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How to Travel to Galapagos Islands

How to Travel to Galapagos Islands

How to Travel to Galapagos

We have gathered relevant information on How to Travel to Galapagos islands with the intention of providing the traveler a comprehensive tool when it comes to plan the unique and amazing trip to the Enchanted Islands.

How to get to Galapagos?

Three airlines (Tame, Lan, Avianca-Aerogal) communicate Galapagos with the mainland, either from Quito or Guayaquil. The islands with international airport are Baltra and San Cristóbal, whose IATA code is GPS and SCY respectively.

  • The prices of air tickets to Galapagos range from 350 – 600 USD for round trip.It is important to book flights in advance since the availability is limited when it gets close to the travel date.

How to get from Baltra airport to Puerto Ayora?

  • When you book a tour in the Galapagos, a local guide would normally wait for you on the airport to take you to Puerto Ayora, however, if you wish to do this on your own, follow these simple tips:
    • When you are done with customs and exited the airport there will be airline buses waiting to take passengers at no cost to Itabaca channel.
    • On Itabaca channel there are water taxis that charges just 1 $ crosses the channel (just 200 meters wide) and finally get to the island of Santa Cruz
    • Once we have passed to Santa Cruz Island you have two options, take a pick-up that works as a taxi that costs $25 to Puerto Ayora (you can share the taxi with up to 3 more people which will reduce your transfer cost) or wait for a Local bus that charges 2 dollars. The time taken on the transfer to Puerto Ayora will be 45 minutes approximately.
  • When you enter Galapagos by San Cristobal you can reach the port rapidly by taking a taxi which usually costs 2-3 dollars.

What documentation and taxes are required?

  • To enter Galapagos, you need your passport.All Latin American countries, as well as the European Union or the United States do not need a tourist visa.
  • Before you take your flight from Quito or Guayaquil, you have to register at the airport with the INGALA office and pay a 20 dollars fee for the ‘’Transit Control Card’’
  • Upon landing in Galapagos, either in Baltra or San Cristóbal, the visitor must pay in cash 100 US dollars as the entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park.

What is The best time to travel to Galapagos?

  • Every month has something special.
Galapagos Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temp. °C/F 29/84 30/86 30/86 29/84 29/84 27/81 26/79 25/77 24/75 26/79 26/79 27/81
Min. Temp. °C/F 22/72 23/73 22/72 22/72 22/72 21/70 20/68 19/66 18/64 19/66 20/68 21/70
Sunshine hours 6 8 8 8 8 8 7 6 5 5 5 6
Rainy days 6 5 4 6 3 0 0 0 2 3 1 2
Sea temp. °C/F 25/77 26/79 27/81 26/79 25/77 24/75 23/73 23/73 22/72 22/72 23/73 24/75



Beginning of the rainy season. Land birds start nesting, generally after the first rain.

On Española the adult male marine iguanas become brightly colored.

The green sea turtle arrives to the beaches of Galapagos to lay their eggs.

Land iguanas begin reproductive cycles on Isabela.

Both water and air temperatures rise and stay warm until June.


On Floreana flamingos start nesting. Bahamas pintails start their breeding season. Masked boobies on Española are at the end of their nesting season.

Marine Iguanas nest on Santa Cruz.

The highest water temperature reaches 25°C (77°F). This temp. remains until April.

Very few penguins are sighted in Bartholomew.

The nesting season of the Galápagos dove reaches its peak.


Marine iguanas nest on Fernandina.

The rainy season reaches the highest precipitation. Sporadic tropical rains, intense sun and hot climate. Air temperature can reach up to 30°C (86°F).

March 21, the beginning of the summer equinox signals the arrival of the waved albatross to Española.


Massive arrival of waved albatross to Española. Their courtship starts.

End of hatching season of the giant tortoises. The eggs of the green sea turtles begin to hatch. Land iguanas hatch on Isabela.


North Seymour´s blue footed boobies begin their courtship.

Sea turtles are still hatching on Gardner Bay, Punta Cormorant and Puerto Egas.

Most of the marine iguanas eggs hatch from nests on Santa Cruz.

Palo Santo trees begin to shed their foliage.

Albatross on Española start laying their eggs.

Band rumped storm petrels begin their first nesting period.


Beginning of the garua season.

Giant tortoises on Santa Cruz migrate from the highlands to the lowlands in search of suitable nesting places. Beginning of the nesting season of giant tortoises.


Sea bird communities are very active, especially the blue footed boobies on Española. Flightless cormorant court and nest on Fernandina.

It is possible to find oyster catchers nesting on Puerto Egas.

Lava lizards initiate mating rituals until November.

Whales are more likely to be observed, especially off the Western coast of Isabela.


The Galapagos hawks court on Española and Santiago.

Mask boobies and swallow-tailed gulls nest on Genovesa.

The temperature of the ocean descends to 18°C (64°F), which obviously varies according to the geographic zones among the islands.

Migrant shore birds start to arrive, and stay on the islands until March.

Giant tortoises return to the highlands of Santa Cruz.


Peak of the cold (garua) season. The air temp. reaches its lowers (19°C) (66°F).

Penguins demonstrate remarkable activity on Bartholome until December.

Sea lions are very active, especially in the western and central areas of the Archipelago. Most species of marine birds remain active at their nesting sites.

October Lava herons nest until March. The Galapagos fur seals begin their mating period. Boobies raise their chicks on Española. Giant tortoises still lay their eggs.

Sea lion pups are born.

Sea lions are sexually active on the Eastern part of the Archipelago.

Breeding season of brown noddies.

Band-rumped storm petrels begin their second nesting period.

Cash and the use of Credit Cards?

  • The official currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Almost all commercial transactions (agencies, restaurants, hotels) are usually made with cash, although some (few) accept credit cards as payment method. The most accepted credit cards in Galapagos are Visa and MasterCard.

Traveling with children to the Galapagos?

  • Galapagos is a destination well prepared for family travel. Children not only find an extraordinary place to learn to respect nature with the possibility of seeing very close to many animals, but also everything is very well arranged so that they too are the protagonists.Infrastructures are the most suitable and many families, both Ecuadorian and foreign, escape to the enchanted islands to spend their vacations.

How to get to a different Island?


  • Transportation between inhabited islands in Galapagos is done through what the locals call “fibras”, which are boats that leave or return every day at the same time of their respective port. The most common routes are those that connect Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora) with San Cristóbal (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno), Santa Cruz with Isabela (Puerto Villamil) or Floreana (Puerto Velasco Ibarra).
  • The price for this type of public transportation is about 35 dollars, it is advisable to book your space at least one day in advance, although in high season it is better to do it with more anticipation


  • The schedulesare usually between 6:00 and 7:00 each way and between 14:00 or 15:00 return. It is thought to be able to go to an island, to make an excursion early and to return to our base point. Later ships do not leave because it is forbidden to be sailing during the night, which falls at about 18:00. The main routes (Santa Cruz to Isabela or San Cristóbal) come to last around 2 hours.



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