Actualizado: 22 oct
The Galapagos archipelago is a largely unexplored destination for Ecuadorians. To really connect with the destination, you need to go more than once, and what better if the first time is with your partner on a romantic getaway, a honeymoon or your wedding day? In 2019, the archipelago received 271,238 visitors interested in ecotourism. While the beauty of its otherworldly landscapes is down to its volcanic origins, the Galapagos is also home to the world’s second largest marine reserve. The archipelago consisting of 13 large islands, 9 medium islands and 107 islets. There are several important points to consider when organizing a honeymoon or wedding in the Enchanted Islands.
1. Buy tickets well in advance; If you organize at least 6 months before the big day, you can find rates as low as US $170 from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra or San Cristóbal.
2. Hire a romance travel agent to guide you through the permits and authorizations required to enter the archipelago. Reservations at a hotel that has the respective safe operations permit and that is registered with the Ministry are required, as is your identification card and/or passport. If you do everything in time, the process is quite straightforward.
3. We suggest you take appropriate clothing for adventure, snorkeling equipment, good shoes for long walks, insect repellent, a reusable water bottle, a hat, sunscreen, beach clothes and a fervent desire to discover the incredible beauty of the Galapagos! Once the requirements were met, we set out on a trip with 8 renowned Wedding Planners from various cities in Ecuador.
Galapagos, a Destination for Weddings - Guidelines for successfully organizing your nuptials was endorsed by the Ministry in a workshop given at the end of our trip through the Islands, and had the full support of the largest hotels in the archipelago and the sponsorship of the Viajes Bodas y Más.
Our tour began on the island of Santa Cruz, continued to the island of Isabela, and ended on San Cristobal island. Here are some guidelines for the best locations and seasons for your wedding.
1. The best times of the year for weddings are May - June and October - November when temperatures average around 27ºC.
2. The flowers that we recommend for weddings in the islands are bougainvillea and the Plumeria (frangipani) flower. A beautiful wedding altar can be decorated with them, as well as table centerpieces along with candles, lights or special fabrics. To do this, having a decorator from the area to offer you different options is essential.
3. What will make the difference is the setting of the wedding, ranging from stunning lava tunnels and white-sand beaches located near inhabited ports to luxury hotels that offer premium infrastructure. (It’s important to request permits)
4. Local souvenirs or details that you can offer at the wedding including origin-certified coffee, functional handicrafts, craft beers and cocoa nibs.
5. A wedding that spans several days to include tours and unique experiences such as diving with sharks, swimming with sea lions, and enjoying nature up close in its purest form is highly recommended.
The host hotels of this first Wedding Planners Trip have their own gardens where they organically grow the vegetables and spices they use to prepare special wedding menus. They use locally-sourced products to create culinary delights that will unquestionably elevate your experience. We had the opportunity to taste their dishes, and can definitely attest to the delicious flavors and stunning presentation of each one!
The island of San Cristobal is home to a restaurant that is widely recognized for its focus on sustainable organic cuisine. Recently listed as one of the world’s top 50 restaurants, we had the privilege of visiting it: Muyu, promoting sustainable hospitality, preparing exquisite dishes and positioning it as the best restaurant on the island.
The wedding can be held on the restaurants beach accompanied by sea lions – as long as you keep a healthy distance!
They essentially launched the garden-to-table concept in the Galapagos, and the long beach in front of the hotel is one of the most romantic options for your honeymoon or wedding in the best laid-back style.
Santa Cruz surprised us with luxury hotel infrastructure such as the Royal Palm, a hotel located in the upper part of the island surrounded by exuberant tropical vegetation where film artists, kings and prominent public figures have stayed. It’s clearly the most suitable place for a bride seeking total privacy, a luxurious room to hold events in, and a pool area for cocktails. Ideally, charter the hotel a year in advance. Yachts like the Anahi can be part of the post-wedding tours for guests or a comfortable inter-island transfer. Weddings can even be hosted on board!
Once you’ve finished your scouting trip to choose the wedding location, what are the most important things to think about when deciding to get married in the Galapagos?
1. Being a marine reserve, there is a restricted list of products allowed into the
archipelago, and logistics need to be taken into account. It takes a considerable amount of time to send parcels to and from the mainland.
2. Reconfirm conditions with the vendors, suppliers, and sign agreements.
3. Inter-island transfers for the guests upon arrival at the destination depending on where the wedding takes place in small planes or boats.
4. There is no immigration office in the Galapagos to formalize foreign marriages.
5. Confirm the date of the civil, ecclesiastical or symbolic ceremony at least twice.
6. Check to ensure that suppliers meet the biosafety standards of the tourism value chain.
7. Hire the services of a Galapagos Destination Wedding Consultant.
8. Make reservations for airline tickets, accommodations and post-wedding tours in advance for all guests and for your honeymoon with a certified operator or romance travel agent specializing in the Galapagos.
Now that we’ve given you a small taste of the Galapagos, go ahead and plan a scouting trip to the enchanted islands at firstname.lastname@example.org with special costs and accompanied by your wedding consultant.