The Galapagos Islands are world famous for their incredible fearless and unique wildlife. Here you can swim with sea lions, float eye to eye with a marine turtle, stand next to a blue footed booby feeding its young, watch a giant tortoise close by in its natural habitat and try to avoid stepping on iguanas scurrying over the lava.
This unique ecosystem has developed in a fascinating volcanic setting, giving the islands a haunting beauty all its own. The Galapagos Islands are a dream destination for wilderness and wildlife enthusiasts where you can actually experience natural history.
While for many years the only way to discover the Galapagos Islands has been on a cruise, now you can combine a comfortable hotel stay on one or several of the islands with day tours into the national park as well as the marine reserve. Trained national park guides will share their knowledge on the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands with you and guide you to the best spots to meet the wildlife.
• June 2016: tax on cash upon departure
The Ecuadorian government has introduced a new tax - Impuesto a la Salida de Divisas or shortly ISD – of 5% on cash sums over US $ 1,098 per person, when leaving the country.
When a person (Ecuadorean or foreigner) leaves Ecuador carrying cash of up to US$ 1,098 no tax (ISD) applies. If this tax allowance of US$ 1098 per person is exceeded, the amount passing the allowance must be declared and a tax of 5% paid upon this amount. Families can travel with an allowance of US$ 1,098 for each adult plus an additional allowance of USD 366 for each child under 18 years.
Persons leaving the country carrying more cash as the permitted allowance without declaring that amount and accordingly paying the respective taxes (ISD) will be fined with 50% of the untaxed amount. Ecuadorian tax authorities (SRI) will therefore conduct controls in ports, airports and border areas.
• Summer 2016: Cuenca Airport
Due to strong wear and tear of the runway of Mariscal La Mar Airport in Cuenca, Ecuador currently planes can take off and land only if the runway is completely dry. Therefore most flights to/from Cuenca are currently cancelled. Tourists who have already booked flights can check the current status on the airport site: http://www.aeropuertocuenca.ec/
When the renovation work of the runway will be carried out is not known.
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Information on Galapagos travel, flights, climate, plants and wildlife