Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.


Most Commonly Asked Questions


More Specific Subjects

Use this Search Bar to find a subject or item quickly on the Dreamkapture website.

Frequently Asked Questions

When planning a visit to new place, especially a foreign country, it is perfectly normally to have many questions. This is why Dreamkapture Travel provides you with this easy guide to the often asked questions about preparing to go to the Galapagos Islands.

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about cruises in the Galapagos. We have separated the questions in two groups: “Most Commonly Asked Questions” and “More Specific Subjects.”

If you have a question which is not addressed here you can always contact us, and we will happy to answer your question. Contact Us


Most Common Questions:

When is the best time to visit the Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands are a year round destination and can be visited during any time of the year.

The high seasons are generally considered to be mid-December through January and June through August, as this is when most foreign visitors arrive, but visiting year-round is no problem.

In the Galapagos, peak tourist periods are June to August, December to January and around Easter. The wildlife is always there, and you can see birds courting and young in their nests during any month. The exception are waved albatrosses, which leave en masse in mid-December and stay at sea until late March.

The warmest season is December to June with air temperatures 77°F to 90°F / 25ºC to 32ºC. The water temperature during this period ranges from 68°F to 80°F / 20ºC to 27ºC. From December to June is the warm season better for snorkeling.

From July through November air temperatures vary from low 68°F to 80°F / 20ºC to 27ºC.

The water temperature during this period ranges from 64°F to 75°F / 18ºC to 24ºC. June to December is the cooler season better for wildlife viewing.

Monthly Tempaeratures in Fahrenheit.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High Air Temperature 84 86 84 82 82 78 76 74 76 77 78 80
Low Air Temperature 70 74 74 72 72 68 66 64 62 64 66 68
Average Water Temperature 74 76 76 76 74 74 72 66 68 70 72 74
Average Rainfall (inches) 1 1 2 1.5 .75 .25 .5 .25 .5 .25 .5 .5

No matter which time of the year you go, there is always lots of wildlife to be seen.

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What should I bring to Ecuador?

This can vary depending on what you are planning on doing in Ecuador during your visit and which part of the country you will be spending most of your time.

Here is a helpful list of the important things to bring with you to the Ecuador.

  • In General bring:
    • Sunscreen
    • Sunglasses
    • Small backpack
    • Camera and binoculars
    • Extra film, memory cards, discs
    • Spare batteries or charging device
    • Medication which you may be taking
    • Insurance documentation
    • Passport and copies, preferrably color, of your passport
    • Money (US$ cash)
    • Credit and / or Debt Cards
    • Hat
    • Shorts
    • Long pants
    • T-shirts and/or Tank tops
    • Long and Short sleeved shirts
    • Wind breaker / light raincoat
    • Bathing suit or swimming shorts
    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • Flip Flops or sandals
    • Luggage with wheels or a backpack.
  • Highlands (Quito, Cuenca, etc.)
    • You will need warmer clothing!
    • Jacket or a winter coat
    • Sweater, Hoodie, warmer shirts
    • Hiking boots, water resistant preferrably

  • Additional items:
    • Unlocked Smartphone
      • You can buy a prepaid sim card with an Ecuadorian phone number to use while you are in the country.
      • With the Smartphone you will be able to access Internet where it is available (most hostels and hotels)
        • Apps for your phone like Viber, Whats App, etc. will work internationally.
      • Tablet or Pad
    • Pocket Spanish Phrase and Translation Book (Not a dictionary)
      • You will find this immensly useful in all situations.

You can find most of things easily available for purchase here in Ecuador, so you can acquire what you may need when the time comes. You shouldn't feel that you need to bring everything from home.

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Are there things I should not bring?Do Not Bring

There are things which you will probably be better off not bringing to Ecuador.

The Do Not Bring List:

  • Travelers Checks: Nobody wants to cash these in Ecuador, not even the banks. You are better off bringing a credit card with ATM capabilities.

  • Foreign Money: It is better that you come to Ecuador with United States dollars. You can change Euros, but the exchange rate will not be good. The ATM's here will dispense US dollars, and will make a better exchange rate automatically. Other foreign currency is extremely difficult to exchange. You will find banks (bancos) and ATMs (cajero automatico) in almost every city. Only the very small towns may not have either of these.

  • $50 and $100 bills can be a curse here. $20 bills and smaller are better. You will find the stores and businesses may be reluctant to make change for big bills. Taxi drivers are notorious for not having change and it is best to have small bills to pay the exact fare to avoid problems.

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What is included in the cruise price?

What is included can vary from ship to ship. But here are list of the basic items on all ships.

Prices includes ALL of the following:

  • Bilingual Naturalist guide for the entire cruise
  • All meals on board
  • Water, coffee, and Tea
  • The Excursions  specified in itinerary
  • Accommodations in a double cabin

Below are additional items which could be included depending on the ship you choose. We will confirm what will be included on the ship of your choice prior to your purchasing a cruise.

  • Snorkeling equipment (mask, fins, and snorkel... these are available on all ships but is usually as a rental, especially on Tourist and Tourist Superior cruises)
  • Wetsuits (Wetsuits are usually a rental for about $5 per day of use. The Luxury ships normally include these as part of your cruise.)
  • Snacks after excursions. Normally there are always snacks.

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What is not included in the cruise price?

Unless an item is specifically stated in a promotion, your cruise will not include:

  • INGALA Migration card ($10; obtained at the airport in either Quito or Guayaquil)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100; purchase in airport in the Galapagos)
  • Airfare from the mainland of Ecuador to the Galapagos ($430 - $540 depending on departure city and season)

    These items vary from ship to ship

  • Alcohol and Soft drinks
  • snorkeling equipment
  • wetsuits

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What is the difference between cruises?

This question can be applied to several specific characteristics of the choices you have when deciding on a Galapagos cruise.

There are differences in the class of ship, style of the ship, what the ship provides to its passengers, itineraries, number of days of the cruise, and cost.

Class of ship:

There are 4 classes is cruise ships: Tourist, Tourist Superior, First, & Luxury. The most significant differences among the cruises is going to be...

  • Space aboard the ship. Space can be a critical comfort issue with some people. Spaces in the cabins, in the common rooms, and the deck will depend on the physical size of your ship. The better the class the more space you are going to have. First and Luxury Classes are going to have bigger ships, often with the same number of passengers as the smaller ships.but not necessarily more people.


  • Quality and Quantity of Service. Much like a hotel the better the class the more extras you will have. With each step up in class you will have... better food, better guides, better rooms, a better ship! Also you will find extras items included such as: buffet style meals, snorkeling equipment or wetsuits included, additional presentations about the Galapagos, and many of the Luxury class ships have kayaking available.


  • Destinations. Some destinations are only reached by First and Luxury class ships. This is due to the speed of the ship and the cost of fuel. Isabela and Fernandina islands are examples of this. These are both fantastic places, but there is a cost involved in getting there. Otherwise the destinations visited are the same among all classes.

  • The operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without warning due to weather conditions, National Park regulations or unforeseeable circumstances.

  • Type of Ship. There are four basic styles of ships cruising the Galapagos: Motor Sailboats, Catamarans, Yachts, and Cruise Ships. Use the links to learn more about each type of ship.


  • Number of Days in the Cruise. There are several choices for the duration of days in a cruise and the different options allow for different budgets and time schedules. You can find 4, 5, and 8 day options are the most common among the ships. Each ship has its specific itinerary and some ships will have 6 and 15 day options available.

Is a 5 day cruise better than a 4 day?

This depends on the itinerary of the ship. There are places in the Galapagos which are of more interest than others. Often the 4 day cruises will visit the places which are more geologically unique, are animal abundant, and are the least impacted by humans. An 8 day cruise is the best way to see the most in the Galapagos. On an 8 day cruise you will see the entire scope of the particular ship's itinerary. In conclusion: between a 4 and 5 day cruise... more does not always mean better. Our sales staff can explain the difference between the 4 and 5 day options on any particular cruise you like.

  • Cost. This is simple, the higher the class of ship, the more the cost is going to be. Also 4 days are going to be less expensive than a 5 day or an 8 day cruise. Some of the cost involved with the Galapagos are the same regardless of which cruise you choose. These are the Park Permit $100 and the INGALA Transit card $10. Airfare varies between airlines also with the time of the year (season).
  • Price Ranges:

    • Tourist Class: 
      • 4 days: $570 - $750 +
      • 5 days: $650 - $880 +
      • 8 days: $1070 - $1400 +


    • Tourist Superior:
      • 4 days: $650 - $880 +
      • 5 days: $850 - $1200 +
      • 8 days: $1120 - $1450 +


    • First Class:
      • 4 days: $760 - $1150 +
      • 5 days: $960 - $1500 +
      • 8 days: $1600 - $2100 +


    • Luxury Class:
      • 4 days: $1100 - $3000 +
      • 5 days: $1200 - $3800 +
      • 8 days: $1900 - $6000 +

The above prices ranges are provided as a reference guide only and are not intended as exact prices for cruises, and they Do Not include the cost of park permits or flight tickets.

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Can I start and end my cruise on the same days I am flying?

YES you can!
On the day your cruise is beginning or ending there will be an airport pick up and drop off. This is to pick up new passengers to begin their Galapagos cruise and to return other passengers to the airport to depart the Galapagos.

This is the normal procedure with all the ships in the Galapagos. If you are beginning your cruise on the same day you arrive in the Galapagos you will be picked up in the airport by a representative of the ship. If you are flying out on the day you end your cruise you will be provided transportation to the airport in time for your departure flight.

*There are exemptions to this. There are some cruises that finish later on the last day and would require your departure flight be the next day. Also there are flights that arrive too late in the day to begin your cruise that same day.

Dreamkapture Travel arranges airline flights to the Galapagos for the same price as the airlines. When you book with Dreamkapture Travel, we make certain that you are on a flight / airline that does not conflict with your cruise schedule. This can be extremely critical if you only have a set amount of time to visit the Galapagos.

Let Dreamkapture Travel arrange you flight needs after you have decided on a cruise. It is always best to purchase you cruise first and then the flight. This way you do not restrict you cruise options and Dreamkapture can work with cruise ship for reserved seats on the airlines.

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More Specific Questions:

Air-conditioning

Most ships have Air Conditioning. Only a few of the Tourist Class and one or two of the Tourist Superior Class do not have air conditioning. If this is important to you, check the specification on the web page for the ship(s) you are interested in, and it will be stated there.

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Airport Assistance

We provide you simple step by step instructions to guide you through the mainland airports. Once you arrive in the Galapagos, a representative from your selected ship will be looking for you. They will normally have a sign with the ship's name on it. When all the new guests are gathered you will then be shuttled to the ship to begin your Galapagos cruise adventure.

First Class and Luxury cruises will also assist you with your luggage in the Galapagos airports.

In Guayaquil, Airport pick-up is available by a private service which Dreamkapture can arrange for you. There is an additional cost for this service of $15 per vehicle required ( it can be more if there is a longer wait for your arrival). You need to confirm with Dreamkapture to arrange this and provide your name, flight number, arrival time, number of people in the group, and the amount of luggage you are traveling with.

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ATM's and Banks in the Galapagos

There are ATM's and Banks in the Galapagos, BUT there are only a few.

On the island of Santa Cruz in the city of Puerto Ayora you will find a Banco Pichincha, Banco del Pacifico, and there is a Banco Bolivano near the docks. This is a total of 3 ATMS in Puerto Ayora!

On the island of San Cristobal you will find a Banco del Pacifico with and ATM. There is only 1 ATM in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno!

There are NO ATM's in Puerto Villamil on Isabela island.

There are NO ATM's at the airports in the Galapagos.

It is always best to have money with you and confirm that your bank card will work with the above banks before going to the Galapagos.

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Baggage / Luggage

The airlines have a luggage allowance of one piece of 50 lbs (22 kilos) plus 2 small carry-ons for flights to and from Galapagos.

Dreamkapture Hostel in Guayaquil offers free storage to clients who purchased their cruise with Dreamkapture Travel. Otherwise there is a fee of $5 per bag, per week.

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Buses

At Dreamkapture Hostel in our office we can provide you with lots of information on International, National, and local city buses.

Here are some of the most common bus questions asked of us...

Buses to Peru (Lima, Mancora, Colombia, etc.)

  • CIFA = Machala, Huaquillas, Tumbez, Mancora, Suyana, Piura

      • Leaves everyday at: 7:30, (10:30 ?), 19:50, 21:00, 23:30
      • From the Terminal Terreste (Bus Station) Green Section Window 36
      • Located about 10 minutes by taxi from Dreamkapture
      • Price:$6 - $25 depending on location.

  • ORMEÑO

      • Leaves everyday at 11:30 AM
      • Centro de Negocios "El Terminal"
      • Bahia Norte Av. De Las Americas Bloque C
      • Office: 33-34
      • Phone: 213-0847
      • Located about 10 minutes by taxi from Dreamkapture
      • Price: Guayaquil to Lima $70

  • Cruz del Sur

      • Leaves Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday at 14:00
      • From the Terminal Terreste (Bus Station)

      • Located about 10 minutes by taxi from Dreamkapture Hostel
      • Price: Guayaquil to Lima $75


  • Rutas de America

    • Destinations: Cali, Ibague, Cucuta, Caracas, Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires

    National Buses in Ecuador to other cities from Guayaquil

Quito: many companies, usually leaving every 10 minutes, Price $ 9

Transportes Ecuador phone: 213-0040 (Terminal Terrestre)

Office: Av. de las Americas phone: 229-4787

Price $10, every 30 minutes from 5:00 a.m. - midnight

Montanita: Company: CLP (Coop. Libertad Peninsular)

Guayaquil to Montanita: 6:20 a.m., 13:00 p.m., 15:00, 16:30

Montanita to Guayaquil: 4:45 a.m., 5:45 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 13:00, 15:00, 17:00

Price: $ 5.60

Baños: Companies: Baños, Flota Pelileo, San Francisio Oriental
Leaving: 6:00, 8:40, 10:00, 13:45, 16:45, 20:00, 23:00, 24:00

Price: $7 - $8

  • Local buses in the city of Guayaquil

From and to Dreamkapture Hostel

  • from the Terminal Terreste (bus station)
  • to the Terminal Terreste
    • #121 blue and white bus.
    • The buses final stop is the Terminal.

  • to city center
    • # 88 blue and white bus
    • Most popular place to get off is on 10 de Agosto. This is only a few blocks from Iguana Park.

  • return from the city center
  • To Samborondon & the Historical Park
    • # 81 green and white bus from the terminal
    • Get off the bus at Riocentro shopping mall
    • To return; take the #81 bus from the main street back to the terminal terreste and then the #121 back to the hostel.

.

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Cabins on the ships

Cabins on most of the ships are generally small and will consist of two birth beds (bunk), and will have a private bathroom. The size of the cabins will usually increase with the higher class of ship you take your cruise on.

Your cabin will be assigned to you when you board the ship and this will depend on what level you have purchased your cabin (upper deck cabins have an additional cost). The majority of the ships do not provide a choice of a particular cabin. Cabins are categorized by type and assigned by the level of your purchase.

It is possible to make a cabin request, but there are no guarantees. On first and luxury class ships it is more likely a requested cabin can be secured, depending on availability.

There are a few options of a matrimonial beds in the Tourist and Tourist Superior classes and you will find more on First and Luxury Class ships. But most cabins on all the ships will have single beds.

Here are some of the ships
which offer double or matrimonial bed cabin options:

TOURIST T. SUPERIOR FIRST LUXURY
King of the Seas Encantada Archipell I & II Athala
  Galvaven I Cachalote Beluga
  Guantanamera Daphne Coral I
  Samba Fragata Coral II
    Galaxy Cormorant Evolution
    Mary Anne Eclipse
    Monserrat Eric
    Nemo II Evolution
    Odyssey Explorer II
    Santa Cruz Flamingo
    Seaman II Grace
    Tip Top III Grand Odyssey
    Treasure of the Galapagos Isabela II
    Galapagos Vovager Journey I
    Xavier Letty
    Yolita II Pinta
      Queen of Galapagos
      Reina Silvia
      Xpedition
       

The cabin size is determined by the type of ship, for example a First or Luxury Class Catamaran or Cruise ship will have larger rooms with both beds being on the floor and more opportunities for matrimonial beds than that of a motor yacht or sail boat.

If you are traveling alone, you will have a roommate while on the cruise. Your roommate will be the same sex as you, (only a few ships mix sexes in the rooms and you would be informed of this option prior to purchase).

The price of a private room for one person is normally double.

Some ships do offer triple cabins (for 3 people). These ships are:

Often this third bed is for children only. Contact Dreamkapture for a specific ship's policy for a 3 person cabin.

You can find descriptions of the cabins on each of the ship's web pages. All ships are listed at: Quick Ship Pick page.

Also to read more on the differences between classes see:
What is the difference between cruises.

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Cameras & Underwater Photography

It is certain that you will want to have photos of your trip to the Galapagos Islands. Bringing your own camera is a must. Whether you use a digital or conventional camera, you will find that you will be able to charge batteries on all the cruise ships (110 v).

If you are wanting to have some underwater photos and you do not already have an underwater housing for your camera, it is best to buy a single use camera. Probably the easiest one to find here in Ecuador is the "Sport Single Use" camera. Kodak Single Use Camera

  • Waterproof up to 50 feet.
  • Clearest, sharpest pictures! Loaded with Kodak Ultra Max 800 speed, 27 exposure film for clearer, sharper pictures than any underwater camera.
  • For outdoor and daylight use only.

This camera usually sells for about $13-$14 and you can find it in the Ecuacolor camera stores in most of the Malls in Ecuador.

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Camping in the Galapagos

For the most part the Galapagos is an entirely protected and the areas which you can explore on your own (without a guided tour or cruise) are very limited.

There are some options for visitors to "camp" while in the Galapagos. These locations are specific and require permission from the National Park. Most camping is done as part of an organized tour.

Camping is only allowed in a few authorized areas on some of the islands. Authorization to camp from the Galapagos National Park requires that you request permission at least 48 hours in advance or your planned camping dates from the National Park.

Smoking and Camp Fires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park. Fires of any kind are a danger to the flora and fauna of the Galapagos and are forbidden.

You need to contact the Galapagos National park to determine whether or not this will be a possibility for you.

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Children in the Galapagos

Many families travel together, and the Galapagos islands are no exception.

If you are traveling with children and are planning on visiting the Galapagos, here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip.

  • Children 12 and older are the same price as adults on the airlines and the cruise ships.

  • Discounts for children vary from ship to ship.

  • Park permit for children under 12 years old is $50 (adults $100)

  • Only some of the ships offer a discount for children.

  • Some ships do not allow children under 12 years old on board.

  • Ships have set limits to the number of passengers on board.

  • Cabins are usually 2 beds and only allow 2 passengers to a cabin. It does not matter if they are adults or children.

  • Smaller ships may not be appropriate for small children and most ships have limited deck space.

  • Children will not be allowed to run around on the ships.

  • It is the parents responsibility to supervise their children, not the crew members.

Some ships do offer cabins which allow 3 passengers in them; the third usually being a child. You can see a list of this ships here under the heading "Cabins".

If you have specific questions regarding a particular ship's policy on children, contact us by email and Dreamkapture Travel will provide you an answer.

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Climate

The Galapagos Islands are isolated so the climate is determined almost entirely by the ocean currents, which in turn are influenced by trade winds that push the currents. In general, December to May are the warmest months with temperatures of 80ºF to 90ºF (26ºC to 35ºC). June to November is cooler 70ºF to 80ºF (20ºC to 26ºC).

Mainland Ecuador - Highlands: It is spring-like most of the year. May through November is dry with an average temperature of 70ºF (20ºC). December to April is slightly cooler though still very pleasant.

Mainland Ecuador - Coast: The average temperature is 83ºF (28ºC), with a hot, rainy season from December to May and a dry season from June to December.

Mainland Ecuador - Jungle: In the Jungle the climate is hot 77ºF (25ºC), humid and rainy.

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Communications / Telephone

You will find land line phone service and cellular coverage in the Galapagos. But this is only in the main islands. While on your cruise in the more remote areas there could be days when you will have no phone signal. The ships maintain communications by radio. In the cities of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal you will be able to find Internet Cafes and Cabinas to make international phone calls.

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Clothing...What should I wear?

You are on vacation, dress comfortable and informal. When visiting the islands bring comfortable lightweight clothing. If you sunburn easily, you should take this into consideration as well. For the evenings bring long pants and a wind-breaker / light jacket. Shoes are another item which should not be neglected. Good shoes are a must for many of the locations you will be visiting. The Galapagos are mostly made of lava, and lava is hard sharp type of rock. But there will be destinations where flip-flops are just fine.

On some of the First Class and Luxury ships you maybe required to dress for dinner; casual with shoes, no shorts, etc.

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Consulates and Embassies for foreigners in Ecuador

Do you need to contact your embassy or consulate here in Ecuador?

This link will take you to a list, providing information for foreign consulates and embassies here in Ecuador.

Foreign Consulate information click here. 

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Customs and Forbidden Items

The Galapagos are part of the Ecuador and have no international airports. But in order to preserve this special place and prevent the introduction of new species to the islands you are not allowed to take items such as fruits, vegetables, cheeses, eggs, flowers and seeds. Your luggage will be scanned at the SICGAL inspection station prior to you checking in for your flight.

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Departure Date / I have a specific dates which I can travel

Maybe your schedule is inflexible or you only have a short window of time which you can visit the Galapagos. How do you know what is available? At Dreamkapture Travel we sell every cruise ship. Provide us with your travel dates, number of people in your group, and budget and we can tell you what is available to match your needs. Contact Us. 

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Documents RequiredDocuments Passports

According to Ecuadorian Immigration regulations, every foreign passenger entering the Country must have a passport with a time validity of at least 6 months from the day of arrival to Ecuador. A Visa is not required by anyone regardless of their nationality if they will not be staying more than 90 days.

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Duration of Trip

There are 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, and even 15 day cruises.

Almost all of the ships only offer the 4, 5, and 8 day options.
This is due to their itineraries. Only a few ship have the 6, 10, 11, and 15 day options.

An 8 day cruise will include all the destinations of the particular ships itinerary. For example if the cruise starts on Sunday then you will visit all the different locations on the itinerary and end the cruise by returning to where you started the next Sunday.

The 4 and 5 day cruises are halves of the 8 day cruise. Most cruises have a halfway point when they will be in or near a port location. At this halfway point they say good bye to some guest and welcome new ones aboard. The 15 day cruise are a northern 8 day cruise and a southern 8 day cruise combined. Only a few ships are offering this option.

If the numbers do not add up for you this is because your first and last day on any cruise will be a half day. On the first day you will have an afternoon activity and on the last day an early morning activity. These half days are part of every ships schedule to bring on new passengers and to get others back to the airport on time for their return flight.

Dreamkapture Travel encourages our clients to spend a few days on the islands either before or after their cruise to take in some of the sites which were not part of the cruise. If you are scuba diver you will definitely want to make time to dive in the Galapagos.

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Electricity

The ships all have 110v electricity on board, and some also offer 220v.
The electricity in Ecuador is 110v with North American standard plugs. If necessary you should bring your own adapter.

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Entrance Fee

The Islands are part of the Ecuadorian National Parks system. There is an entrance fee of $100 U.S. dollars for adults and $50 for children under 12. The fee is collected on arrival in the airport in the Galapagos Islands and is ONLY payable in cash. There is no ATM access in the Galapagos airports, and they do not except $100 bills. You need to have the money on you prior to leaving the mainland. Credit card or travelers checks are not accepted.

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Flights to / from GalapagosAerogal plane

All Galapagos trips start with a flight from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil). The flight from Guayaquil to Galapagos takes approximately 1.5 hours. The flight from Quito stops at Guayaquil and then flies on to the Islands. The total travel time from Quito to the islands is approximately 2.5 hours.

The weight limit for flights to the Galapagos is 44 lbs / 20 kg.

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Flights tickets to the Galapagos

Dreamkapture Travel arrange your flight tickets to the Galapagos for the same price as the airlines. You also have the option of using a credit card (only in Guayaquil) or paying by cash. The price is the same either way you would like.

Guayaquil-Galapagos-Guayaquil

Currently High Season prices begin at about $473
and Low Season prices begin at about $429

Quito-Galapagos-Quito

Currently High Season prices begin at about $542
and Low Season prices begin at about $487

Other combinations are available as well.

Prices vary from airline to airline. Which airline is used will depend on availability of spaces on the planes.

All ticket prices are subject to change and prices on this page are only a reference and are not a guarantee of any prices for flights.
Specific tickets prices can be provided by Dreamkapture Travel.

Often people think it is best to buy your flight tickets first and then book a cruise...
BUT THIS CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS!

This can greatly complicate things by limiting your choices for cruises due to conflicts between ship's schedules and flight times. The ships will not normally wait for someone arriving on a later flight. Also your return flight can effect your options for cruise. In addition, changing flight tickets can be difficult and expensive.

When Dreamkapture Travel arranges your flight tickets there will be no conflict between the flight times and the ship’s schedule. We are also able to draw upon the reserved seats which each ship has to obtain your flight. Some ships are very specific about airlines in order to avoid just such situations.

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Food

Food can vary from traditional Ecuadorian dishes to something more international. If you are a vegetarian or have any special dietary needs please let us know in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements. All meals on board are included in the price of the cruise.

On the Tourist and Tourist Superior Class ships meals are normally served as a fixed or single plate meal.

On the First and Luxury Class ships meals are normally buffet.

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Galapagos National Park & Marine Reserve

The Galapagos National Park protects 97% of the land mass on the islands. In addition, the Galapagos Marine Reserve protects a further 138,000 square km of sea surrounding the Islands.

The Park’s mission is to protect, conserve and manage the Islands ecosystems and its biological diversity for the benefit of humanity, local populations, science and education.

All the ships strictly adhere to the rules of the Galapagos National Park. All cruise itineraries are approved annually by the National Park. All ships passengers are always accompanied by a fully qualified Galapagos National Park guide.

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Health

Daily trips to the islands involve getting in and out of small boats known as pangas, which require some physical effort and balance. Daily nature walks may include walking on irregular ground including boulders. Briefings will be given by your guide in advance of the landings to better help you determine the levels of difficulty.

It is advisable that guests should be in reasonably good health and physical condition to fully enjoy a cruise in the Galapagos Islands. If a passenger suffers from any medical condition that might impact their travel experience they should consult with their doctor before traveling to the Galapagos to ensure that they are capable of undertaking the trip. In addition, passengers should advise us of their condition and associated medical needs prior to travel.

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Insurance

It is recommend that passengers buy trip cancellation insurance. In addition, we also recommend the following insurances: life, international medicine, baggage loss and baggage delay, loss of personal belongings lost or stolen personal objects during the length of the trip.

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Internet

In the cities of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal you will be able to find Internet Cafes where you can connect to the Internet. None of the boats offer onboard internet service.

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Island Visits

The ships will anchor and guests will visit a minimum of two sites each day (with the exception of the first and last day). You will leave your ship to the island on a "panga" (local name for dinghies). There are two kinds of landings in the Galapagos: Dry and Wet. A dry landing would consist of stepping out of the panga onto a solid dry surface such as a dock, large rock or concrete slab. A wet landing would mean you are stepping out of the panga onto a beach. With the wet landing you would be barefooted and carrying your shoes in your hand.  Once ashore your guide will lead you on marked trails explaining the geology and natural history of the location, and you are encouraged to ask your Islands buttonguide questions. Your treks will be done at a leisurely pace allowing plenty of time to enjoy and photograph the amazing wildlife and scenery. There is often an opportunity to swim and/or snorkel during these visits should you wish.

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Language

All the naturalist guides are bilingual and tours are conducted in English and Spanish if required. Some guides speak multiple languages and it is possible to arrange tours in another languages besides English and Spanish. There would be an additional cost for a specialty guide.

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Landings

The shores of the islands and the access to visitor sites can have rocky surfaces or beaches. Landings may be dry or wet. Dry landings are easily performed, as you will find a flat rocky surface for proper docking with the outing boats or sometimes a real pier as a landing place. When a beach is the only way of accessing a visitor site, it is performed as a wet landing. These are also quite simple since you just remove your shoes and socks, proceed to the front of the dinghy (or panga), and while swinging your legs out, you gently slide off the side of the panga, and will not wet yourself any higher than knee level. Afterwards, dry your feet, put your shoes on, and you will be ready to go. From time to time you may find rougher swells than the usual ones, and so the wet landing requires extra caution. At any landing, please, follow the instructions of the staff in charge.

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Last Minute Deals on CruiseLast Minute Deals

Last Minute Pricing happens about one week or a little more before the ship embarks. The reason for these deals are to sell the remaining spaces on the ship before the it sails.

Most often this can save you some money when purchasing a Galapagos Cruise.

The pros on this are:

  • You can save $

The cons are:

  • Your choices are limited to what remains available.

  • The number of spaces can be limited (not good for larger groups).

  • You will need to be able to pay right away
    • Limitations on your ATM withdraws
    • May require additional days before the trip to gather funds to pay

  • If you already have purchased your flight tickets and have set travel dates, this can restrict your choices that will work within your travel dates.

This can be a great way to save money, but time is of the essence and it is good to be able to react quickly. Most often buying with cash is your only option and you will need to pay for the entire cruise before it begins. Spaces on ships can sell out at anytime! Also see paying for the Galapagos: click here.

Dreamkapture Travel contacts the ships your are interested in to confirm there is space available and the Last Minute Prices. Contact us with your travel dates to find out what we have that matches your needs. For more advice on Last Minute Deals Click Here.

Also click here to visit our Last Minute Dealsweb page.

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Money

The currency in Ecuador is United States dollars. On the Islands, most major credit cards (Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners etc) are widely accepted, except in smaller stores.

You can find Banco Pichincha and Pacifico branches on the island of Santa Cruz and Banco Pacifico on San Cristobal. Both have ATM machines that accept Master Card, Visa and cards affiliated with the Cirrus, Maestro, Banred and ATM system. It maybe possible to change travelers checks but this is more difficult and a there is a service charge.

Important note: Most shops, restaurants, individuals, and even some banks will not accept $100 bills, we recommend taking smaller denomination of the money.

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Myths about EcuadorUnicorn

There are several myths about Ecuador which continue to be spread around by travelers. They have almost become like urban legends. Here are some of the myths concerning Ecuador...

  • Everybody is trying to rob you.


    • The greater majority of Ecuadorians are honest and helpful people, just like the folks you know back home.

    • Taking Precautions to avoid a bad situation: But just like anywhere, there are bad people who will want to take things away from you. This myth is most likely continued because tourist unfortunately become easy targets for crime. If you are a foreigner, you need to be aware that you stand out, and bad people look for easy victims. Tourist will often have large amounts of cash on them, expensive cameras, expensive Smartphones, etc. With this in mind, you need to take precautions when and where necessary. Use your common sense before you casually are taking pictures with your new Iphone. It only takes a second for it to disappear.

    • You need to remember you are not at home.is probably  

    • Taxi drivers! Negociate your fare before you get in the taxi and always have your hostel or hotel arrange your taxis whenever possible for safety.


  • You lose a day on ships when they let passengers on and off.
    I need an 8 day cruise without any breaks.


    • You do not lose time, let alone a whole day, when ships are making their transfers of passengers leaving and new ones coming on. You will still have a morning destination and an afternoon destination just like all the other full days.

    • Most of the ships in the Galapagos offer different cruises with different number of days. These cruises will all over lap; making it virtually impossible to avoid a transfer day. Even the day you begin and end your cruise will be a transfer day for someone else.

    • Only a few of the ships have 8 day only cruises and they are mostly First Class and Luxury. So if you believe this myth, you had better be prepared to pay $$$ to avoid it.


  • On a the sailboats they will use wind instead of motors to cruise the Galapagos .


    • There are numerous ships in the galapagos with the option to be "under sail," such as some of the catamarans, motor sailboats, and regular sailboats. But, all of these ships will use their motors when cruising the Galapagos, especially at night.
    • The ship have schedules to keep and cannot rely on the wind at to help them stay on schedule.
    • If conditions allow it, usually, the ship will raise there sails and use the wind to help them along.


  • I can save money by taking a ship or military plane to the Galapagos.

    • A long time ago these were options, but are not available for non-Ecuadorians anymore. What few and occasional military flights that go to the Galapagos that are willing and able to take a couple of passengers ONLY provide flights to residents of the Galapagos. Besides this there is NO where you can go to wait, buy, or find out information about this. Cargo ships are the same way. The cargo ships take 2 or 3 days to reach the Galapagos. There are NO special accommodations for guest, and there were many claims of women passengers being assaulted. These are NOT OPTIONS.


  • Land tours and daily Island tours are just as good as taking a cruise.

    • Land tours will most often take you to places that you could go on your own.

    • Daily Island tours will take you to the most visited places in the Galapagos. These places will have more visitors than most destinations in the Galapagos. The daily tours Do Not go everywhere the cruise ships go to; not even close. The majority of destinations in the Galapagos are ONLY accessible by the cruise ships.

    • Another thing to consider is the cost. On day-by-day cost including meals and lodging, daily tours are only a little cheaper than a cruise.

    • If you are someone who is prone to sea-sickness, this options maybe better for your galapagos visit.


  • I will save money and explore the Islands on my own.


    • The Galapagos National Park is 97% of the land space in the Galapagos Islands. This means your access to most of the islands is restricted. You cannot go most of the islands on your own, you cannot go without a guide, you cannot get to most places without a boat, there is little hiking, no camping, and you will not see all the abundant animal life in the islands.

    • The little exception to this is the Island of San Cristobal which allows more individual access to the island by hiking or exploring on your own.

    • The Galapagos is a very unique place. This is why it is so protected, and to experience it fully you need visit the islands in the proper way.


  • I will save hundreds of dollars by just going to the Galapagos and buying a cruise on my own!

    • This is like gambling on your vacation. What you don't know could ruin your Galapagos plans.

    • What are you going to do when you get the Galapagos islands and there is nothing available for your days there?

    • Do you know...

      • How busy it is the time of year you are going to the Galapagos?

      • How many people are in your group?

      • What is your budget?

      • Do you know where the ship is going (the itinerary)?

      • Do you know where, how, or who to contact to speak to someone about availability on ships?

      • Is the lowest price the best option? Why do you think nobody else had bought a certain cruise?

    • The spaces on the ships are very limited and often sell out well in advance. The ones that do not sell out are usually the least desired ships and/or cruises.

    • If you are on a tight budget, this could be extremely hazardous because the economic ships sell out first, and you are not going to get a first class ship for a economy price.

    • More than one person? This could even be more difficult because what happens if the ship only has one space available?

    • Is the lowest price your only concern? Not all itineraries are the same, neither are all the ships. There could be a very good reason you might find a good deal on the islands... nobody else wanted it.

    • There are so many factors involved in securing a good Galapagos cruise why would you want to jeopardize your vacation with bad planning.

    • This is a matter of your conformability of assuming risk, but just like gambling ...everybody thinks they are going to be winner when they first go into the casino.

    Better ways to save money.... click here.

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Paying for your Galapagos CruiseCash Money

There are several methods for making deposits and paying for your cruise.

  • Paying by cash
    • Make a Direct Deposit to our bank account in Ecuador. This can be done in any city in Ecuador where our bank has a branch.
    • Paying in cash in our office in Guayaquil

  • Wire Money
    • We accept:
      • Western Union
      • Money Gram
    • (fees are paid up front before the wire is made)

  • Bank Transfer
    • Transfer money from your bank account to ours
    • This method takes time; up to a week. This is Not an option for paying for Last Minute Purchases.

Are sales staff can thoroughly explain the differences, limitations, and consequences of each of these payment methods available to you. This way you can determine which is going to be the best for you.

We also encourage you to review our Payment and Cancellation policy.

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Prices of Cruises

The prices of cruises vary from ship to ship, from class to class, and to the number of days of the cruise. Also the prices of cruises are often changing due to the demand and availability of spaces on the ships. Most ships only have 16 passengers. The more economical Tourist and Tourist Superior Classes tend to sell quickly once Last Minute Pricing is available.

Here are some pricing guidelines to help give you and idea of cost.

Tourist Class buttonTourist Class:

  • 4 days: $570 - $750 +
  • 5 days: $650 - $880 +
  • 8 days: $1070 - $1400 +

Tourist Superior buttonTourist Superior:

  • 4 days: $650 - $880 +
  • 5 days: $850 - $1200 +
  • 8 days: $1120 - $1450 +

First Class buttonFirst Class: 

  • 4 days: $760 - $1150 +
  • 5 days: $960 - $1500 +
  • 8 days: $1600 - $2100 +

Luxury Class buttonLuxury Class:

  • 4 days: $1100 - $3000 +
  • 5 days: $1200 - $3800 +
  • 8 days: $1900 - $6000 +

We update our prices for Last Minute Cruises daily. In addition, we do contact every ship to confirm your price and availability before you purchase. When you are working with us you will be getting the most update prices for cruises in the Galapagos.

At Dreamkapture Travel there is no difference in price between buying your cruise in our office in Guayaquil or with us through the Internet. We offer the same great prices to all our clients.

We also recommend that you read

What is NOT included in the cruise price?

Last Minute DealsTo see what Last Minute Deal prices are currently visit the Last Minute Deal web page. If there is something you are interested, contact us from this page and we will provide you with more detailed information.

Why cruise prices are not posted on Dreamkapture's web site?

Prices of cruises can and do fluctuate frequently. Prices change because of the season, the availability of spaces, and the demand for the spaces.

Here at Dreamkapture Travel we sell every ship in the Galapagos, and as part of our service we contact the ships which match your needs to check the availability of spaces and the current prices. This way you will receive from us the most up-to-date information and best prices. This allows us to give you the a low current price for your travel dates without posting a high price on our web site that does not need to be changed like other web sites do.

We send current prices of cruises in all our response emails for cruise search inquiries.

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Refunds and Cancelations

 Reimbursements are extremely rare and limited in value. If a consolation is possible, it will be determined by the ship’s company; not the travel agency, and may include a service fees.

 There are no refunds if you discontinue the tour for any reason.

Travelers are always encouraged to obtain the appropriate Travel Insurance and to confirm the coverage they will have relating to Galapagos cruises.

Cancellation Policy

If it becomes necessary for you to cancel your trip, the following fees will apply and will be computed as of the date of the receipt of a written cancellation notice.

Cancellation Fee Schedule:

  • 61 or more days prior to start of tour: Full refund of your deposit less a small administrative fee of 10% of tour price or $100 whichever is greater (this covers bank transactions, money wire/transfer fees, and financial costs, etc. for cancelling your trip). All costs involved with refunding the money will be assumed by the client.
  • If a refund is applicable, it will not be instantaneous. Refunds generally will take a minimum of 14 business days to analyse and process. The time involved with this process is not limited to 14 days and can be greater.  
  • 60-0 days prior to the start of tour: The Fee is 100% of tour price regardless of the reason for cancelation.

You should read the Disclaimer-Cancelation policy of the travel agency carefully and be aware of your limitations before purchasing your cruise.

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Scuba DivingScuba button

The Galapagos Islands are a world destination for scuba diving. The waters are a little colder but the abundance of animal life is amazing.  In addition to reef fish and schooling fish, you will have the opportunity to scuba with sea lions, turtles, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, manta rays and much more.

Conditions in the Galapagos are more suitable for experienced divers, but there are opportunities for beginners.

There are three types of diving options in the Galapagos: Day Trips, Live-Aboards, and a few regular cruises with diving options

Day trips are offered out of Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The day trips are more economical, usually consisting of two dives, and the price varies according to distance traveled.

Dreamkapture works with all the best dive operators, and we can help plan out your diving experience Prices begin around $200 per day and include complete equipment rental, boat transportation, and a sack lunch.

Live-Aboard diving would involve numerous dive days on the ship and visiting some of the more remote dive locations. The Live-Aboard options will cost about $575 per person per day. These dive ships only do very limited land visits (usually only Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands).

Only a few of the cruise ships allow diving. This is a new feature in Diving Cruises2012 and requires a minimum of 2 divers. The diving portion of the cruise is slightly different than that of the regular passengers to accommodate the scuba diving. You can read more about this at Dive Cruises.

At Dreamkapture we are able to provide you with Scuba Diving itineraries and make all the arrangements for your diving days while you are in the Galapagos. We work with all the best Dive Operators in the Galapagos and when you let us arrange it for you there is absolutely NO extra charge!

If you want to know more just Contact Us with your scuba diving specifics and days if possible. We will provide you inclusive prices and dive locations.

It also possible to obtain your PADI certification in the Galapagos! Dreamkapture Travel can provide you information on this too.

 Please visit our Scuba Diving Page: Diving in the Galapagos

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Sickness, Clinics, and HospitalsSeasick

By comparison the waters around the Galapagos are considered to be calm. But some people are susceptible to motion sickness (sea sickness). The motion will be felt more on smaller ships than the larger ships, and there can be differences between the style of ships. For example catamarans are known to be the most stable.

Another thing to take into consideration is where your cabin is located. The higher up the cabin is the more the motion will be felt. If you do suffer from motion sickness then you should try to avoid the months when the seas are generally the roughest (August and September). Also there are also various sea sickness medications and aids readily available from pharmacist and other suppliers. These can be obtained over the counter here in Ecuador. One brand is called: Mareol.

Medication should be taken prior to feeling the sick, or before you go aboard your ship.

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Shopping

Shopping in Ecuador can be one of the highlights of any trip. There are many open markets selling gifts, Ecuadorian made goods, vegetables, meats, candies, and just about everything.

In most of these open markets you will have the opportunity to negociate the final price. In other words you can often bargin on the price. It is acceptable in these markets.

But there are places that bargining is not accepted, such as: restaurants, hostels, hotels, buses, etc.

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Smoking In Ecuador

Smoking is not very common in Ecuador. Most restaurants and hotels are smoke free, but you will be able to smoke some bars and in outside areas.

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Snorkeling & Wetsuits

Snorkeling equipment and wetsuits are available on all the ships.

Usually the equipment is an additional rental. Snorkeling equipment in the Galapagos only includes:

  • mask, snorkel, and fins
  • the rental is for the entire cruise ($25-30 usually)

Wetsuits are separate from snorkeling equipment and these will rent by the day ($5.00 usually).

Please let us know if you think you will be wanting a wetsuit, and we can let the ship know your size and to have one available on board. Many of the ships do not have a selection of wetsuits available on board, and these need to be pre-arranged. Please advise us of your size in advance (XS, S,M,L, XL).

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Time Zone

The Time Zone in mainland Ecuador is Standard Time GMT (UTC) - 5.

This is the current date & time in Ecuador.

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Tipping / Gratuities

Tipping is customary here in Ecuador. Usually a tip is between 8% and 10%.

  • Do Not Over tip.
  • Do Not Tip Taxi drivers.

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Transfers

Transfers in Quito or Guayaquil.
Transfers between the airport and your hotel and hotel to airport in Quito or Guayaquil are usually done by Taxi. Taxis are safe and dependable at the airports. Larger hotels and many smaller hostels will offer pick up service from the airport. It is best that you inquire with your place of lodging to learn more about the services offered.

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Water

Water from the taps is considered drinkable, some cities such as Cuenca have very good tap water, but it is highly recommended you drink bottled water, especially in small towns and in coastal low land cities. Bathing and brushing your teeth should be fine with water from the faucet.

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