Packing for a Galápagos Islands trip can be a bit challenging, because you’re trying to find that balance between taking too much and not taking enough!
The main thing to keep in mind is that there is a restriction for the flights to and from the Galápagos, and if you are taking an inter-island flight within the Galápagos, there are separate luggage restrictions for these flights. In general, you will not have an inter-island flight on a cruise itinerary. You may have an inter-island flight on a land-base itinerary.
Each traveler may take one or two bags of a combined weight of up to 44lbs on flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galápagos Islands, and the same for returning to the mainland. There are no fees for checking bags to the Galápagos, but each airline does charge an overweight luggage fee if you want to check more than 44lbs. You are also allowed one carry-on bag in flight, which is limited to a maximum of 15lbs. In addition, you can carry-on one small personal item, such as a purse or small camera bag.
If you are traveling in the Galápagos on a land-based trip (not on a cruise), you may have a short inter-island flight between two or more of the islands. These flights operate in much smaller airplanes, and have different baggage restrictions. On these flights, you are limited to a maximum of 20lbs in one bag for your checked luggage, and you are allowed one small carry-on, such as a purse, small day pack, or camera bag. There are overweight luggage fees if your checked bag is more than 20lbs. Double check your itinerary to find out if you are on an inter-island flight during your trip.
Please remember that even though you can take a lot of luggage to the Galápagos (unless you have an inter-island flight), you will have limited space on a Galápagos cruise. Most cabins are fairly small and you will probably not want any more than 25 or 30lbs of luggage. Also, we recommend using soft-sided luggage as it is easier to transport and pack away in a closet or drawer than hard suitcases.
While we’re on the subject of packing, check our our blog post on How to Pack For the Galápagos Islands for more tips and recommendations.
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