Vaccinated Travelers Can Now Visit Ecuador, Including the Galapagos Islands

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are now welcoming vaccinated foreign tourists.

Ecuador is now welcoming vaccinated travelers, El Universo, one of the country's largest newspapers, recently reported.

According to the outlet, tourists with the COVID-19 vaccine can enter the country and travel to one of its most popular island destinations: the Galapagos Islands. In addition to their vaccination certificate, travelers must show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of their trip, El Universo reported.

Unvaccinated travelers are also allowed to visit Ecuador and its famous island archipelago with proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. Those traveling from Ecuador to the Galapagos will need a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel, according to the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador. Travelers who tested negative to enter Ecuador will have to test again, at their own expense, if their trip to the Galapagos is not within 96 hours.

All visitors are required to comply with social distancing regulations and wear face masks throughout their stay.

Galapagos tour boats moored in Santa Cruz Islands Academy Bay
Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty

Major events that may previously have been a draw remain prohibited, but there are still some unique ways to experience this region and its legendary wildlife, especially if budget isn't an issue. Ecoventura, for example, is offering buyouts of its 20-passenger boats for $169,000 a week. The vessels are considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly ways to explore the Galapagos Islands.

In October, Ecuador began requiring all foreign visitors to come bearing proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours. In January, the testing window was shortened to 72 hours for all travelers from the U.S. over two years old. The country's major airports reopened in June.

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Ecuador has had over 307,400 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, and over 16,300 deaths.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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