5. Once you arrive on Santa Cruz, you have a choice of a bus for $5 per person or a taxi (which will be a white pick-up truck for some unknown reason) for $25. It’s a 25-minute ride, and we opted to spend the extra $15 (for two people) to go to our hotel without stops.

Galapagos Entry


To get the Galapagos, you need to fly through either Quito or Guayaquil. Before you go to the airport, find an online form called: “Pre-registro TCT.” It has options in English and in Spanish. On the left side of the page click on Pregistro and then select Individual form. This is actually a very-well designed form once you find it, though it is much easier to complete on your laptop or a hotel computer than on your phone. Complete an individual entry form for each person in your party. You will need all of your itinerary and passport information (hotels and cruise ship names, check-ins and check-out dates, and flight information so be forewarned.) When you get to the airport, you’ll find a long line of people waiting to get their TCT cards. These people, by and large, did not find the form online so it’s a slow line. You will need your passport, your boarding pass or ticket, and $20 in cash (Ecuador uses US currency) for each passenger traveling to get your entry card. Avoid stress by getting to the airport 3 hours early. Really. If you have a Priority Pass lounge card (highly recommended–comes free with a number of American Express Cards) the Quito airport has a selection of several very nice lounges to relax in if you do have time. Bring cash. You will need to pay $100 cash for each US citizen entering the Galapagos ($50 for citizens of some South American countries). There is one ATM in the Galapagos airport. It does not always work. You will also need cash ($5.00) to buy a bus ticket to get from the airport on Baltra Island to the ferry terminal. You will then need another $1.50 to buy a ferry ticket to cross the channel to Santa Cruz. None of this is particularly difficult or stressful as long as you have cash in hand and know what to expect.


Final Thoughts There’s an old story about a young actor who was filming his first movie role, playing a butler serving the movie’s lead. He was very confident in his performance until the director came over to give him some notes. “Less acting,” said the director, “A good butler is invisible.” In the Galapagos, nature will always be the star of the show. Metropolitan Touring and the crew of the Isabella II are both director and butler. They make all the behind-the- scenes decisions to make sure you experience the Islas Encantadas in the best way possible, and are always there invisibly, unobtrusively, to meet your every need before you even know you have it. As an avid cruiser and the CEO of a company in the cruise business for twenty years, I have been to a lot of places and on many ships. This was by far my very favorite voyage of all time. I hope you get to experience these incredible islands and that you enjoy them as much as I did.



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