Latin America

The Galápagos Islands on a budget

I’m Alice, an STA Travel Marketing Exec. As a David Attenborough super fan and proud owner of all Planet earth boxsets, The Galápagos Islands was top of my bucketlist when I started planning my epic 6 month South America trip. Not wanting to resort to organ harvesting or blackmail to fund my Galápagos dream, I did some serious budgeting. Here’s my top tips to make sure you squeeze every last drop of fun out of your trip.

1. Buy tonnes of sunscreen.

It is no exaggeration when I say you will need to take a mortgage out to purchase sun cream. It can cost between $12 – $40.

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2.Bring your own snorkel gear

You can save a whole heap of money, plus you’ll look like an absolute pro. Snorkels = freedom, when you have a few spare hours you can hop right in the water and in a matter of seconds be swimming alongside manta rays, marine iguanas, sea turtles (the list could go on for the rest of this blog).

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3. Free time = Free activities

From visiting Tortuga Bay (voted one of the top ten beaches in the world) to snorkelling in crystal clear pools of Las Grietas with sheer volcanic cliff faces soaring above you. You don’t have to spend a dollar for the best experiences.



4. Cheap eats

Almuerzo’s & Merienda’s will be your new fave. A tasty set two/ three-course meal including a fresh fruit juice can cost $3.50 – $4. Some restaurants don’t make these options that obvious, so don’t be shy to practice the local lingo and ask. Don’t miss Charles Binford Street in Santa Cruz where you can pick up a mighty fresh lobster dinner for just $10.

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5. Taxis are surprisingly cheap

There is a fixed tariff on the islands, so all taxis are $1 per ride within the towns. They are also all white pickup trucks so there is plenty of room for your surfboard or backpack. Water taxis are a great way to reach secluded beaches and top snorkelling spots and can cost just $3.

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6. Invest in a waterproof camera

With the amount of excursions you’ll pack in on the Galápagos, buying all those Pufferfish selfies and Iguana encounter photos from the tour can get pretty pricey.

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7. Book a tour ahead of time

The Galápagos tour was the one thing I pre-booked before I left the UK. This saved me so much hassle and a lot of dollar. It also meant that I didn’t spend my precious 8 days on the Galápagos trudging from one tour operator to the next, bargaining on day trip pricing. I only had to fork out £100 for the deposit for the tour and then had to pay off the remaining balance 10 weeks before it started.

If this sounds like your kind of place, then why not see what the Galápagos has to offer with our one-stop travel guide. From sailing trips to the best time to visit nature’s workshop. We’ve got you covered.