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Galápagos Health & Safety

Touring the Galápagos can be a mentally and physically exhausting vacation. The long flights, extended periods of time on a moving boat and drastic changes between land and sea temperatures can all take their toll on the body. Here are some tips to keeping healthy.


The two most common ailments for Galápagos visitors are overexposure to the sun and seasickness. Sunscreen and motion sickness medicines are available in Puerto Ayora or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, but it’s better to bring your own.


What to bring:

  • Sunscreen. Galapagos gets very hot and sunny.
  • Sunburn relief gel or ointment. In case you forget to apply the sunscreen.
  • Seasickness medicine. Bring your own or check and see if your cruise has it. A motion sickness medicine called Mareol is available in Galapagos and mainland Ecuador pharmacies.
  • Aspirin or other mild pain reliever. Some of the hikes can be strenuous, and you'll want it if you get into a high-energy soccer game with the crew.
  • Lomotil or other anti-diarrheal medicine. Hey, you never know.
  • Any prescription medicines you need.


What not to bring:

  • Antimalarial medicine. Although there are mosquitoes in Galápagos, none of them are carriers of malaria or dengue fever, so you don’t have to worry about bringing medicine. Parts of mainland Ecuador are risky for malaria and other ailments, so if your trip will take you to other parts of Ecuador, you may want medicine.


Medicial Facilities in Galapagos


Medical facilities and pharmacies on Puerto Ayora are decent, if you are close to them. The town’s hospital offers basic medical services, but it is not very modern or well-stocked.There is a 24-hour clinic on San Cristóbal and a small clinic on Isabela as well. You can usually find an English speaking doctor at the hospitals.


The hyperbaric chamber/clinic offers 24-hour care for diving emergencies and serious burns. Dr. Gabriel Idrovo and Dr. Ramiro Lopez specialize in hyperbaric medicine, but they also provide general medical consultations during their regular office hours (9:30-13:30 and 15:30-19:30). Since it is a private facility that counts on only a small percentage of its funding from local scuba-diving operators, they may ask tourists that use the clinic to give a small contribution in addition to the $20-30 consultation fee.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to The Galápagos Islands: Parrot Fish, Sea Birds - Galápagos, Fish in the Galápagos, Post Office Bay Visitor Site, Flightless Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Flamingo, White-Tail Damselfish, Galapágos Penguin and Nazca Booby.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
29 Mar 2011

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