Galapagos - Security

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Overall Crime and Safety:

The Galapagos Islands are generally safe and crime rates are low. Take
general precautions, lock your yacht, and be aware of your surroundings.

If intending to undertake an Island tour with a boat tour company (rather than your own boat), be sure to ask about safety features before making a booking, and check that lifeboats and life vests are provided.

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Galapagos was last updated 10 months ago.

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  1. May 17, 2022 at 7:57 PM
    jbecke1 says:

    Really had an amazing experience with Javier from Yacht Agents Galapagos. Javier and his team hooked us up from our arrival on san cristobal until our departure from Isabella, including some repairs and refit and locating and transporting parts from the mainland. Super fast and efficient. Also arranged all our tourism, and helped advise us on our best use of our time, checking in with us on the regular. Can’t recommend him enough.

  2. October 22, 2021 at 12:22 PM
    youroldnemesis says:

    I’ve just contacted an agent about entry in Feb 2022, it has left me with a few questions:
    1. Our hull was copper-coated 4 years ago – what does an antifoul certificate look like?
    2. What is an AIS certificate?
    3. Grey water tanks have been mentioned – I cannot believe that every cruising boat going through gpgs has grey water tanks installed – is this a very new thing? Is it a requirement on *all* yachts? Can any recent cruising visitors comment on this?

    1. December 2, 2021 at 7:54 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Hi Charlie, apologies for the delay in replying. Javier of Yacht Agents Galapagos confirms the following:

      1. The authorities want proof the vessel has been antifouled. This could be in the form of a certificate, invoice, or even a letter from the marina/boatyard where it was done.

      2. AIS is mandatory to visit the Galapagos. In order to verify the call sign and MMSI number of the vessel an AIS license or similar should be presented (boats are tracked all the time by the Coast Guard).

      3. There are no facilities for waste discharge in the Galapagos, so all vessel need holding tanks for black water (toilet). Grey water tanks (other waste water) are not mandatory for small vessels however those over 400GRT must have both systems.

  3. October 2, 2021 at 2:13 PM
    solosailingamelsharki says:

    In the Galapagos, on Isla Santa Cruz, in Academy Bay, there are banks of shinny ATM machines near the ferry terminal, restaurants, and shops. The local ATM transaction fee is $4.95 and you can only withdraw $100 at a time. However, on the other side of town, in an area not visited by tourists, the ATMs at the local bank charge $4.95 per transaction and you can withdraw $500 in each transaction. Just ask one of the National Park Tour Guides which bank they use and they will direct you.

  4. August 6, 2021 at 3:35 AM
    ymeignie says:

    Arguments to the question: Why sailing boat should not stop in Galapagos?

    To prepare our entry to Galapagos, including obtention of an autografo, we had contracted Yacht Services Galapagos, Javier Plua Rizzo.
    We arrive in Galapagos with our sailing boat in San Cristobal, coming from Panama on Wednesday, April 21st.
    In the morning, you have suddenly a taxi boat arriving to you with around 10 persons onboard!! When coming onboard, there were a doormat to clean the shoes before walking on the bridge, useless … In 2minutes your deck and your boat is dirty, thanks!!!!
    They check everything onboard; they open everything without asking permission … One even asks where the toilets are which he left dirty after use …
    One dive to see if the hull is clean. My hull was fully clean. Interesting to note that after one week in Baquerizo, my hull was dirtier than in any other port I have been, and not only of underwater natural things growing but by fuel on the waterline.
    One guy checked if we were insured third party liability, telling me that it is compulsory for all boats in Galapagos and even checked the value of the coverage …. (see later …).
    Just interesting to note that in the total payment done to the agent, there is globally 400 $ charged for inspection including 50 $ transportation in each port (water taxi is 1$/ head !!!) .
    In San Cristobal, one day we were walking in the city and from the pier, we saw a local motor yacht stacked side to our boat. We run back on board and saw that this motorboat has broken her buoy and drifted to mine and got stacked along mine damaging the hull (my boat is brand new 2 years, paint international yacht class) on port board side. it took around ½ hour for somebody form port authority and crew to arrive and remove the boat (named Andy , TN-01-00283).
    I had a meeting with the owner of Andy and my agent. Owner confirmed that he is not inured (he said: like all similar commercial boats in Ecuador), and that he has no money to indemnify me.
    After we wrote various declaration at port authority, with my agent and his lawyer.
    Based on pictures, the shipyard which built the boat made a repair evaluation at 7 800 €.
    Some days later, I saw the boat operating commercially.
    Nobody was doing pressure on the owner to push him for supporting the cost of compensation. After all, I am a foreign boat, will go out of Galapagos soon, so why doing the right thing when you can escape from it!!!!
    Four months after, nothing happened. The agent explains me that he is still depending on authorities?? I have really the impression that he is playing the equatorian side more than defending my interest.

    We went then in Isabella (inspection with only one person but still dirty shoes) and then Santa Cruz.

    Then a quick 3 days stop at Santa Cruz to buy food and go away form Galapagos. There the exit inspection looks like a bad movie. You have 4 guys coming onboard, including 2 military armed with machine gun, the hand on it ready to operate. They start to open, remove a lot of things without taking care…. We are not at war …. We are a tourist sailing boat, this is like a private house. With persons on board. Just imagine how afraid we can be!!!

    Globally the impression we had is that everything is done to capture your dollars. Every access, every excursion, the price is double for foreigners than for equatorian.
    Our agent in Isabella asked me 20 USD for garbage disposal. When you look, there is a free bin on the peer!!!
    We decided to go away from Galapagos without taking the opportunity of full timing of our Autografo.

    To come in Galapagos, the cost was around 3000 $ for all the documentation, fumigation and pcr test in panama, inspection, park fees, agent fees …. There is not a single place in the world with similar costs.
    And when you are there, you are badly treated.
    This just to see a couple of sea lions, birds, turtles, pinguins …. There is place much nicer in the world where you are welcome and not treated as a bank which need to be robbed ….

    This is my synthesis of a 3 weeks in Galapagos which, with the damages on my hull, has a cost of more than 10 000 US$.

    1. August 9, 2021 at 9:23 PM
      galapagosagent01 says:

      Hello Yves,

      I am really sorry that your experience visiting the Galapagos Islands was so disappointing and the events that unfolded were unfortunate. As a follow up, I am working directly with the officials and other agents to impress upon them the importance of treating visitors with respect and conviviality. After all, your boat is your home at sea.

      Please be assured I always represent my clients interest and will continue to advocate for you being compensated and keep you abreast of any developments with the authorities.

      Ultimately the decision depends on the maritime authorities (harbormaster office) to solve this matter and we have to wait.

      With kind regards,

      Javier Plúa Rizzo

    2. November 16, 2021 at 3:38 PM
      ymeignie says:

      Just to feel the efficiency : By sept 8th, my agent sent me the expert report and said that verdict should be given in following days . To day, more than 2 months later , no news and no answer from agent to my emails ……..
      For those preparaing to sail from Panama to French Polynesia in coming months, do not hesitate, sail direct without stop in Galapagos.

    3. April 13, 2022 at 7:07 AM
      ymeignie says:

      One year after the accident, Javier is just relaying vague response from authorities saying that it is under process. Basicaly just making sure the time goes.
      so just think why an agent is paid for if not to make sure it solves your problem when you have some.
      Javier is unable to dot it and i even believe he prefer not to solve my problem rather than fighting with authorities to solve it.
      suggestion ; avoid galapagos or take another agent.

    4. September 30, 2021 at 12:51 AM
      bobford says:

      Some years ago I was aware of the draconian entry requirements. Your experience confirms the worst. Avoided main island and authorities but enjoyed a visit to other islands. My children loved the wild life and no bitter memories ! Finally bailed up by a tourist boat so decided to leave for FatuHiva. My tip- check if they have gun boats ,with all 3rd world countries.

  5. June 18, 2020 at 9:54 PM
    cindy says:

    Due to all the Covid-19 we have been remiss in adding this comment. Our apologies for this being out of sequence date wise.

    We visited Galapagos in April 2020 for just over a month. We hired Javier Javier Plúa Rizzo with
    Galapagos Yacht Services – YachtGala as our Agent. Javier and his team were nothing short of fabulous.

    Javier answered questions we had about the entry paperwork and regulations. When we first hired him, he sent to us several documents he had made that explains the rules and regulations in a clear manner. Javier also sent information about each island (i.e.: anchoring, services, attractions).

    Prior to arrive we notified Javier and his team who then notified the Authorities of our arrival time. Within about two hours of arrival we had all of our inspections completed and we were free to go to shore (this was prior to Covid-19).

    During our visit Javier’s team worked with us to obtain fuel which was delivered to our boat on time as promised. We also asked to set up private tours for us on each island with English speaking guides. The tours were tailored to our needs and very informative.

    Javier is quick to respond to all inquiries and works hard to resolve any questions or issues. He meets each client personally and asks how they can improve their services.

    We found the islands of Galapagos to be a wonderful, once in a life time adventure that we are so happy we did not pass by. The people of Galapagos are kind and work hard to make visitors feel welcomed. The month there and the memories made will be with us for a lifetime.

    On a side note:
    We had left Galapagos and were half way to French Polynesia when Covid-19 shutdowns started happening around the world. Javier’s team reached out to us to see if we needed any help and to let us know about the situation ahead of us in French Polynesia. Something our Agent in French Polynesia had not done. I have never known an Agent to worry about their clients after they left the country. This went above and beyond and stands to show the quality of character of the people of Galapagos and Gala Yachts.

  6. June 18, 2020 at 9:10 PM
    cindy says:

    Isabela has an ATM now however, it does run out of funds on occasion and it will be a few days before it is refilled. Best to be prepared. Also, many times the new anchoring fees will not be charged until final departure (Check-out). Be sure to have enough cash to cover the fees.

  7. February 26, 2020 at 4:33 PM
    chrislewns says:

    I am planing a visit to the Galapagos islands in 2021. In view of the restrictions on entry I wondered if there are any restricted anti-fouling paints that should not be used or are banned? Should I take proof of the paint used? Any thoughts please.

    1. March 9, 2020 at 2:47 PM
      profile photo
      sue-richards says:

      Hi Chris, as far as I know there are no rules about the type of anti-foul foreign yachts can carry that visit the Galapagos. Yes, bring proof of paint used should it be asked for, however they are more concerned that your hull is clean from growth as per the regulations detailed on Noonsite.

  8. May 29, 2019 at 10:27 PM
    mariawadsworth says:

    S/Y Lady Jane
    April 2019

    We used Yacht Gala as our agent along with two other boats we were going to be travelling with. Javier was the quickest at responding and the emails were in good English.
    He sent through a list of what we were able to take into the Galapagos and what was not allowed, although the list was not extensive nor very descriptive. When we asked for further explanations he was quick to respond.

    We arrived in San Cristobal at 14.30 on a Friday afternoon, we had informed Yacht Gala of our ETA and upon arrival we messaged to say we were there. At about 15.30 Karina from Yacht Gala arrived on a water taxi and explained they thought we weren’t going to arrive until tomorrow so they couldn’t carry out clearance until the morning at 8am. She did take our fumigation certificate and our Zarpe from Panama so she could speed things up. This wasn’t a problem and we relaxed on board.
    The next day 8am came and went and after a couple of emails exchanged with Javier ( quickly responded to), at 11am the posse of 9 people arrived in a water taxi. 2 from Parks, 2 medical, 1 police, 2 port authorities 1 from immigration and Karina from Yacht Gala. There had been a mix up with what time they should meet on the pier. Only the 2 parks, 1 medical person and 1 port authority person came down below, the others stayed in the cockpit.
    Our very, very large Medical kit was inspected and mostly just glanced at as the young lady looked overwhelmed. Lots of questions asked by the Port Authorities/ about life jackets, flares, the engine . E.g what horse power was the engine? this was asked by 2 people, the answer was given and no one seemed to know the reason for asking the question.
    We do not have a holding tank on board but we have a composting toilet, we were asked our capacity for our black water tank and decided that best not to explain about the composting toilet, we just said it could last 2/3 months, no one questioned this… we didn’t think they knew much about holding tanks, only that they needed to ask the question. The Parks lady looked in my fridge, freezer ( she will have seen the frozen meat ). Some of the other boats we met had their frozen meat confiscated. She looked at our obvious beer supplies but didn’t ask to see anything else, or ask if we had any items that we weren’t supposed to bring in. She asked if we had a certificate to prove we’d had the hull cleaned recently but we just showed her photographs of the boat on the rails at Balboa Yacht Club and she seemed satisfied. The diver was not available to come and check out our hull. We had placed all the required labels on the boat concerning garbage. Green bag for organic waste, blue for recycling and black for non recycling. We filled in immigration forms, our passports were stamped. We all went back on the water taxi so Karina ( our agent), who spoke good English could show us where the office was. She also took us to get SIM and internet top up cards. The office is also the place to leave your bags of rubbish. However, there is no separation of garbage here and it was taken away by a local taxi driver to just around the corner. It would seem it is all lumped together.
    The garbage bins are coloured on San Cristobal but there are no signs telling tourists what the colours indicate, we only knew from a post on Noonsite. Karina told us that they send all their garbage to the mainland to be recycled. It all seemed to be going into the same bin truck when it was being collected.

    Diesel here is $3.80 per US gallon for visitors. We dropped our empty diesel cans at the office in the morning and they were delivered back to the boat by 2pm the same day. Much better than carrying them ourselves. You can’t get diesel directly into your boat here. Whilst we were here a Belgium boat arrived ( on an emergency, no agent and no autographo ) they had run out of fuel and wanted to buy diesel. They went ashore and were advised that they had to pay €1000, be cleared in and only then could they have a certificate to allow them to buy fuel. They asked if we could sell them some and we said we could let them have 20 litres. We were told by Yacht Gala that we were not allowed to buy it for them, this was a serious offence and we could be in trouble with the port captain. We don’t know what happened but we saw them being taken from the boat by the coast guard the next day around 4pm and they didn’t return until after 10.30pm. They didn’t come for the 20 litres that we said they could have. So don’t expect to stop here and buy fuel without going through the process.

    Yacht Gala people were very helpful and organised a taxi for us to go to the tortoise sanctuary, the volcano ( lake) and the beach . Cost was $60 with an hour at each place .

    The water taxis are good here at $1 per person per ride but they tend to stop about 6.30-7pm. If you want one later then try and arrange for them to be available for you before you get off. Channel 14 for all water taxis in the Galapagos. We kept our dinghy on the davits here because there are so many sea lions, make sure you put things on your transom to discourage them. The locals use barbed wire or wood with nails in!

    You need to give 24 hours notice to leave so they can arrange your Zarpe for the next island.

    There are two lots of public toilets on the sea front. Take toilet paper.


    When you go to Isabela you will need to contact the agents representative ( Steven was ours) who came out within 20 minutes of our arrival. He brought a port officer with him who asked to see all the fire extinguishers onboard and took photos of them. We have no idea why.

    The water taxis are $2 per ride, you can use your dinghy here because sea lions don’t tend to get in them but you still need defences on your boat transom. Be careful of the reefs here, a catamaran had put a whole in his keel the day before we arrived as he didn’t see the reef or realise the tide dropped by about 2 metres. The dinghy dock is not the best because you can’t tie up to the floating dock, this is purely for the tour boats to drop off and pick up, you also need to put out your dinghy anchor. Each time we went with our dinghy it seemed like the local boats were trying to make it more difficult for us to leave our dinghies here. They tend to bring their boats up into the sand here, scrape the bottoms and anti foul them, with all the old and new anti foul going straight into the water… there’s not much care taken with the environment by the local boat owners. One of the local boats on a mooring buoy seemed to be leaking diesel when we were there.

    There are public toilets here ( and also in the town, near the beach) and also garbage disposal, we were told that they do not recycle here and this is because they are waiting for the election of a new Mayor who they hope will put recycling in place. We had to pay $10 pp ( for the duration of your stay) to use the toilets and leave our garbage. We only got asked to pay this on our 4th day. The taxis into town are $1 each and to the beginning of the walk towards the wall of Tears will cost $5 (total) .
    When we left here we had to pay $20 for our Zarpe because it was a Saturday. It’s usually $10. This anchorage is lovely and calm, most of the time.

    Santa Cruz
    Next Stop was Santa Cruz, there are no inspections here but you still need to let the agent (Danny) know you have arrived. He speaks a little English, although he came with a colleague ( Gustavo) and he speaks very good English. They told us we couldn’t get dinner diesel here, but we asked if we could get some petrol for the outboard. The agent arranged to get 5 litres of petrol but they had to buy it for themselves as it’s not available for foreigners. Cost was $7. They seemed to think the reason was because it’s shipped in and they may not have enough for the locals if visitors are able to buy it. When we left here we had to pay $10 for the clearing in and $10 for clearing out.
    This anchorage is very rolly and uncomfortable, it’s probably ok if you have a catamaran but on a monohull it can drive you mad! We didn’t put a stern anchor out because it was quite deep there and there were lots of boats. We saw one boat with a stern anchor out and that was a local sailing yacht. Reasonably good supermarket on the front and good fresh fruit and veg shops ( also butchers stalls) further in land. Taxis here cost $1.50 to go anywhere in the town. Water taxis are $0.80 pp during the day and $1 pp at night, they run 24/7 and are very reliable.
    There is a boat that will collect your garbage from your vessel, just call ‘Garbage boat’ on channel 16, there is a charge depending on the amount of garbage. You can take your garbage to the town, there are clearly marked bins here for “recycling” and large bins opposite the supermarket. They seem to class recycling as anything, this includes plastic bags, tectra packs. The only things that seem to be non recycling is wet tissues. This is another reason why we didn’t thing they really recycled.

    Public toilets (15 cents each ) are available opposite the pier.

    We thought that the Galapagos was a very different place to visit and we actually liked the people, but it was not at all what we expected. If we’ve missed something then it may be on our website

  9. February 25, 2019 at 5:41 PM
    Data Entry1 says:

    We spent a month and a half in Galapagos from Jan 12th to Feb 23rd.

    We hired Javier Piua Rizzo from YachtGala as an agent and everything was perfect.
    We paid about $2200 for the autografo, the extension above the 30 days limit and all the agency fees, government fees etc. Javier has an American, Equatorian and PayPal account which makes it really simple. All was payable upon arrival, no money to pay in advance.

    We had to do the initial entry in Puerto Baquerizo on San Cristobal, where we met Carmela Romero, his agent on the island. She handled everything for us and took care of the trash for free for the duration of our stay. Our fumigation certificate was outdated, but the guy in charge was nice enough to give us a new one without doing it for real, we still had to pay the extra $120, but the inside of the boat wasn’t ruined.
    The sanitary inspection is very weird, we had chia seeds in two bottles, one labelled “chia” and the other labelled “rice”, and the first one was taken (obviously), but. they did not take the second one! The bottom of the hull must be really really clean as well, a diver will check almost every squared centimetre of the boat. If you don’t comply with this, you’ll have to sail 40nm away (they check it on the AIS) and do it in open water (which is not really fun).

    When we sailed from island to island, we always had the zarpes in less than 5 hours, which was really nice, and no problem at all when we arrived. All the security checks were handled by the local agent: Danny Bunenao on Santa Cruz and Steven on Isabela. The tarps were $15,75 for the clearance out and another 15,75 for the clearance in.
    Yachtgala seems a bit overpriced compared to other agencies, but the service is worth it. Javier speaks perfect English if needed, and has very well done documents about everything important there: how to get fuel, were to anchor exactly, what to do and not to do etc. The rules there can be pretty strange, so those documents are more useful than what they look like!

    They also organised some repairs on the boat with a carpenter and an electrician at no additional cost and were always available whenever we had a problem or a question.

    I would strongly recommend this agency if the extra money can be afforded.

  10. August 16, 2018 at 6:39 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    Based on recommendations here, we engaged Bolivar Pesantes as our agent in May 2018. Unfortunately, we did not have a good experience.

    As svblueeye noted, Bolivar told us that we needed an autographo as the one-port stop without autographo was no longer possible. He emailed us an itemised list of fees and we went ahead. An hour before arriving in San Cristobal at 11 have we notified Bolivar of our impending arrival but had to wait till 3 pm for his response which meant check-in with the officials the next day. Not a huge deal, but we know others had to wait a long time too. The biggest problems:
    1. Bolivar overcharged us. When he asked us to pay the full amount (cash of course!) before the officials arrived, we didn’t have internet access to check against his emailed list of fees. When we did, we found he had overcharged us $170. Total $2095 instead of $1925, so already more expensive than any other agent we contacted. He also didn’t mention that we would need to pay an extra $200 when checking out of Isabela.
    2. Bolivar did quote the fees that needed to be paid between the three islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela but didn’t tell us we needed to get zarpes (clearances) when travelling between each island. Once we discovered the above-overcharged amount, we emailed Bolivar to check whether this was to cover the inter-island fees but didn’t hear back. When his agent Ronny Sanchez came to our boat in Santa Cruz, we said as far as we knew we had sorted everything with Bolivar and didn’t need to pay any more money. Again, Ronny did not mention the need for zarpes.

    When we arrived in Isabela, the Port Captain said this had happened before – Bolivar overcharging yachties and failing to mention and complete the zarpe process. The Port Captain asked us to file a formal complaint, which we did.

    We’re still unsure as to whether or not the middle option at the top of this page is still possible, one-port stop without autographo. We will post an update if we hear back from the Port Captain, but while we have limited internet access we wanted to post our experiences of dealing with Bolivar. After discussing with other yachties over the past two months, we found that they had similar experiences but did not want to post here on noonsite. I know it doesn’t feel nice to complain especially to contradict positive comments, but I’d encourage you to so that our big community of sailors can find out about these things. We’re “all in the same boat”!

  11. July 27, 2018 at 10:09 PM
    Data Entry1 says:

    We visited the Galapagos in February/March 2018 and used Ricardo Arenas as the agent. Arrival at San Cristóbal was smooth. His representative (Carmela Romano) met our boat 20 minutes after we anchored and all the officials came on board at 8 am the next day. When we wanted to fuel, she had it delivered to the boat in 45 minutes at $3.75/gal. She was helpful in directing us to various services and got the zarpe in a timely manner. We could not have been happier.

    At Santa Cruz, Stefanie was less accommodating. She came out for our zarpe shortly after we arrived, but didn’t return until the next day, leaving us not knowing when she would return. She was late getting our zarpe to Isabela and told us to go to the port captain’s office upon arrival. We did and were scolded for leaving the boat and told that we had to have an agent and should not have gotten off the boat. Fortunately, we were helped through this by another agent not representing Arenas, James Hinkle. Evidently, Arenas pulls this stunt frequently and has no one representing him on Isla Isabela.

    James can be found at the Booby Trap bar and restaurant and is a great resource. He bailed us out of a bad situation. The Booby Trap has good food, too. Isabela is no longer a port of entry and there is no immigration on the island. We paid an agent to come from Santa Cruz. Although it started well, I would not use Arenas again as an agent.

  12. March 6, 2018 at 9:09 PM
    Data Entry1 says:

    NEW FEES 2018
    Local Galapagos Authorities are now charging a new TAX for sailboats entering the Galapagos. Known as a “VESSELS CONTROL PASS” it costs US$140.00 – to be paid in cash on arrival. This is in addition to the current fees.

  13. May 17, 2017 at 4:35 PM
    Data Entry1 says:

    It goes without saying that things change in the archipelago often, but this is what we learnt from our visit to the Galapagos in May 2017.
    – We contacted Bolivar about using his agency services for our desired 20-day stopover. He told us – unless there was a significant amount lost in translation – boats could only visit the Galapagos with an autographo.

    – We contacted Johnny Romero and he said the one port stop was fine, and even said we could go to Isabella, as we initially desired, and there would be no issues with clearance and with obtaining diesel. We changed our minds about Isabella, which is lucky because he emailed our satphone as we were en route to say that we must, in fact, come to Santa Cruz. Once we were there, it seemed we had no choice but to stay, which was alright by us as we had engine troubles. Unfortunately for some friends of ours on another boat, they arrived in Isabella under the admission of Johnny, only to swiftly asked to leave for Santa Cruz where they must clear in. They then also had to stay there.

    – We never actually met Johnny Romero but dealt with his agent Javier who was friendly and competent.
    – The inspection for us – and for other boats, we talked to – was very relaxed. One official snorkelled around the boat with a GoPro, which had us very worried as a lot of our antifoul had been sacrificed in our scrubbing, but he deemed everything satisfactory.
    – Of the four other officials on board, they checked nothing in any detail and only asked us to fill in paperwork and tell them how long we’d like to stay. However, they did note that the boat was clean and that the garbage disposal system was in place, so these aspects are clearly important. Everybody, as we had read to expect, was very friendly.

    – It was not at all a problem that we had not been fumigated (we didn’t want to waste the money in Panama after reports that a fumigation certificate there is invalid in the Galapagos – we cannot confirm whether or not this would have been the case in Santa Cruz). We paid $80 to be fumigated the next day, which took no time at all and was very easy to arrange through our agent.
    – Diesel is $3.50 per gallon if delivered to the boat, and you have to pay for a $50 fuel permit. All in cash. Alternatively, you can obtain this permit from your agent and take jerry cans in a taxi to the gas station, where it was $1 per gallon at our time of being there. For some reason, we still had to pay $2 per gallon as per the fuel permit, but it was worth it for the money we saved and only an hour of work.

    – Also, we were able to use our dinghy and the dinghy dock in Santa Cruz. There is a risk of a sea lion making a bed of it, though this only happened to us once over three weeks. Otherwise, it is $0.80 per person for the taxis who you can call on Channel 14.

    Overall, we would still recommend boats prepared for a vigorous inspection – particularly if going to San Cristobal where perhaps it is more strict – despite our experience. The state of the hull and the cleanliness of the cabin, along with the garbage disposal system, appear to be top of the priorities for the inspectors. Speak to your agent before you arrive and ensure you stay in constant contact with them during your passage over, and your time there.

    Most of all, enjoy. It is a sensational place, which you can read about in our blog at

  14. May 23, 2016 at 6:01 PM
    Data Entry1 says:

    Today we leave one of the most amazing places we have ever visited…
    We used Johnny Romero as our agent he was excellent and is also the agent for Fed Ex and TNT which proved very useful when we needed parts delivered, however, be aware that he is not good at replying to email…don’t panic he will have organised things, he just will not tell you…
    We had to stay here for an extra few weeks, six weeks in total and my advice would be to plan to stay here for as long as you can…It is worth it.

    A couple of people who also helped us and might prove useful…
    Luis Veno. Mechanic +593 984174370. Fixed the water pump on our Volvo Penta and was excellent value. Santa Cruz

    Martin Schreyerg +593 998795455, can solve most problems, speaks great English. Santa Cruz
    James Hunkle, Booby Trap Cafe, Isabela. Channel 67 VHF. Again can solve most problems
    My final point. Do not be put off by the cost or the hoops you have to jump through. It is worth it when you get here and all the officials have been charming and helpful to us.

  15. March 8, 2016 at 9:34 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    Arriving in the Galapagos without an Autographo:
    Some yachts have reported from the Galapagos that they have encountered problems arriving with a clearance from Panama to the Galapagos. Read noonsite’s formalities information carefully before arrival. Yachts arriving at the Galapagos without an Autographo and no agent pre-arranged, are considered “in transit” and should have clearance from Panama to the next foreign port after the Galapagos (e.g. Marquesas).

  16. April 3, 2015 at 7:23 PM
    Data Entry1 says:

    We are about to leave Galapagos and I would be remiss if I did not offer my comments. We used the agent Johnny Romero to obtain an Autographo, for 1 month (all we needed) and 3 ports. Admittedly, it was a bit pricey, but it is mostly government fees, and proportional to boat length, tonnage and the number of crew. In our case, we arrived with 5 people, 3 people flew out, and 1 crew flew in to join us for our sail to the Marquesas. We cleared in at Cristobal, sailed to Santa Cruz and then at Isabella.

    Johnny’s sister and brother took care of our clearances and tour on Cristobal. We met Johnny himself at Santa Cruz, where he took care of formalities and diesel (pumped into our tanks). He also took care of our Zarpe to Isabella and finally, our International clearance to leave Isabella. Johnny is a very well connected and efficient clearance agent. I can positively recommend him and dealing with him has been a very positive experience. He is a busy man, but his command of the English language also made this an advantage. Kudos to Johnny Romero.

  17. March 4, 2015 at 12:40 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    We are still in Panama and I contacted the well-known agent by mail …
    Now, what he states is not at all what this website says about some points of the entry requirements and the “prices”
    Some examples…

    First, his fee is 200$ non-negotiable… So NOT a max of 150$ as state above …

    I was interested in the 12h “free” stay to take food, water and diesel, etc …

    A one day stay will cost you over 600$

    To have diesel one need a four day period to obtain the “paperwork” ????

    “the 12 hr. does not exist and if you need fuel it takes 4 days to get the dispatch order”

    He also states one need a Medical certification … a new thing …

    “Here in Galapagos the situation is different, we have changed at least once a month if not daily. Does Noonsite mention anything about a pre-medical inspection now in all Galapagos Ports?”

    Good luck guys…

  18. January 13, 2015 at 2:30 PM
    Data Entry1 says:

    Posted as seen on the Pacific Puddle Jump – Thursday, January 8th, 2015
    We just arrived in the Galapagos on the 1st. Bananas and pineapples….we were told to put into the refrigerator. They saw tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. Never looked in the refrigerator….never looked in the freezer.
    WAY more interested in making sure that there are ABSOLUTELY no barnacles on the bottom of your boat!

  19. March 24, 2014 at 10:46 AM
    Data Entry1 says:

    A new Port Captain was appointed in Puerto Villamil mid-March 2014, and to begin with, was interpreting the rules differently and not permitting boats without an Autographo to clear-in there. However, this has now been resolved and boats without an Autographo can once more clear-in at Isabela and be granted a one-island 20-day stay. See the formalities page for further information.

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