The Bus Ride Across Baltra Island: Don’t Blink And Miss It!

About Galapagos Islands, Planning Your Trip

The bus ride across Baltra Island is not very long. It could have been easy to forget to take in the scenery with all the commotion of getting settled on the bus, absorbing that we were actually on the Galapagos islands, and getting to know the other travelers. I’m glad we didn’t.

When we landed on Baltra Island we had a short wait at the Baltra airport before taking the but across the island. While we waited we did a little shopping at the gift stores and then climbed on the bus with everybody else. Hotel staff greeted us, showed us which bus to get on and loaded the luggage for us.


Check out: View of Baltra Island from Itabaca Channel

The Scenery Of Baltra Island

The scenery of Baltra Island is scrubby, lots of dry grass and low lying bushes. It doesn’t sound very pretty but we are used to lusher surroundings so it was interesting to see such a different landscape. In among the dry grass we caught glimpses of reddish volcanic rock. It was the first time I had seen volcanic rock so I was really taken with it, trying to snap pictures as the bus whizzed by.


Out the left side of the bus we saw the Pacific Ocean. The sun was shining so the water was a gorgeous blue making a beautiful contrast with the dry scrubby landscape of Baltra. We could also see some of the other islands which heightened our eagerness to get out there and explore them.

My Favorite Part Of The Ride

I think my favorite part of the ride across Baltra was at the very end where the road winds down toward the water. On one side we could see the Itabaca channel, and on the other a cliff of reddish volcanic rock. I was really taken with the cliff side. The volcanic rock was peppered with bright green cacti and brownish-grey gnarled looking trees, so different from anything I had ever seen before. We were even greeted by a land iguana, a rare sighting!

We lingered for a while, taking pictures of the cliff, the water and the iguana.  The pictures we have from the ride across Baltra really help trigger the memories of how we felt when we got our first glimpses of the Galapagos. I’m glad we didn’t miss that!

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Dena Haines! I'm an 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).

3 comments… add one
  • Mytrinityangel Aug 11, 2012, 8:28 pm

    I hope to be there to enjoy the beauty of Galapagos someday! Enjoyed your blog

  • Billy Bob Aug 13, 2012, 1:26 pm

    I would love to hear about the history of the US base on Baltra.  Their are several small buildings and remnants from World war II.

  • Brian Waters Oct 24, 2012, 5:16 pm

    We had a bus ride in 1993 across Santa Cruz (up and over the island) back towards Baltra at the end of our land based trip. The bus hurtled down the hill towards the tiny jetty sticking out into the crystal clear waters. As it did, the bus got quicker and quicker and quicker,…. slowly, we came to realise that something was up, and as we approached the jetty, without saying a word to anybody, the driver of the bus veered the bus sharply to the left into the undergrowth,…. which amazingly and thankfully stopped the bus just in the nick of time. Later we found out that as we suddenly became aware, the brakes had failed at the top of the hill. What’s the first thing I did? Jumped out of the bus and took a photo….(Didn’t half get an ear bending though from my new wife – we were on our honeymoon!)

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