August 19, 2022

Seeking the Perfect Waves: Surfing in the Galapagos

We have compiled a small guide to make it easier and more enjoyable to conquer the Ecuadorian waves

To fly to Ecuador to surf is perhaps the best solution for exploring Latin America. Almost everything is relatively tiny – take at least beautiful beaches and surf in warm water.

Already in neighboring Peru, and even more so in Chile, you will have to wear a wetsuit, because the water in the ocean is very cool.

In addition, Ecuador has beautiful and very high mountains, colonial cities with historical architecture, Inca ruins, and the Amazon jungle.

Once in Ecuador, it will be strange not to visit the Galapagos Islands – a unique piece of nature in the Pacific Ocean.

Moreover, according to the stories of the local population: there the waves will be twice as large as those that you see here!

Suppose everything is clear with Ecuador and many people know the correct camp in Montanita – Casa del Sol.

In that case, there is no information about surfing on the islands in Russian at all. And of course, there is surfing there, and even some – the locals do not cheat.

How to get there

The easiest way to get to the Galapagos Islands is from Ecuador

This country is located practically on the other side of the earth, so there are no direct flights from Russia, but there are comfortable options through Europe with one transfer.

For example, KLM via Amsterdam (the airline carries surfboards free of charge). A round-trip ticket will cost about 90,000 rubles.

There are many more options – with a transfer in the United States (for example, Aeroflot flights), but this will work if you only have an American visa in your passport.

Again, such flights will cost less.

From the capital of Ecuador – Quito or the largest city of Guayaquil to the Galapagos, it will take a few more hours to fly; the islands have two airports – the more popular one in Santa Cruz.

The flight costs about $ 200 one way (13,000 rubles). In addition, upon arrival, you will pay a tourist tax of $ 100 (6500 rubles) and receive a beautiful stamp with a turtle in your passport.

Budget

If you have time constraints, a week might be OK

If there are more free days, it is optimal to allocate 2-3 days for each island. There are only four inhabited – three of them can be surfed.

Note to the tourist-surfer

American dollars are used as the national currency in Ecuador.

A stay on the islands will cost 35-200 $ (2000-13,000 rubles) per day. The spread is quite significant because it depends on the tourist’s appetite.

Accommodation is available in different ways – from budget hostels and guesthouses to luxury hotels. Put in 20—100 $ (7000-13000 rubles) per day.

You will spend 15-70 $ (1000-4500 rubles) on food per day.

15-20 $ (1000-1300 rubles) should be set aside for excursions and other activities.

Surfing won’t cost you anything. Well, or $ 5-30 (300-1800 rubles) per rent per day if you do not bring aboard with you from home.

Equipment

The Galapagos is in the middle of the ocean, right at the equator

Water and air are almost always very comfortable there – about 28 degrees, so you can perfectly surf in shorts or a beautiful swimsuit.

Lycra also does not hurt – a unique T-shirt that will protect against sunburn in water. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

You can find boards for rent. There are three surf shops in Puerto Ayora, so if you suddenly forgot to grab something or broke something, it doesn’t matter.

However, keep in mind that the choice of equipment is not glorious.

Surf schools

Surf schools in the Galapagos are not the best place to try surfing for the first time. It is better to fly with some independent experience.

Islands and spots

Santa Cruz

Probably the most famous spot on the island is Tortuga Bay Beach. It is located in the largest city in the Puerto Ayora archipelago with beautiful waves and white sand.

The site is great for surfers of all skill levels, but one problem is. It is located in a national park, which means nothing on the shore.

You won’t even be able to take a beach towel with you, leave it on the beach, and go into the water – the guard is watching this.

The surfboard must be rented in the city and carried two and a half kilometers to the spot on foot.

Although, of course, these kilometers are a wonderful walk through the unique jungle and thickets of cacti.

It is worth remembering that at 18:00, everyone is kicked out of the beach, and the park is closed with a barn lock.

Beware of travel agents.

If you are in the mood for a more relaxing holiday, it is best to stay away from them

Almost the islands’ entire population are travel agents who sincerely strive for you to spend every second you spend here usefully.

I saw flamingos, turtles, visited all the beaches, and climbed every volcano.

In addition, sometimes they can sell you some free activities.

For example, a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz can see the famous Galapagos turtles and many other unique animals.

You pay for a taxi before the entrance, but it is much more expensive than the average price.

Hotel recommendation from Ostrovok:

Hotel Ninfa – from $ 120 per night for two.

White House Galapagos – from 3499 rubs. Per night for two.

Germania Casa de Hospedaje – from RUB 2799 per night for two.

Island to island

You can move between the islands on a speedboat – a fast boat that looks like a sea bus

Such a trip costs 20-30 $ (1300-2000 rubles). It will take about a couple of hours, but when it shakes in earnest, even an organism accustomed to the ocean gets tired of jumping on the waves in a good swell.

So if you have seasickness, stock up on seasickness pills just in case.

Isabel

The next point of your trip may be the largest island of the Galapagos – Isabella. Many do not hope to surf there.

A resource with a forecast of the size of waves and a description of the Magicseaweed surf spots indicates that the sites are within the city’s reach.

But do not worry, already on the way from the port, you will see a cozy bar right on the shore of the spot and five people on the wave.

Isabella Island

You will be pleasantly surprised by the attitude of the locals.

For $ 5 (330 rubles), they will give out a board and invite you to ride together, and after that, they will discuss the peculiarities of the local gurney over a cup of kasha.

Apparently, given that there are only 2.5 thousand people on the island and not everyone surfs, the company does not bother anyone – rather the opposite.

What to eat after skiing

On the street, you will always find the famous ceviche, fresh seafood, or the specialty – pork barbecue

Most tourists are hesitant to try the main local attraction – the fried guinea pig.

However, if you are also more used to traditional European cuisine, you can easily find them on the island.

Hotel recommendation from Ostrovok:

– from RUB 9090 per night for two.

– from 4999 rubles. Per night for two.

Ecuador

Most likely, you will combine a trip to the Galapagos with the exploration of Ecuador

And this is perhaps the best country to explore Latin America! Almost everything is relatively tiny – take at least beautiful beaches and surf in warm water.

Already in neighboring Peru, and even more so in Chile, you will have to wear a wetsuit, because the water in the ocean is very cool.

In addition, Ecuador has beautiful and very high mountains, colonial cities with historical architecture, Inca ruins, and the Amazon jungle.

The Galapagos is an excellent choice for surfers who already have at least a little bit of experience.

You will get almost ideal conditions: beautiful, stable waves, empty line-ups, warm and clear water, beautiful beaches, and unique nature and animals – sea lions, iguanas, turtles, and penguins!

And sharks, which feel uncomplicated and at ease near humans. They do not bother tourists – they even take travelers on special tours to look at sharks closer.

So you will have something to diversify surfing. If you consider more places to conquer the waves, Sri Lanka is also a suitable option.