Getting to the Galapagos Islands

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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Getting to the Galapagos Islands Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
393 reviews
Flying to Baltra from Guayquil Nov 04, 2012
There are two airports on the Galápagos Islands, on Baltra and San Christobel, and we, like most tourists, flew to the former, on one of the several airlines serving the route, Tame (other possibilities are AeroGal and Lan).

Most of our group came directly from Quito, but we had spent the previous few days of our trip in Cuenca, and drove from there to Guayquil the afternoon before our cruise started, to pick up the flight there. Our original plan had been to fly from Cuenca in the morning, but a change to the timing of that flight meant we would have missed the connection to Baltra, hence the overnight in Guayaquil. We found the airport there to be modern, relatively quiet and well-organised for the additional complications of a Galápagos flight. These complications are:

1. The necessity of buying (for $10) an INGALA transit control card (INGALA is the agency that regulates travel to the islands)

2. Submitting all luggage to an additional inspection for quarantine regulations

Both of these operations went smoothly and we had time for a coffee in the bright and comfortable departures area (with good free wifi) before boarding our plane. The flight lasted 1 hour 45 minutes, but because the Galápagos Islands are an hour behind mainland Ecuador, we arrived well before lunch-time. Our first views of the islands, from the air, were enough to raise the excitement levels. Our dream holiday was about to begin!

But first, some more formalities. Everyone visiting the Galápagos has to pay a $100 national park fee, and as this can’t be paid in advance, it must be done on arrival at the airport and in cash – so make sure you’re carrying enough. I was pleased that in addition to the attractive souvenir ticket I also got my passport stamped (I later found out that a couple of travelling companions who’d arrived a day or two earlier hadn’t had theirs stamped, so do ask if this matters to you).

Baggage claim consisted of all luggage being piled up in a hall to one side of the arrivals area, and once we’d retrieved ours we were able to exit to the main part of the airport where Fabian our guide was waiting for us all to escort us to the Angelito.
First sight of the islands
Landing at Baltra
Baltra Airport
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Galapagos Islands Map
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Galapagos Islands
photo by: Melboorn