A Travel Price Comparison for Ecuador Guayaquil vs. Galapagos Islands for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Guayaquil or Galapagos Islands?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Guayaquil or Galapagos Islands, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Guayaquil or Galapagos Islands?


Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest city and seaport. From a tourist perspective, the city acts primarily as a transportation gateway to the country and the Galapagos Islands. While the city can be skipped altogether, should you have a free day to spend here, there are a few noteworthy things to do, as well as some terrific dining and nightlife options. Guayaquil’s main tourist attraction is Las Penas, a hill with old, colorfully painted buildings at the north end of the Malecon, where you can walk the 400 steps to the lighthouse at the top for good views of the city. The neighborhood is filled with cafes, bars, restaurants, and art galleries and is relatively safe. Other important sights include the Malecon 2000, a massive urban development project that has brought new life to the riverside in the city center and the Parque Seminario, filled with fountains, trees and iguanas, located at 10 de Agosto Ave and Chile Ave.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets found over 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, where both land and sea are protected. Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rocks to white sand beaches and gemstone-blue waters. There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands but the busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as mid-December to mid-January. This is when prices are at their highest.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Ecuador, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Ecuador, The Best Wildlife Tours to Ecuador, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Ecuador.

Which place is cheaper, Galapagos Islands or Guayaquil?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Guayaquil is $95, while the average daily cost in Galapagos Islands is $138. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Guayaquil and Galapagos Islands in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Guayaquil $32
    Galapagos Islands $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Guayaquil $64
    Galapagos Islands $130
Compare Hotels in Guayaquil and Galapagos Islands

Looking for a hotel in Guayaquil or Galapagos Islands? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Guayaquil

Hotels in Galapagos Islands

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Guayaquil Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Guayaquil $15
    Galapagos Islands $54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Guayaquil

Also for Guayaquil, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private transfer Guayaquil - Montañita: $250
  • Guayaquil Airport (GYE): Transfer to Guayaquil hotels: $129
  • Transfer Cuenca - Guayaquil (or Vice versa) With Visit To Cajas National Park: $128
  • Private Transfer from Guayaquil Airport(GYE) to Manta Cruise Port: $98
  • Private Transfer from Guayaquil hotels to Manta Cruise Port: $98
  • Private Transfer from Guayaquil Airport(GYE) to Manta Cruise Port: $88
  • Guayaquil Airport Private Transfer Service: $80
  • Guayaquil Airport(GYE) to Guayaquil - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $59
  • Guayaquil Airport (GYE) to Guayaquil hotels - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $52
  • Shared transfer from Guayaquil Airport to Hotel: $47
  • Shared transfer from Hotel to Airport in Guayaquil: $47
  • Guayaquil Airport GYE to Guayaquil city -Arrival Private Transfer: $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galapagos Islands

Also for Galapagos Islands, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer in + Visit to the giant turtle nature reserve: $205
  • Transfer from Santa Cruz Island to San Cristobal Island: $48
  • Transfer from Santa Cruz Island to San Cristobal Island: $64
  • Transfer from Santa Cruz Island to Isabela Island: $55
  • Transfer from Santa Cruz Island to Isabela Island: $60
  • Private Transfer from Hotels in Santa Cruz to Baltra Airport: $138
  • Private Transfer from Baltra Airport to Hotels in Santa Cruz Island: $144

Is it cheaper to fly into Guayaquil or Galapagos Islands?

Prices for flights to both Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Guayaquil $29
    Galapagos Islands $33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Guayaquil

For Guayaquil, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Half Day Guayaquil Culinary Adventure, Cacao Cooking Class: $185

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Guayaquil $21
    Galapagos Islands $35

Tours and Activities in Guayaquil

For Guayaquil, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • City Tour Guayaquil: $40
  • City Tour around Guayaquil: $75
  • Cocoa and Gastronomy Tour at Hacienda CacaoyMango: $155
  • Dolphin Watching Experience in Puerto El Morro from Guayaquil: $165
  • Exclusive private luxury cocoa experience: $187
  • From Cloud Forest/Waterfalls Private Tour & Lunch: $159
  • From Montañita: Paragliding Experience: $55
  • Full Day Ayangue Tour with Snorkeling in The Pelado's Islote: $295
  • Full Day Private Churute Mangroves Reserve and Cocoa Farm Tour: $255
  • Full Day Zhagal Thermal Baths Tour from Guayaquil: $263
  • Full day private tour Mangroves, dolphins and birds from guayaquil : $215
  • Full day tour Mangroves, dolphins and cocoa farm from guayaquil: $225

Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galapagos Islands.

  • Isla Pinzón - Day Tour - From Santa Cruz - Islas Galápagos: $250
  •  Tour of the city to Isabela + Tintoreras from Santa Cruz: $256
  • Bay Tour in Santa Cruz - Galapagos Islands: $60
  • Beach Wildlife and Snorkel Adventure with Underwater Specialist : $129
  • Cabo Rosa (Tuneles) Hiking & Snorkeling Tour from Isabela: $199
  • Daily diving tour in Gordon Rocks: $280
  • Day Tour to Floreana Island with Snorkeling and Fishing: $249
  • Day Tour to Isabela Island with Tintorera Islet, Snorkeling Wetlands & Flamingos: $249
  • Day Tour to Santa Fe Island and Hidden Beach with snorkeling and fishing: $219
  • Day tour to Pinzón Island and La Fé/Palmitas Bay with snorkeling and fishing: $239
  • Day tour to San Cristobal Island with private Land Tour and snorkeling: $249
  • FERRY TICKET From: Isabela / To: Santa Cruz (AM): $65

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Guayaquil $17
    Galapagos Islands $15

Sample the Local Flavors in Guayaquil

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Guayaquil:

  • Wine Tasting Experience with Tasting Menu: $55
  • Taste and discover the factory of a craft brewery: $65

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Guayaquil and Galapagos Islands, we can see that Galapagos Islands is more expensive. And not only is Guayaquil much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Guayaquil would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Guayaquil and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Galapagos Islands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Galapagos Islands than you might in Guayaquil.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Guayaquil Expensive? and Is Galapagos Islands Expensive?.