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Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

Columbus
Level Contributor
13 posts
1 review
Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

Has anyone cruised in the Galapagos and used a Verizon cell phone or a CDMA cell phone while there? What kind of coverage was there? I hate the idea of being out of touch with my family so if there isn't much coverage, I might rent a satellite phone instead. Any input would be appreciated.

Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
850 posts
11 reviews
1. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

Check with the boat as you may be able to use their satellite phone for a per minute charge which would be cheaper than renting your own.

Unfortunately I forgot my charging lead on my most recent visit so don't have up to date coverge info. The last time I used a cell, there was coverage close to Santa Cruz and San Cristobal but not elsewhere. You would need a phone that operates on 850 band.

Ecuador
Level Contributor
392 posts
1 review
2. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

There is coverage for CDMA,3.5 G, GSM and GPRS-EDGE. You have to make sure your phone has roaming service in the US to use it here. You can also buy a cheap phone here and buy phone cards and receive and make phone calls. That will be cheaper than roamming.

New York
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear
Level Contributor
1,829 posts
3. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

I have a Verizon global phone and contacted Verizon to make sure it would work in Ecuador and the Galapagos. Verizon told me it would only work on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. It did not even work there or when the boat was nearby. People with other carriers (not sure which ones) got reception where I did not and also were able to get data. Verizon had told me ahead of time I would not be able to get data/emails in Ecuador with any of its phones. My phone did work for calls in Guayaquil.

Columbus
Level Contributor
13 posts
1 review
4. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

Thank you all so much for your replies; The boats' sat phone costs $4 per minute and is supposed to be for emergencies only.

Verizon basically told me they couldn't promise me that there would be reception for my phone and offered to rent me a global phone. Based on wanderingattorney's reply, getting a Verizon global phone doesn't seem worth it.

I guess it's either a sat phone or buy a phone in Ecuador when I get there. Pilligsilli, do you know how much would that cost? Do you think I could do that in the airport?

Thanks!

Ecuador
Level Contributor
392 posts
1 review
5. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

To which city do you arrive Quito or Guayaquil?

Columbus
Level Contributor
13 posts
1 review
6. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

Quito

Knoxville, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Pigeon Forge
Level Contributor
1,154 posts
101 reviews
7. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

BTW,

Internet calling in the town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz was quite cheap and very easy. There were a few internet cafes there and I believe the cost was only a few cents (10-15) US per minute.

8. Re: Cell phone vs satellite phone in Galapagos

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