COVID-19, Avian Flu & Your Holiday Plans

LAST UPDATED: 01 January 2024

This page is designed to provide guidance on subjects you may wish to take into consideration as you make your travel plans. 

You will find the latest travel advisories for Ecuador here: 

Government of Canada Travel Advisories for Ecuador

US State Department Travel Advisories for Ecuador


Current Covid-19 Protocols in Ecuador (as of 19 July 2023) are as follows:  

  • Mask wearing is recommended but not mandatory, except in medical establishments. You will find that very few people are wearing masks now.
  • Mask wearing is mandatory if you have symptoms related to COVID-19
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, getting yourself tested is recommended
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 or the flu, you are advised to self isolate for 5 days, followed by 5 days of mask wearing


 There is no requirement to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test for entry into Ecuador or Galapagos.  

It is important to note that Ecuadorian Covid-19 Protocols may change without notice. For this reason, we recommend that you carry your vaccine card with you, and be prepared for mandatory testing to resume should Covid numbers increase in Ecuador or at home. Entry requirements for residents of individual countries may be revised subject to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in your country of origin. 


Before Departing from Home

CNH Tours advises all of our current and potential guests to: 

  • Monitor current travel advisories that may impact your decision to to travel,
  • Take proactive steps to minimize risks prior to travel such as being updated on recommended vaccines, and reducing the risk of getting sick in the days/weeks before traveling,
  • Understand the current requirements for travel to Galapagos, and that these may change without notice at any time,
  • Take proactive steps to minimize risks upon return home.

As you consider when would be best for you to travel to Galapagos, it is worth doing your due diligence as travel conditions fluctuate in response to any epidemic or a pandemic.  Should COVID numbers increase rapidly, or should any new virus appears, your travels may be significantly affected if not altogether made impossible. 

Only you can assess your risk tolerance. 


Entry to Ecuador

The following protocols are mandatory for entry to the Country of Ecuador for all travelers over 3 years: 

  • Original passport (valid for a minimum of 6 months after your expected departure from Ecuador)

Additionally, all passengers must demonstrate proof of the following: 

- High temperature

- Cough

- General malaise

- Loss of smell

- Loss of taste

- Rash 

If you have symptoms, please complete this document, submit it electronically, and bring a printed copy with you. The Emergency Operations Committee of Ecuador recommends wearing a mask during your flights and while travelling on public transportation.  


Presently, NO COVID-related documentation is required for entry into Ecuador. Some cruise ships may still require proof of vaccination, though these have become the rare exception.  CNH Tours will inform your ship's terms and conditions at the time of booking.  Should these change between then and boarding, we will inform you. 

Please note procedures may change without notice.  




Entry to Galapagos

The documentation requirements for entry into Galápagos are as follows:

  • A valid passport 
  • The Galápagos Transit Control Card - depending how you booked your trip, it may be arranged for you and given to you at the airport, or you may have to obtain it directly prior to check-in on the day of your flight to Galapagos
  • A return national air ticket (continent - Galapagos - continent)

These requirements have been standard for several years and are not likely to change anytime soon - but they may, one never knows.  

On arrival in Galapagos, if this has not been pre-payed, you will be asked to pay the $100 Galapagos National Park Entrance fee. 

There are currently no COVID-19 related entry requirements for Galapagos.  


COVID-19 Safety Aboard your Ship

A return to travel requires the restoration of traveler confidence.

Your well-being and safety is our top priority. Small ship travel in Galapagos is unlike a cruise in most other destination - there are relatively few people on board, the crew is not from all over the world and you spend most of your time in the open air.   

Should you exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 during your cruise, inform your naturalist guide. 

Please be respectful of your fellow travelers and wear a mask, and minimize contact with your fellow passengers and crew.


Additional Biosecurity Steps with Respect to Avian Flu

In light of the recent discovery of Avian Influenza Type A in the Galapagos Islands (September 2023), the Ecuadorian Phyto and Zoo Sanitary Regulation and Control Agency (AGR-AGROCALIDAD) has emitted a health alert to control cases of Avian Flu. 

The Galapagos National Park Management (DPNG) has closed some Galapagos National Park Visitor sites and revised activities in others.  For any sites that are closed to visitation, the DPNG is providing alternate visitor sites to ship owners on a weekly basis. 

The DPNG has also put into place a set of preventive biosafety measures that must be taken before, during, and after a visit at all terrestrial sites within the network of public use ecotourist sites within the protected areas of Galapagos, and thus prevent a possible impact on the viruses to wild birds or possible infections to other Galapagos species, including humans:

1. As it is a disease caused by viruses, we must reinforce observation and surveillance by naturalist guides, passengers, and crew, in case of verifying any unusual behavior of the birds that indicates suspected disease at the visiting sites, you must immediately inform your guide, or phone the number 0988095539. Likewise guides must inform through the guide observation report.

2. Under no circumstances should you handle, move, or touch dead birds or try to help sick or injured birds. Given this scenario, we ask to register and report immediately to the DPNG.

3. The disinfection process of footwear, clothing and hands of passengers and crew prior to Embarkation/disembarkation for the visit of each site and on each island must be carried out through the use of sanitary mats or footbaths with virucidal product, we recommend using Virkon (trade name) (1% dilution), hypochlorous acid (ABG has this product) (0.05%) for fumigation of clothing, materials, equipment and areas of the boat; and alcohol (75%) for hand disinfection for crew and passengers.

4. If passengers or crew present flu symptoms, the use of a mask is mandatory during the tour at visiting sites.

5. Disinfect the auxiliary boats (zodiac) for disembarking passengers after each visit, as well as handrails and stairs and boarding and disembarkation areas after each visit.

6. Clean and disinfect common areas exposed to the outdoors, such as a solarium, at least once a day. Furthermore, swimming pools, jacuzzi, grill areas, bars, among others that could collect waste or bird droppings.

7. It is recommended to wear a clean item of clothing for each visit to each site.

8. During excursions, recommend guests NOT to sit, kneel or lie down on any surface of the visiting areas. Likewise, reinforce the importance of not collecting any type of material inorganic such as stones, sand, or corals.

9. The minimum distance of 2> meters established according to the Rules of the Galapagos National Park will be mandatory, both for guests and for the Naturalist Guide, to reduce stress on the fauna.

These measures will contribute to preventing the presence of Avian Influenza Type A in birds or other species and in this way to avoid impacts on the biodiversity of Galapagos, which is why we request its immediate application.


NOTE: Translated from the official letter from the Galapagos National Park: Oficio Nro. MAATEPNG/DIR-2023-0587-O Puerto Ayora, 18 de septiembre de 2023