Category: Covid-19

GALAPAGOS NEW ENTRY REQUIREMENTS STARTING JULY 1st

GALAPAGOS NEW ENTRY REQUIREMENTS STARTING JULY 1st

(Quito, Pichincha).– The National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) through its resolution of June 10th, 2021, informed that the Health Ministry, the Foreign Affairs & Human Mobility Ministry, Tourism Ministry, and the Government´s Galapagos Special Council must issue the «Entry Guidelines by Airway to the Country and the Galapagos Archipelago.” This provision must be put in place by 23:59hrs on June 30th, 2021.

The guidelines will establish that travelers may submit any of the following requirements to enter continental Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands:

  1. A negative RT-PCR or antigen test, for Covid-19 detection, with a maximum validity of 72 hours prior to the trip, from sample collection day. This will not apply to children under two (2) years of age.
  2. Presenting a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or its equivalent, with complete immunization, issued at least 14 days prior to the flight.

Entry to Galapagos
In addition to complying with the two requirements, they must also present a traffic control card issued by the Galapagos Government Council. As of July, the tour operator or accommodation safe-passes, which used to be regulated by the Ministry of Tourism, will be eliminated; with the exception of the tour leader safe-pass established in the Tourist Guidance Regulations for the Government´s Galapagos Special Council.

Travelers from Brazil
Travelers arriving from Brazil, require a negative RT-PCR or antigen test result, with a maximum validity of 72 hours prior to their arrival to Ecuador. In addition, they must comply with a ten (10) day isolation period either at a residence, or at their choice of accommodation, covering their own expenses. The isolation period will not apply to those arriving from Brazil but presenting a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, with the same requirements mentioned in the above guidelines.

#EncontrémonosPorElTurismo

For more information go to:
https://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/resoluciones-coe/

The Entire Galapagos Islands Population Vaccinated against Covid-19

The Entire Galapagos Islands Population Vaccinated against Covid-19

After having carefully and continuously maintained its borders open to tourism for the past eight months, Ecuador has again surprised observers by confirming that by the end of May 2021, the entire adult population of the Galapagos Islands will have ben be vaccinated against Covid-19, giving yet another nod to the tourism industry.

To continue promoting safe tourism in Ecuador, last Friday the country’s authorities announced an agreement with the Pfizer laboratory. The pharmaceutical giant is now in a position to guarantee the supply of all doses necessary to fully inoculate the entire adult population of the Galapagos archipelago.

This campaign, which will be completed by the end of May, will include all those involved in the tourism industry, such as the staffs of hotels and restaurants, local operators, guides and, of course, the crews of cruise ships sailing the waters of Galapagos National Park. As a welcome consequence, it is expected that by June, the Galapagos Islands will become a Covid-free bubble, thus ensuring the safety and health of those who visit.

Since mid-August 2020, Ecuador opened its borders to tourism, though strict precautions such as proof of having a negative PCR test were required. Additionally, as of March 22, 2021, for travelers in mainland Ecuador, the requirement of a negative PCR test result was eliminated for those able to present a vaccination card certifying the receipt of a complete dosage against Covid-19; this gave travelers the option of presenting either antigen test results or PCR test results. (In either case, though, the maximum validity of the antigen certification or a PCR document is three [3] days between taking the test and arrival in the country).

Concerning the Galapagos Islands, local authorities continue to demand the presentation of a negative PCR test result, though the test can be taken as much as 96 hours (4 days) before embarkation onto the archipelago. As one option, these authorities are allowing the results of the same PCR test taken in one’s country of origin for entering the Galapagos Islands, provided that the required deadlines are respected and the results of the test are sent to the relevant authorities electronically prior to the traveler’s trip to the Galapagos. Alternatively, it is possible to take a PCR test in practically any city in Ecuador and to receive the results within 24 hours; if you choose this tack, Surtrek will take care of all the logistics involved in order to ensure your comfort and safety.

In these ways, vacationers arriving in Ecuador will be free of any quarantines, curfews, or any other restrictions on movement within the country. For this reason, Ecuador continues to establish itself as the leading destination on the South American continent in offering its visitors its full range of comforts and conveniences for enjoying an extraordinary and diverse destination, while safely traveling during a pandemic. Without a doubt, Ecuador remains an outstanding destination for those seeking pristine landscapes, exotic wildlife, and a vibrant cultural mix for their long-awaited summer getaway.

If you have questions about current measures related to travel to or within Ecuador, or should you receive a proposal or a budget, you can contact me at info@surtrek.com

Waiting for your news.
Alfonso Tandazo
Surtrek CEO

South America Begins Careful Tourism Reopening (9/1/2020)

South America Begins Careful Tourism Reopening (9/1/2020)

Several South American countries have officially started reopening their borders for tourism, though great care is being taken to slowly loosen travel restrictions as Covid-19 outbreaks continue across many nations in the region.

Below, we have a list of the traditionally most-visited countries in Latin America, along with their current reopening status:

  • Not open for tourism
  • Re-opening soon 
  • Now open

For the countries that have reopened, we have also included information on which of these permit international visitors, in addition to the entry requirements.

Argentina: Not Open for Tourism

Argentina has banned all international commercial flights until September 1st, 2020.

Bolivia: Not Open for Tourism

Bolivia is currently closed to tourists. The government announced a total quarantine of the country through July 31.

Brazil: Now Open

Though Brazil is suffering from the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in Latin America, it officially reopened its borders for international tourism on July 29, 2020.

Visitors from all countries are allowed to visit Brazil, but must meet the following entry requirements:

  • A valid Visa. (If your country requires a Visa to visit Brazil)
  • Proof of travel insurance. You must have proof of travel health insurance that covers COVID for the duration of your trip. You will need to show proof of this before departing at the airport, and again upon arrival.
  • Arrivals should expect temperature checks, as Brazil has recently been testing new temperature screening systems since May.

Chile: Not Open for Tourism

Chile is closed to all foreign tourists and currently has a nationwide curfew.

Colombia: Not Open for Tourism

Colombia closed its borders to foreign travelers in March and no international passenger flights are expected until at least August 31st.

Update Aug 26: A new government decree has stated land borders will remain closed until Oct 1. No word yet if this includes air borders as well.

Ecuador: Now Open

Ecuador resumed international flights with limited capacity on June 1st, 2020.

Entry Requirements

  • All arriving passengers are required to have the results of a negative PCR COVID test within the last 10 days before arrival.
  • If testing is not available in your country, you must sign a declaration that you agree to undergo testing in Ecuador upon arrival, and quarantine until results are ready

Peru: Not Open for Tourists

Peru is suffering from the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in Latin America only after Brazil. International flights to Peru should resume in October (2020), though the first passengers will likely be limited to foreign businesspeople, officials, and technicians. Traditional recreational tourism should return to Peru sometime between April and July 2021.

Uruguay: Not Open for Tourists

All borders are closed to foreign travelers until further notice

New Luxury Cruise Ship to Start Safe Sailing to the Galapagos Islands in September

(from Travel + Leisure / August 2020):  Because it’s operating exclusively in Ecuador’s Galapagos archipelago, the newly built Silver Origin has the green light to cruise – despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s No Sail Order.

With absolutely stunning looks, the new ship will add a bit more luxury to the eco-minded destination. The Silver Origin is scheduled to start sailing with passengers on Sept. 19, with a series of adventurous itineraries that offer lots of wildlife-watching moments. The 100-passenger vessel will have just 51 suites on board, all of which will come with private balconies. Many of them will also have stunning bathrooms that include tubs with ocean views. Amping up the luxury factor even more: Every stateroom gets butler service, to make sure your Champagne is topped up at all times.

The ship will also have two restaurants on board — descriptively named The Grill and The Restaurant — along with a number of lounges and the Basecamp, a departures hub for various expeditions, whether that’s a wildlife-watching trip by Zodiac or a paddle in the fleet of kayaks that the Origin has on hand. The ship also has a small gym, spa, and salon.

Itineraries take in some of the greatest hits of the Galápagos, including Bartolome Island (known for its penguins and snorkeling) and Santa Cruz (home of the Charles Darwin Research Station). In the coming months and years, Silversea says, the ship will make maiden calls in several lesser-visited places throughout the archipelago, including Santa Fe Island.

Ecuador recently resumed, and arriving visitors to Ecuador are no longer required to undergo quarantine if they present negative COVID-19 test results,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Quito

Peru Announces Restart of Traditional Tourism for 2021

nternational flights to Peru should resume in October (2020), though the first passengers will likely be limited to foreign businesspeople, officials, and technicians.

Traditional recreational tourism should return to Peru sometime between April and July 2021, with the precise date depending on the levels of contagion in Peru is at that time.

A campaign to encourage domestic tourism will officially begin on September 27 within the framework of “International Tourism Day.”

Ecuador to Begin Tentative Tourist-Facility Re-openings

Ecuador’s Emergency Operations Committee (COE) has approved several pilot programs for the reopening of selected tourism facilities throughout the country.

On August 21, 2020, the governmental body authorized trail phases for the incremental reopening of Papallacta hot springs (a resort area to the east of Quito), in addition to hot springs, swimming pools, and other water-activity areas in Baños, Ecuador. 

In addition, a protocol was approved regarding the resumption of competitive soccer clubs

Is it Safe to Travel to the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are one of the most secure places in the world in terms of personal safety and health. To preserve the archipelago, the islands were declared a National Park back in 1959. In 1969, the Galapagos Islands started receiving a steady flow of tourism. This ultimately meant that processes and directives needed to be implemented and improved, helping travelers enjoy the Galapagos Islands with an unparalleled degree of safety.

Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Travel Requirements (8/18/2020)

Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Travel Requirements (8/18/2020)

On August 15, the Ecuadorian government published new protocols for international travelers entering the country. The objective is to reactivate the tourism sector while guaranteeing the safety of its citizens as well as foreign visitors.

New protocols for international arrivals by air

The highlights of the new entry protocol to Ecuador are the following.

  • All persons arriving in the country must present a negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 10 days before entering the country. As long as these travelers do not show symptoms of COVID, they do not need to comply with a mandatory preventive isolation period.
  • Travelers who do not have an international PCR test must take a PCR test on arrival (or where they are staying) at their own expense, and then proceed with isolation in temporary accommodations to await the results. If the test results are negative, they can continue their journey.
  • Travelers who show symptoms of COVID upon arrival in Ecuador must undergo a PCR test, at their own cost, and proceed to isolation even if they present a negative PCR test at the airport of entry.
  • Incoming travelers who test positive must comply with 10 days of mandatory preventive isolation in their accommodations until they are asymptomatic before they can continue their trip.
  • All travelers must fill out a “Declaration of State of Health Form” and deliver it upon arrival to staff members of the Ministry of Health, who will also verify symptoms. The protocols apply to citizens of all countries and flights arriving from any destination. Travelers under the age of 18 are considered a priority group and do not need to have negative PCR tests.

Subsequent trips to the Galapagos Islands

  • The following are the requirements for trips to the Galapagos Islands: Travel insurance with medical coverage
  • A certificate indicating a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of a traveler’s flight
  • A safe-conduct pass issued by the traveler’s tour operator or hotel at least 24 hours before arrival in the country
  • The Galapagos Traffic Control Card, completed online at least 24 hours before the traveler’s flight
  • An electronic boarding pass

Travelers can use their negative international PCR test certificate to travel to the islands provided it is issued 96 hours prior to entry into the islands.

Please note that although travelers under 18 are not required to have a PCR test to enter Ecuador, the rules for entering Galapagos DO REQUIRE this test for children under 12 years of age.

When flying to the Galapagos Islands, all travelers go through temperature controls and disinfection footbaths, and they are requested to regularly wash their hands with disinfectants as well required to wear masks at all times. Luggage is disinfected before and after its inspection by the Galapagos biosecurity and quarantine control agency. Commercial flights connecting the islands resumed on August 3, and the first guests have been served by the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel and the La Pinta Yacht. If you have any comments, questions, or would like to request our complete biosafety protocols and measures, please contact us at Surtrek.

Galapagos Islands Governmental Travel Requirements

Galapagos Islands Governmental Travel Requirements

(Quito / August 4, 2020):In light of the world Covid-19 pandemic,Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism has issued a series of travel requirements designed to protect travelers seeking to visit the Galapagos Islands, as well as residents of the islands. These requirements — for international visitors and Ecuadorian travelers alike — consist of the following:

FOREIGN TOURISTS: REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY INTO GALAPAGOS ISLANDS*

All foreign tourists traveling to Galapagos will meet the following requirements:

  • Personal travel documents (valid passport, etc.)
  • A negative result of an RT-PCR test performed in your country of origin up to 7 days before arrival in Ecuador. (Tests not required for minors)
  • RT-PCR test performed upon arrival in Ecuador at the Quito or Guayaquil airport, paid for by the tourist. The tourist will remain in Quito or Guayaquil until receiving a negative result of this test, which will enable them to then enter the Galapagos Islands.
  • Safe-conduct pass issued in the tourist’s name by the tourist services provider in the Galapagos Islands.
  • “Traveler’s Health Declaration” form, with an indication of the tourist’s place of stay in continental Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands [this form will be filled upon arrival in the country].
  • Mandatory health insurance.
  • Payment of established fees to enter Ecuador’s Galapagos Province and the Galapagos National Park.

ECUADORIAN RESIDENTS: REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY INTO GALAPAGOS ISLANDS*

All Ecuadorian residents traveling to the Galapagos Islands must meet the following requirements:

  • Personal travel documents (national ID card: a “cedula”).
  • A negative result of an RT-PCR test carried out up to 96 hours before entering the Galapagos Islands.

(tests not required for minors).

  • Safe-conduct pass issued in the traveler’s name by the tourist services provider in the Galapagos Islands.
  • “Traveler Health Declaration” form, with an indication of the traveler’s place of stay.
  • Payment of established fees to enter Galapagos Province and the Galapagos National Park.

(*) Travel agencies, operators, hotels, and other tourist service providers must inform the tourist of the requirements and details regarding the guidelines for entering the Galapagos prior to their trip.

Surtrek’s Approach to Covid-19

Surtrek’s Approach to Covid-19

We at Surtrek continue to liaise closely with global health authorities and government agencies. In addition to the government advice, we remain in close contact with our own agents on the ground in affected destinations to get first-hand information and insights.

Our team will be in contact directly with any guests planning to travel next year or in the next several months, in addition to those who remain on vacation.

If you have any concerns regarding forthcoming travel arrangements, please contact one of our Surtrek Travel Consultants.

SOUTH AMERICA PREPARES FOR SAFE & GRADUAL

TRAVEL RE-OPENING

Quito’s Illa Hotel: Taking pro-active measures
Quito’s Illa Hotel: Taking pro-active measures

As Ecuador prepares to slowly re-open — carefully and in line with the advice of renowned national and international health authorities — Surtrek and its hospitality service providers have already begun taking measures that will serve to protect clients traveling throughout South America, including mainland Ecuador and our Galapagos Islands.

As an example of the detailed and exacting measures now being put in place in the country, Surtrek wishes to share those adopted by one of our partner hotels: Illa Experience Hotel, a luxury hotel based here in Quito.

We hope that by reviewing this detailed list of precautions being taken by our partner, the comfort level will be increased for those considering to travel to South America in the not-so-distant future.