Baltra Island: The gateway to Galapagos

Baltra Island is probably one of the most visited in Galapagos and not necessarily for its touristic offer.  The reason why thousands of tourists visit it every year is because it is one of 2 the main airports of Galapagos, along with the San Cristobal airport.

Baltra is 150 meters from the northern part of Santa Cruz Island.

Seymour Airport is located on this small island and receives commercial flights from the continent daily. It has also been recognized worldwide for its design and sustainable operation that favors the environment.

Unfortunately Baltra Island, being so small, does not have a hotel infrastructure or places to visit, it only has the airport where the guides and agencies receive tourists.

Baltra is 150 meters from the northern part of Santa Cruz Island.

Seymour Airport is located on this small island and receives commercial flights from the continent on a daily basis. It has also been recognized worldwide for its design and sustainable operation that favors the environment.

Unfortunately Baltra Island, being so small, does not have a hotel infrastructure or places to visit, it only has the airport where the guides and agencies receive tourists.

baltra island

Must have items for your Galapagos Trip

Baltra airport airlines

The main commercial airlines that travel to the San Cristobal Island Airport and to Baltra are the following:

  • Airline Tame: The local airline.
  • LATAM
  • Aerogal (Avianca)

These three airlines make daily flights to the Islands from mainland Ecuador, departing from the two main cities of Ecuador: Quito and Guayaquil.

The price of flights between Quito / Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands (be it Baltra or San Cristobal) is around $ 200.

If you are thinking about traveling to Galapagos remember to check the entry requirements according to your country of origin as well as the procedures and rules that you must follow when visiting the Islands.

How to get from Baltra Airport to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz

If your flight lands in Baltra, there’s a few things you need to do in order to get to your hotel in Puerto Ayora. Here’s the step by step guide to do it.

As we mentioned earlier, Baltra is a very small island, small enough to have the Airport and that’s it, nothing more. This Island is located in the north of Santa Cruz.

Once you land in Seymour Airport in Baltra, you’ll have to go through passport and entry requirements control, where you’ll need to show your passport, accommodation booking, TCT card and pay the entrance fee according to the country of issue of your passport. After paying and showing all the requirements needed, you’ll go through another luggage control, in order to avoid entering things that may harm the island diversity (such as seeds, animals, bugs, etc)

Ok, you are almost there. Once you showed the documents, paid all the fees and went through luggage control you have green light to enter the Islands. As soon as you go outside the airport, look for the local bus business called “Lobito”. These are the buses that will take you from the airport to the coast of the island in the port. The price for this ride is $5 (you can pay them at the airport too) and is a 10 minute ride with an amazing view of the island.

Itabaca Channel

Once the bus drops you in the port, you’ll take your luggage and then take a taxi boat to cross from Baltra Island to Santa Cruz through the Itabaca Channel. The price for this short but very fun and pictoric ride is $1.

After you cross the channel you will finally be in Santa Cruz Island. From there a lot of taxis (don’t think about the classic yellow taxi, look for a white truck instead) will be waiting for you to take you to the hotel.

The taxi ride from that point to Puerto Ayora is around $35 and 45 minutes. Our recommendation is that you take the Highlands Tour with airport pick up to make the most out of thos 45 minutes. On the way to Puerto Ayora, the Highlands tour stops at Rancho Primicias to see giant turtles, los gemelos craters and also it visits a lava tunnels before taking you to the hotel. By doing the Highlands tour, which is around $50 you have the transfer to the airport covered (we’ll take care of the luggage) and also you get to see that side of the islands that is far away and you wont get to see again unless you specifically go there. For more info on the tour click here. 

itabaca channel galapagos, baltra
itabaca channel galapagos, baltra

Landing in Baltra vs. Landing in San Cristobal Which one is better?

The answer for this question depends on many factors. An important one is the amount of days you are planning to be on the Island. Santa Cruz (Baltra) is very well located in the center of the archipielago, meaning that you have access to many day trips to other islands such as North Seymour, Bartolomé, San Cristobal, Santa Fe, Isabela and so on. So that’s a very big plus staying there. However, flights to Baltra are usually a bit higher (not for much) than flights to San Cristobal, where there is usually offers and discounts and adding to that, as we explained earlier, the trip to get from Baltra to Santa Cruz is long and it requires to spend a little more money on the taxi. San Cristobal airport, on the other hand is not very far from the city center, literally 5 minutes away in a cab and no more that $10 for the ride.

Santa Cruz its becoming a very cosmopolitan city and for some people it may be losing nature and its exotic attractive. We don’t agree with this statement, we know there a lot of activities and things you can do for free in Santa Cruz (like Tortuga Bay or Las Grietas) that are pretty amazing, but it is true that it’s the most city-like island in the archipielago and that’s why some people prefer to spend more time on Isabela or San Cristobal.

If you have many days to spend on the islands and want to do many many tours to different islands, Santa Cruz is the place to stay. If you have less days and want to do a lot of free activites and dont move around that much maybe San Cristobal is your option. However, if you tell us a little bit more of what you would like to do, the days and your budget we’ll be happy to build a personalized itinerary for you that fits all your needs. Drop us a line!

A good option if you can’t decide is to land in Baltra and depart from San Cristobal, this lets you cover most of the islands and avoid thinking about transferring back and forth from one island to another.

How to get from Baltra to San Cristobal or Isabela Island

The cheapest and easiest way to move between the main islands is through a ferry or taxi boat. These boats depart on a daily basis on a fixed schedule, 1 boat in the morning and 1 in the afternoon). Most of the rides last around 2 and a half hours and the price circles the $35 per ride. If you are planning to take this option, keep in mind the schedule (boats usually depart 7am in the morning and 2pm) when organizing your itinerary. Meaning that if you land at 12pm in Santa Cruz is unlikely that you’ll be on time for the 2pm boat ride, so you’ll probabbly have to wait for the early morning one the next day.

You can also take a flight from one island to another. The price is around $200 per way. The not so good thing about this is that this flights are not very common so you won’t necessarily have availability always and the time and schedule may vary. Good thing about this is that saves a lot of time, but the prices is a bit high compared to the boat.

LET US ORGANIZE YOUR TRAVEL TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

 We’ll help you build and organize a personalized itinerary so that you make the most of your budget and time in the Galapagos Islands.

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By |2020-10-02T06:24:26+02:00March 31st, 2019|Sin categoría|0 Comments

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