Getting to the Galapagos Islands: Baltra Airport

Planning Your Trip

Once you’re in Ecuador, your flight to the Galapagos Islands will depart either from Quito (in the Andes) or Guayaquil (on the coast). In the Galapagos, there are two main airports: Baltra and San Cristobal.


Baltra Island is a small island north of Santa Cruz Island. The airport is small and very nice.

Services at Baltra Airport in the Galapagos

Does WiFi exist? I’m not sure. Services are pretty basic at the airport. You’ll find ticketing, security and bathrooms. There are, of course, a full set of gift shops – in case you forgot to pickup something while on the other islands. We actually found some of the souvenirs at the airport to be of better quality and selection than in the towns.

But for other services that you might expect at an airport, such as restaurants, currency exchange or back massages – you’ll have to wait until you arrive back in Quito or Guayaquil for these things. Baltra Airport does a great job of getting you to and from the Islands – and that’s all. Its good to remember that this is a national, not an international, airport.

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Once you land, you’ll take a bus to the other side of the island and cross a small channel by boat. Once you cross to the other side, you’ll be on Santa Cruz. If traveling with a tour operator, you will have transport waiting for you. If not, you can arrange a ride into Puerto Ayora with one of the truck taxis.

A Little Background on Baltra Island

Also known as South Seymour (after Lord Hugh Seymour, a senior 18th century British Royal Navy officer), Baltra Island is one of the few non-volcanic islands of the Galapagos archipelago. It was created by a unique phenomenon known as a geological uplift.

During World War II, Baltra Island served as a strategic base of the United States Army Air Force. After the war, the base and all the facilities were given to the Ecuadorian Government.

Today the airport serves as one of two entry points for 160,000 tourists every year.

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Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Bryan Haines! I'm a traveler, photographer and Canadian entrepreneur. I'm a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for travel brands. I blog at GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel) and Click Like This (How to Use a GoPro).

2 comments… add one
  • lola king Sep 15, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Hi Bryan
    I am trying to plan a trip to galapagos island and need some advice please. Cruise ship? or if not how do I plan it otherwise. Would love some info please.
    ps. Have been to Canada Many times and have travelled around it extensively both in the summer and winter…stunning country and great people. Look forward to hearing from you soon

    • Lisa Chow Oct 1, 2013, 2:29 pm

      Hi Lola,

      Bryan has moved on to other projects. I am Red Mangrove’s new travel blogger. Cruise ship is a popular option for seeing the Galapagos. Hotel and land-based tours are becoming more popular as well, but depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. You can check out this article for more information on the relative advantages/disadvantages.


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