Go Kosher in Galapagos
large whole bacalao in Galapagos

By Rick Schleicher

A few years back a family asked us to set up a Galapagos kosher vacation, honoring the Sabbath, blessed foods, etc. This kind of thing is right up our alley as we customize private tours of the Galapagos. Getting the kosher foods was the biggest challenge as there aren’t a lot of Jewish people living in Ecuador. My first solution was I could simply become a rabbi, in the way people become priests so they can legally marry people. I was thinking I’d just go online, maybe pay a fee, and then I’d receive my rabbi certificate, suitable for framing, in an attachment to an email.

Turns out there is a little more involved to becoming a rabbi than I imagined.

Since then we have had the pleasure of planning and overseeing tours for people of the Jewish faith several times. These have all been wonderful experiences not only for the visiting guests, but for everyone in the Galapagos engaged in the process of honoring their faith and facilitating their experience here.

kosher man and woman buying fresh fish in Galapagos

There was a bit of a learning curve. For example, there are now two companies that package, freeze, and send kosher meals throughout Ecuador, but getting food to the Galapagos had its challenges as all foods sent to the islands must be inspected at the airport. We now send the Galapagos inspectors to the kitchen where the food is prepared and blessed so that when the containers are sealed the contents won’t have to be inspected or opened until the they are in the hands of the people they are destined for. You can download the kosher menu here: GALAPAGOS KOSHER MENU 2024

We’ve learned that cooking food must be done in pots, pans, or ovens that have either never been used or never used to cook anything that wasn’t kosher. So we purchased mini ovens, recyclable plates, and utensils. We also account for the limited activities during the Sabbath.

mini fridge with aluminum containers of kosher food

I think we are getting pretty good at serving our kosher clients. I invite you to contact us to plan your holiday to the Galapagos, and we’ll look forward to receiving your feedback. We’re cautiously optimistic that we can exceed your expectations.

smiling woman next to tropical fresh fruits in Galapagos