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Galapagos Flights - Airports, Airlines and Fees

The Galapagos are a unique destination on this planet, and getting there has some unique elements to it as well. Learning a bit about the logistics of getting to the Galapagos Islands beforehand will save you a headache leading up to your trip, and could even save you time and money as well.

The fabled Ecuadorian islands sit some 600 miles west of mainland South America, so it's not as if you can ride your bike to them!

Galapagos Islands Tours

What You Must Know About Flights to/from Galapagos

The only viable way to travel to the Islands, for nearly everyone, is by a commercial flight. Here are four important things to know about Galapagos Islands flights when planning the logistics of your travel itinerary.

You must fly to mainland Ecuador before flying to the Galapagos

Whether you're coming from Miami, Peru, London, or anywhere in between, you must fly through mainland Ecuador before connecting to the Galapagos.

Flights leave from only Quito or Guayaquil, both of which have regular morning flights to the islands (though the Quito flight will also pass through Guayaquil). The Islands are a little over two hour flight from Guayaquil, and the flight from Quito to Guayaquil takes about half an hour. See the time tables below.

Since the flights leave in the morning, an overnight stay is almost always required in either Quito or Guayaquil. If time permits, spend a few days exploring Quito, with one of the world's best-preserved historical Spanish colonial centres.

You must fly back from the Galapagos to mainland Ecuador before continuing on to a different destination

In the same vein as the departure for the Galapagos, you must also pass through mainland Ecuador on your return flight from the islands.

The good news is that it's possible to fly out of either Guayaquil or Quito, and then return to the other Ecuadorian city, making it easier to incorporate this connecting flight into a larger Ecuador itinerary. Return flights leave the Galapagos Islands early in the afternoon.

The Boat From the Mainland Myth

There's a persistent myth that you can start a cruise from the Ecuadorian Mainland, or board a cargo ship in Guayaquil and arrive to the Galapagos. There are no cruises that leave from Guayaquil, the Ecuadorian mainland or anywhere except the Galapagos Islands themselves. And though there are tales in years past of backpackers negotiating with captains of cargo ships to hitch a ride to the Islands, this shouldn't be considered a viable, or even legal way to get to Galapagos.

It is possible to take your private yacht to the Galapagos, but it is a very bureaucratic process and you can't actually disembark at any of the National Park visitor sites using your own boat.

You can use the following airports and airlines when flying to the Galapagos

There are two Galapagos airports that you can use when traveling from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos.

The first is Isla Baltra and the second is Isla San Cristobal. They're more or less equal when it comes to flights per day, but your Galapagos itinerary usually dictates which one you'll need to fly into and out of.

The airlines TAME and Aerogal run multiple daily flights from mainland Ecuador (both Quito and Guayaquil) to both Galapagos airports and back, while Icaro has flights to San Cristobal and back three days a week. The Chilean airline LAN began running Galapagos flights in recent years, and offers daily flights going from Quito to Guayaquil to Isla Baltra.

The airport at Isla Baltra is new as of 2013 and is touted to be the world's most ecological airport.

Your Galapagos tour agency normally arranges flights, though they aren't included in the sticker price

Tour agencies generally arrange flights for their clients, so you might end up avoiding this planning process altogether. Keep in mind that the costs aren't normally reflected in the price of a tour.

Agencies often book large groups of tickets well in advance, so you're much less likely to be closed out of a flight due to it's being booked if you arrange through the agency, and it's generally much less expensive than trying to book a flight online or from a travel agency in North America or Europe.

Controls and Park Fees

Given the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos, the government has taken several measures to avoid conserve the Islands' fragile ecology and the introduction of non-native species into the Galapagos, and yes, this includes humans.

After you check in at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil, and before you go through security and board the plane, you'll have to go through a baggage screening process which checks for live animals, plants and seeds to avoid their transport to the islands. Once you're in the air, the flight attendants will also spray the overhead bins with an insecticide to further reduce the chance of introducing insects.

Once at the airport in Galapagos, you'll have to step on a wet mat which sterilizes the soles of your shoes. You'll need to fill out a form and pay USD $10 for the Ingala Transit Card and the National Park Fee.

Galapagos National Park Fees

  • Non-residents of Ecuador 12+ years, US $100
  • Non-residents of Ecuador under 12 years, US $50
  • Andean Community of Nations or Mercosur Nationals, non-residents of Ecuador 12+ years, US $50
  • Andean Community of Nations or Mercosur Nationals, non-residents of Ecuador less than 12 years, US $25
  • Tourists and foreign nationals residing in Ecuador, 12+ years (must show cedula), US $6
  • Tourists and foreign nationals residing in Ecuador, under 12 years (must show cedula), US $3
  • Students not living in Ecuador who are enrolled in Ecuadorian educational institutions
    US $25

These fees are almost never included in the price of tours or cruises either.

Galapagos Flight Prices*

*Note: The price of the flight is not included in the price for the cruise on our Web site.

Airline Route High Season
Adults Children
Airline Route High and Low Season
Adults Children

*For no show and changes on issued tickets a penalty will apply

*Note (subject to change, please confirm before booking your tour)

Galapagos Flights Times:

From Quito to the Galapagos Islands - subject to change without notice
Route: Quito - Guayaquil - Baltra
Airline Flight # What Day(s) Departure Arrival
Quito Guayaquil
AEROGAL 032 Monday 06:55 07:50 09:20
AEROGAL 032 Tue-Thu 07:05 08:00 09:30
AEROGAL 032 Friday 07:25 08:20 09:50
AEROGAL 032 Sunday 07:20 08:15 09:45
AEROGAL 034 Saturday 10:20 11:15 12:50
AEROGAL 080 Saturday 09:25 ------- 10:30
AEROGAL 938 Thu-Fri 10:25 11:20 12:50
AEROGAL 942 Sunday 10:15 ------- 11:20
TAME 191 Daily 08:45 10:20 11:00
TAME 193 Sun-Fri 09:30   10:30
TAME 193 Saturday 09:30 11:00 11:40
Route: Quito - Guayaquil - San Cristobal
Airline Flight # What Day(s) Departure Arrival
Quito Guayaquil
AEROGAL 30 Mon-Fri 10:10 11:05 12:40
AEROGAL 36 Sat-Sun 09:00 09:55 11:30
AEROGAL 936 Sat-Sun 06:35 07:30 09:00
TAME 195 Mon-Wed-Fri 09:00 10:30 11:00
From Galapagos Islands to Quito - subject to change without notice
Route: Baltra - Guayaquil - Quito
Airline Flight # What Day(s) Departure Arrival
Baltra Guayaquil
AEROGAL 33 Monday 10:00 12:50 14:25
AEROGAL 33 Tue-Thu 10:10 13:00 14:35
AEROGAL 33 Friday 10:30 13:20 14:55
AEROGAL 33 Sunday 10:25 13:15 14:50
AEROGAL 35 Saturday 13:30 16:25 18:00
AEROGAL 39 Saturday 10:30 13:20 14:55
AEROGAL 39 Sunday 09:40 12:30 14:05
AEROGAL 81 Saturday 11:10 14:00 15:35
AEROGAL 939 Thu-Fri 13:30 ------- 16:35
AEROGAL 943 Sunday 12:00 ------- 15:05
TAME 190 Daily 11:40   14:40
TAME 192 Sun-Fri 11:10 13:50 15:45
TAME 192 Sat 12:30 15:10 16:45
Route: San Cristobal- Guayaquil - Quito
Airline Flight # What Day(s) Departure Arrival
San Cristobal Guayaquil
AEROGAL 31 Mon-Fri 13:20 16:10 17:45
AEROGAL 937 Sat-Sun 10:00 12:50 14:25
AEROGAL 37 Sat-Sun 12:30 15:25 17:00
TAME 194 Mon-Wed-Fri 12:00 14:30 16:00

In addition there is a $100 national park fee to be paid by cash only upon arrival on the Islands and a US$ 10 Galapagos entrance card for control of population in the islands

Note 1: All flights, ground transportation, National Park fees (US$110), taxes, and tips are not included in the basic tour prices listed with each boat.

Note 2: All flight times are local time. Mainland Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil) is GMT -5 hours. The Galapagos Islands are GMT -6 hours. Neither Mainland Ecuador nor the Galapagos Islands change their clocks for Daylight Savings (because they are on the equator). This means that Quito and Guayaquil in the summer months are one hour ahead of Eastern time and in the winter months they are the same time as Eastern Time. In the summer months, the Galapagos Islands are the same time as Eastern Standard Time but in the winter months they are the same time as Central Standard Time.

Above All, Enjoy Your Trip - and Planning for it Too!

After brushing up on these important things to know when planning your flights to and from the Galapagos Islands, you should be able to tailor your travel to best suit your needs and goals for your trip. Remember to get started on your research early so that you can get your top choices for cruises, hotels and seats on the flights that fit into your plans best.

Feel free to contact us with additional questions regarding booking your Galapagos Islands flights. or email us at with your approximate travel dates, and we'll happily assist you with flight reservations, questions or anything you need to plan your trip.

Happy travels!


Article by Jason Halberstadt


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