On Saturday, April 16th, 2016 Ecuador was struck by the largest earthquake it has experienced in decades and as of yesterday morning, May 18th, the country was hit by another two smaller quakes. The quakes have been centred on the coast of the mainland and which is far away from the Galapagos islands. The capital of Quito has experienced little to no disruption of travel services over the past month. All of this spells opportunity for travellers thinking about travelling to the Galapagos as airfares and Galapagos cruise prices are currently lower than normal going into the summer season. You can help Ecuador recover just by visiting the country and supporting the local economy while you are there.
Here are 7 reasons why this summer & fall is the best time to visit the Galapagos:
1) Galapagos Has Not Been Affected By The Earthquakes:
The Galapagos was completely unaffected by the recent earthquakes. A tsunami warning was sounded shortly after the April 16th quake occurred, none materialized. Except for Galapagos yachts sitting in deeper water just to be safe, there was really no affect on Galapagos cruises from the quake. Cruises are proceeding as normal as are Galapagos flights.
2) Great International Airfares:
In the wake of the quakes you can find some of the lowest fares between North America and Ecuador seen in years! For example, in early June there are a number of roundtrip fares between Vancouver and Quito for around $730 CAD. If you are thinking about heading down this fall you will find airfares below $700 CAD roundtrip from Vancouver, which is an amazing deal!
3) Galapagos Cruise Prices:
Spring is typically the time when many Galapagos cruise providers start to fill up those spaces with families and travellers looking to get away for the summer who failed to plan ahead. You can take advantage of better than normal deals offered by those companies concerned about filling those spaces as a result of the quakes. Quasar is currently offering 20% select Galapagos summer departures!
4) Mainland Ecuador Tourist Areas Unaffected By The Quakes:
To get to the Galapagos travellers have to pass through the Ecuadorian mainland, which may be a cause of concern to travellers worried about the effects of the quakes. Yet Quito, where most passengers stay before heading to the Galapagos, has been largely unaffected by the quakes. Hotels, transit services, roads and even the places tourists tend to visit, have not experienced any interruptions in the functioning of day tours in and around the city. Guayaquil, along Ecuador's southern coast was also not affected much from the quakes and everything there is running as per usual. Flights in and out of both Quito and Guayaquil airport have continued to run normally.
5) The Galapagos & Ecuadorian Highlands Unaffected by Zika:
With the Brazil Olympic games approaching, a concern travellers to Central and South America have is the Zika virus. While Zika will likely continue to spread in low lying, mosquito prone areas of the Americas - including the USA - the risk to those visiting the Ecuadorian highlands and the Galapagos will remain low. One is unlikely to encounter mosquitoes at the higher elevations of the Ecuadorian highlands. Malaria is not even found in the region of the central Andes. Typically one rarely encounters mosquitos in the Galapagos, especially in the summer, which makes it the best time to visit!
6) You Can Help Ecuador By Travelling There:
While the effects of a large quake are devastation, those effects are unnecessarily extended when travellers decide to stay away from a destination based on incorrect assumptions they pick up in the media. One can look at the devastating aftermath of the Nepal quake for an example. One of the best ways you can help Ecuador as a country is simply by continuing to travel to the country.
7) Amazing Galapagos Animal Encounters:
Finally all the friendly and exotic creatures the Galapagos is famous for are all still there ready to meet you! The Galapagos is known for close encounters including tracking giant tortoise in the wild, watching blue footed boobies performing their mating dance, having sea lions blow bubbles in your face while snorkelling and many more. They are all waiting to greet you in the magical Galapagos!!
The northern coastal areas of Ecuador were hit very hard by the quakes and will take many months and, in some cases, years to recover. An excellent way to help the country weather this time of hardship is by simply allowing Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands to welcome you as a guest so you can discover just how wonderful a country it is!
This post was originally created by Quasar and edited by North South Travel.
The safest way to travel is by using a travel agent so if visiting the Galapagos has been on your bucket list, contact one of our Adventure Travel Specialists today! Call us at 604-736-7447 or click on the Contact Us button above.