Debarkation and Airport

What To Pack

A few thoughts on packing. Dress aboard is very casual, so focus more on the practical than fashion. Weather is hot so less is more, but light long-sleeves and even lightweight long pants can be a good option for sun protection if that's an issue for you. It's important to remember that you will likely be showering/changing clothes several times per day after snorkeling and hiking, so bring more changes of t-shirts and underwear that you think you need. A clothes dryer is available on the top deck, and I should have taken advantage of this as damp clothing dried very slowly in the cabin. Hiking boots take up a lot of space when traveling and I always think carefully before committing to drag a pair around with me for the duration of a trip. However, in this case I would definitely recommend bringing them for the rugged trails and lava fields. You can get away with sneakers, but I appreciated having thick soles and ankle support. Boat shoes, sport sandals and closed-toe sport sandals can all come in handy onboard, around town, or in the Zodiacs. Sun hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are necessities, and a lot of the locals also sported tubular face-coverings for extra protection. Very nice metal water bottles are provided on board as are small branded backpacks, but I was happy with my own $20 folding day-pack from Amazon to carry these plus a few other items--extra sun screen, etc. I did not bring any insect repellent, and was fortunate that other passengers were able to give me some. Considering how much of this voyage was about watching wildlife, ironically the only things I really regretted bringing along were two small pairs of binoculars that never came in handy at all.

On the last morning of our cruise, we put our bags out in front of the cabin door and headed down for breakfast. We had a little bit of time in the cabin afterward before taking the Zodiacs to the pier on Baltra Island. From there we took the short shuttle bus back to the airport where our bags were waiting. Our nature guides and other crew members were there to help, and to escort us to a very pleasant VIP airport lounge, open to the outside air but with large ceiling fans that helps keep us cool. As the surprises keep coming in the Galapagos, there was even an iguana there to greet us. (We were told she wanders in from time to time and they give her water and food). Non- alcoholic beverages, snack food verging on a full meal were available free, and alcoholic beverages were available for purchase. The airport has a nice selection of souvenir shops, which surprisingly seemed to be a little less over-priced than in Porto Arroyo. We had a pleasant time shopping and relaxing in the lounge as we waited for our flight back to the mainland in Quito.

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