Planning your trip to the Galapagos Islands is an exciting time. The sheer breadth of species and landscapes on offer is incredible. But how do you get to the Galapagos?
Unless you have access to a personal sail boat, the short answer is you need to fly.
No matter where you call home, there are plenty of options for people wanting to visit the Galapagos. If you're unsure when to visit, please see here.
So, to help you make your Galapagos expereince as smooth as possible, we've put together this guide on how to get the Galapagos Islands.
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There are no international flights that fly directly to the Galapgos Islands. All international travelers will need to first fly into either Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuardor.
Flights to the Galapagos depart from Quito and Guayaquil on a daily basis. Most flights departing from Quito make a stop-over in Guayaquil. This means that Quito flights tend to leave very early in the day. To catch the early flight you'll need to arrive in the city the day before at least. Both Guyaquil and Quito are great cities to explore and it's well worth arriving several days early anyway.
Flights to the Galapagos take around two and a half hours and you can fly into Baltra or San Cristobal Island. Cruise boats can depart from either, so make sure you fly into the closer airport. Also make sure you purchase your transit card prior to departure at the airport.
There are plenty of direct flight options from America.
Daily flights to Guayaquil depart from Miami and New York. Direct flights to Quito depart daily from Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Miami and New York.
Costs vary depending on the season you travel. For a full Galapagos cost breakdown, please read our article here.
The only major cities to offer direct flights to Quito are Amsterdam and Madrid. For all other major airports like Paris or London, you'll need to make a stop-over.
The quickest option with a stop-over is United Airlines from London to Quito via Houston which takes 17-18 hours.
The quickest route to Guayaquil is the non-stop flight from Madrid.
There are no direct flights to either Quito or Guayaquil from Australia or New Zealand. However, there are direct flights from Sydney and Auckland to Los Angeles and New York from where you can taka flight to Quito Or Guayaquil.
Another option is to fly direct from Sydney or Auckland to Santiago, from where you can fly onto Quito Or Guayaquil.
Emetebe is the only airline that flys between islands within the Galapagos. Flights generally cost around $200 per person, for a one-way flight. Because the planes are small, passenger luggage is capped at 10kg per person.
Daily flights schedule:
Some of the major towns such as Santa Cruz have water taxis available. Some restaurants and tourist attractions require short taxi journeys to reach them from the main town. They tend to be very cheap and most won't cost you more than a couple of dollars per person.
Public ferries run between Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora) and Isabela (Puerto Villamil), and between Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora) and San Cristobal (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno).
These are not so much ferries, but basic speed boats with one or two engines. They can carry between 20-30 passengers and most trips are fully booked when it comes to departure.
The fares vary depending on the company and boat, but most cost around $25 - $35 dollars each way, per person. To book a ferry, just look around town for signs saying “Tickets” or “Venta” alongside an image of a speed boat. Most days there will be one departure in the morning and one in the afternoon. Most journeys take 2-3 hours, but this does vary depending on sea conditions.
If you have any queries or questions regarding how to get to the Galapagos, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.
Thank you and happy travels!
Expedition Cruise Team
Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He has cruised to some of the most iconic and obscure parts of the planet.