UPDATE: As of Monday, 3/16/20, the Environmental Ministry of Ecuador has restricted all visitors to the Galapagos National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve. All visitor sites are closed, and all foreign visitors are leaving the Islands today. We recommend periodically checking the website for the US Embassy in Ecuador for travel restriction updates, as well as the Environmental Ministry’s website for updates specific to Galapagos and other parts of Ecuador, as the situation is fluid and changing rapidly.
If you’re planning to travel to Ecuador in the near future, and specifically to Galapagos, we recommend taking the steps listed below prior to your trip. Government policies are changing frequently during the COVID-19 outbreak, and several resources may be useful in staying up to date on the latest developments.
- If you’ll be traveling through a tour company, there’s a good chance they have contacted you already to either alert you of any changes to your itinerary and country entry requirements, or to tell you what steps they’ll be taking to ensure your safety. If you haven’t heard from your tour company yet, we recommend contacting them directly (the same is true if you booked through a travel agent; call your agent).
- Bookmark the website for the US Embassy in Ecuador in your web browser and periodically check for updates that may affect your travel plans: https://ec.usembassy.gov/. Their posts and alerts contain useful links to the US State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and other important government entities (see their March 6 alert for an example).
- Periodically check the Galapagos Governing Council website for the latest news and restrictions for travelers entering the Islands.
- Track the spread of COVID-19 in Ecuador using Johns Hopkins University’s real-time map, which includes the number of active and recovered cases worldwide.
We cannot make specific travel recommendations, but staying informed with the above and other resources will help travelers to be prepared and have the information they need to make their own decisions. If you have a specific question or comment, please send us an email.