the Galapagos Islands Costs in 2024

What a Trip to the Galapagos Islands Costs in 2024

The Galapagos Islands are a dream destination for many. It’s one of the most unspoiled locations on earth, with lush wildlife and a landscape unlike any other on the planet.

It’s a place where you can walk beside century-old tortoises, swim among dolphins and sea lions, and see the landscape and fauna that inspired Charles Darwin’s revolutionary texts. But all of the things that make this such an extraordinary destination are also the reasons this can be a very expensive place to go.

That said, there are many ways you can cut the cost to make a trip to the Galapagos an affordable dream.

Our researchers have dug into many ways to create a Galapagos adventure. We’ll break down the cost for flights, hotels, activities, and more to help you get to this once-in-a-lifetime destination.

Average Trip to the Galapagos Islands Cost in 2024

Average Galapagos Islands Trip Cost Table

A week in the Galapagos Islands will cost around $6,700 for two people:

  • Average Accommodation Cost: $200 per night
  • Average Flight Cost: $900 per person
  • Food, Drink & Activities: $200 per person, per day
  • Transportation: $50 per person, per day
  • Total Cost: $6,700

Some of these prices are fixed. This is a niche destination and many activities are tightly controlled. You may also find there are limited options for food, drink, and certain excursions.

That is why we go over every cost category you are likely to encounter. We talk about what areas have some wiggle room and where you just have to make room in your budget for fixed expenses.

The Galapagos Islands Trip Cost: Average by Item

A woman standing at the edge of the boat while holding her camera and taking pictures of a unique large rocks formation at the middle of the sea, an image for a travel guide about trip to the Galapagos Islands cost.


The Galapagos is a series of islands, only 20 of which are large enough for formal names. The location is far from the mainland coast. Because of this, prices for many activities, food, and drink are all higher than they would be in more easily accessible locations.

There are also a number of fees built into aspects of your travel to cover environmental concerns, as well as living costs for the people who live in the islands and make tourism there possible. These are a few examples of what you can expect to pay when you take a trip to the Galapagos.

Accommodation Costs

Hotel costs vary greatly on the Galapagos. In part, some of this variation comes down to the remote nature of different islands and the limited number of accommodations.

For instance, there is only one hotel on Isla de San Cristobal, the Hotel Indigo Galapagos. Rates run from $400 to $600 a night, depending on when you travel.

This hotel is part of the IHG Hotel chain. You may be able to pay for part of your trip with points or get a discounted rate through membership in their rewards program. Santa Crus provides more options so you can choose hotel rooms at different price points.

Choices include the Hotel Boutique La Casa de Marita Galapagos at under $200 a night. Amenities include a free breakfast. Many guests report that the hotel is close to a number of good restaurants and to many activities.

However, others caution that it is far from traditional transportation options like taxis and ferries. Another popular option is the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn, which offers rooms for around $250 a night.

The hotel has water views, a breakfast buffet, and a casual restaurant and cafe on site. You can also enjoy modern offerings like wi-fi and big screen TVs.

Flight Cost

How much you’ll spend to get to the Galapagos will depend a lot on where you start. Flights from San Francisco to the island cost anywhere from $900 to $1,200.

You will likely have a layover in Quito that lasts several hours or overnight. Flights from New York to the Galapagos, surprisingly, may be a bit cheaper and more likely to yield a trip with shorter layovers.

Costs run from $700 to $1,100. Many people also get flights from the Ecuadorian mainland to the islands. These typically run around $300 per person.

Food, Drink & Activity Costs

A local restaurant that has signboard outside of the store beside parked bicycles, an image for the article about trip cost to the Galapagos Islands.

GALAPAGOS, ECUADOR – AUGUST 30, 2019 : Restaurant on main street of Santa Cruz island in Galapagos, Ecuador./Boris-B/Shutterstock

The Galapagos has an economy that depends heavily on tourism, so there are many great restaurants to choose from Seafood, pizza, Italian, and fast food are all common choices.

The Finch Bay Hotel has a fine dining menu with fixed prices. Expect to pay around $85 per person for a multicourse meal. If you opt for the wine pairing, add $40 per person.

Lookinf for something a little more casual and affordable? Head to an option like the Galapagos Deli in Puerto Ayora. Dining options include pizza, sandwiches, and ice cream for dessert.

El Jardin Plaza Gastronomica has a range of seafood and sandwiches for $10 to $20 per person at lunchtime. You can also buy drinks there for reasonable prices.

A bottle of sparkling water is about $3. Milkshakes are around $5. Expect to pay about $5 for a local half pint and $7 for an imported beer. You can also put together meals from grocery store foods to cut down on costs a bit.

One traveler who was there for several months reported subsisting on bread, cheese, canned tuna, and peanut butter for most meals. Recent reports say a 1 kg (about two pound) block of cheese is around $6, a loaf of bread $2.

You can buy eggs for around $2 a dozen and rice for $2 per kilogram. Many activities on the islands are highly controlled to keep wildlife safe.

Because of this, you are best off going on pre-organized tours. The rates on these will vary depending on what you want to do with your day. A full day of snorkeling and a tour of the island will cost a little under $300 per person.

Island tours that include fishing and some swimming may cost about $200 per person. Many people choose to do intensive multi-island tours that last multiple days.

An example of this is the one offered by 2Islands, which costs about $1,400 per person and spreads over five days. There are some things to do for free while you are there. The Charles Darwin Research Station is free to visit and open to the public.

You can also spend some time on the beach without having to pay to visit. May people recommend La Loberia, as it is a place with great, accessible snorkeling.

Do not discount the local markets as a place to walk and enjoy the sights. The Santa Cruz Fish Market is a prime location for sea lions and bird life.

Transportation Costs

Car rentals on the Galapagos Islands are rare. Because most of the islands are small, however, you are unlikely to want or need one.

Ferries from island to island are the most common form of transportation. The inter-island ferries, known as fibras or lanchas, run between destinations that include Santa Cruz Island, San Cristobal Island, and Isabela Island.

These multiple public ferries are run by a handful of private operators. You can pick up tickets in downtown shops and at ticket booths. In general, expect to pay between $25 and $35 per person each way.

There are also planes that do short hops from island to island. The most common carrier is EMETEBE, and they offer service every day but Sunday. There are strong restrictions on luggage size, with a maximum of 20 pounds per person.

The cost of a flight is a little under $200 each way. Water taxis are available in Puerto Villamil, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and Puerto Ayora.

Rates for trips start around $1 to $2 per person, but will go up if your destination is far outside town. Many people choose to get around on foot or by bike. You can rent bikes from a few different private companies.

Some offer hourly rates, but most will rent bikes by the day.

Expect to pay around $15 a day for bike rental. Many people who arrive in the Galapagos arrive on cruise ships. Rates on these vary significantly depending on the cruise line, the length of the trip and the time of year.

Look into various lines to see which one offers the sort of trip you are looking for. If you are arriving by ship, you will likely be able to get to excursions with transportation provided by the tour operators.

Things to Consider

A small sea turtle swimming at the bottom of the ocean, an image for the guide about the trip cost to the Galapagos Islands.


Here are some things to consider before booking a trip to the Galapagos Islands:

  • This is a remote destination. Be sure you have everything you need to be far from civilization for the length of your trip.
  • The Galapagos are a World Heritage site. Be conscious of this designation while you are there, as well as the requirements that keep the islands safe and thriving.
  • Be on the lookout for last minute discounts. This can sometimes be a way to get an experience you may otherwise have to pass up.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Here are some frequently asked questions to help you budget your Galapagos Islands trip:

Is the Galapagos worth going to?

If you are passionate about the outdoors, the Galapagos Islands are well-worth a visit. This is a great place to observe wildlife, go diving, or to hike in the wilderness.

Is a week in the Galapagos worth it?

There are many ways to experience these islands. Some people come out on a day trip or visit the islands overnight.

Others find that a multiday approach that brings them to several islands and several experiences is the best way for them to see this gem. If you have a week to spend, you can definitely fill it with once in a lifetime experiences.

What 4 things do you need to enter the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos are a carefully-protected natural setting. Because of this, the entry requirements to go there are strict.

Before you can enter, you’ll need to show four things: a ticket for your flight out and proof of accommodations, a valid passport, a TCT Transit Control Card, and a pre-registration form.

Why are Galapagos tours so expensive?

The Galapagos are an ecologically sensitive national park. Additionally, the remote location and the difficulty of maintaining sustainable tourism mean that visits here cost more than visits to the Ecuadorian mainland.

A part of your fees will also go to community development, ensuring that the people who live in the area benefit from visits there.

What is not allowed in Galapagos?

The Galápagos are ecologically sensitive. Because of this, smoking and campfires are strictly prohibited. This is to protect the native flora and fauna from the risk of wildfires. Additionally, fishing is only allowed on recreational tour boats. If you want to throw a line on the water, make sure you are on an approved vessel.

So, What Is the Average Trip Cost for the Galápagos Islands?

🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost$200 per night
✈️ Average Flight Cost$900 per person
🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities$200 per person, per day
🚕 Transportation$50 per person, per day
💲 Total Cost$6,700

The cost for a trip to the Galápagos costs, on average, around $6,700. This includes an average cost for food, lodging, activities, and your flights there and back.

Every vacationer’s choices are different, so your average cost will vary from what you see above. A visit to the Galápagos Islands is a bucket list trip for many, and it’s easy to see why.

If you have always wanted to walk the beaches Charles Darwin walked, take a look at options for every aspect of travel to learn how much you’ll have to put aside.

The costs can be high, but they are an investment in the future of this fragile and unique environment, and a chance to witness a sight few others ever get to see.

So, with so much to see and do and countless opportunities to see nature in ways you can’t experience anywhere else, what are you waiting for — book your trip to this amazing destination today. Happy travels!