www.
Ecuador
Travel
Site.org
Galapagos Flights
Aerogal flight: plane at airport in Galapagos islands, Ecuador
Cheap Galapagos flights: plane taking off from San Cristobal, Galapagos
Tailfin of Aerogal plane, one of the airlines of Ecuador which fly to Galapagos

Galapagos Airports
Baltra Airport
(for Santa Cruz Island)
Airport code: GPS

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno Airport
for San Cristóbal Island
Airport code: SCY


Galapagos flights: Aerogal and LAN aeroplanes at airport in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Galapagos travel: San Cristobal airport in the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos flights are the
only practical way to reach the islands (unless you have
your own yacht and at least
a medium-sized fortune,
in which case, have the butler sort it out with the captain).


Galapagos Flights

Flights to & from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos Flights: A flight to the Galapagos Islands is the only legal way to get there without your own yacht (for which you would be charged huge fees).  Passenger travel to the Galapagos Islands on the cargo boats is strictly forbidden, so your Galapagos travel experience will almost certainly start with a flight to either Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal island or Baltra, just off Santa Cruz island.  Galapagos flights should be booked well in advance especially at peak tourist season (e.g. Christmas and New Year, and late June to August).
All Galapagos flights leave from Quito or Guayaquil in the early morning, returning from the islands to the mainland in the late afternoon.  Most of the flights from Quito stop at Guayaquil to pick up more passengers.  If you are visiting just the Galapagos Islands and not the rest of Ecuador, it makes more sense to fly into and out of Guayaquil, rather than Quito.  There are no direct international flights into Galapagos, only Ecuador airlines are authorized for the routes to the islands, though you do have a choice between Aerogal, LAN and TAME.
If you will be diving in the Islands, or climbing mountains back on the mainland, you might like to note that Guayaquil is at sealevel, while Quito is around 2800m higher, and plan your Galapagos flights accordingly.
Galapagos cruise operators have a reserved quota of flights to connect with their cruise schedule, i.e. if you book a cruise, they will have flights available for you, assuming you fly on the start and end dates of the cruise.  If you want time to travel in the Galapagos before or after your cruise, or if you prefer to travel independently, volunteer, or take a land tour of the islands, booking flights well in advance is strongly recommended as availability is limited.  Having said that, IF the cruise operators find that they have cruise spaces unsold just before the start date, they might release their unused flight quota, meaning last-minute Galapagos flights could be available.  If this happens, it really is last minute, so a) you'd probably need to be hanging around at the airport to take advantage of the opportunity, and b) you're likely to be lower down the list than Galapagos residents, who usually have good connections with the flight agents.  So, while you can ask a travel agent about standby availability, don't count on flying to the Galapagos at short notice, and certainly don't expect a discount - there is likely to be stiff competition for any available seats.  Because of the high demand, the airlines will cancel your reservation if you do not check in on time, and offer the seats on standby.  It's worth reconfirming your flights a day or two before, if you have booked independently.  Do not try to fly to the islands without having either a hotel or a cruise booked.
Galapagos Airports and Airport Codes:  The Galapagos Islands have two airports receiving passenger flights from the mainland: Baltra Airport (Galapagos airport code: GPS), right off Santa Cruz Island, and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (Galapagos airport code: SCY) on San Cristóbal Island.  If you are booking your flights independently, rather than taking a flight / cruise / hotel package, make sure your Galapagos flight is going to the correct island to meet your cruise boat.  Flights from the mainland go to either Baltra or San Cristóbal, not both, and there is no quick or even same-day transfer between the two if you get it wrong.
Flight prices to the Galapagos Islands:  Galapagos flight prices are controlled by the government, to a certain extent, so there is not much leeway for discounts or cheap flights.   Expect to pay between around $425 (from Guayaquil, low season) to $510 (from Quito, high season).  Some luxury Galapagos cruise operators may include "free" Galapagos flights in the cruise package, though of course you will be paying for them through the cruise price - there is no such thing as cheap Galapagos travel!  Whether you fly to Baltra or San Cristóbal makes no difference to the flight price.  Flying from Guayaquil rather than Quito is a little cheaper (perhaps $30 to $50 difference - probably not enough to make it worth the 10 hour, $10 bus journey from Quito to Guayaquil just for the discount).  It may be possible to fly from Guayaquil but return to Quito, or vice versa, so talk to your travel agency or tour operator about possible flight itineraries.
Although Galapagos flights are the only realistic, legal way to get to the islands, they do carry a heavy environmental cost, so you might want to consider reducing your carbon footprint by compensating for the carbon emissions from your flight with one of the various offset schemes available.
Galapagos flight check-in: You need to get your luggage checked and approved by the Inspection and Quarantine System for the Galapagos Islands (SESA-SICGAL) BEFORE you check in for your flight - get to the airport in plenty of time and ask where the queue is.  Your bags will be searched to ensure you are not carrying seeds, nuts or anything that could be a threat to the Galapagos ecosystem, and then tagged when approved.  You will probably also have to locate the INGALA desk, where you fill in a form, show your passport and flight tickets and pay $10 (cash) for a Transit Card (TCT) - if you are with a Galapagos tour group or cruise, your representative may deal with this, otherwise your travel agent may be able to supply the relevant form to complete when you buy your flight.  Either way, ask about the TCT when you book your Galapagos trip.  Only after these two tasks are done should you queue at the airline desk for check-in, where you will need to show your TCT and SESA-SICGAL tags. 
Ecuador Departure Tax - Galapagos Flights
Check with your flight ticket booking agent or Galapagos tour operator to make sure any domestic departure tax is included in the price of your Galapagos flights.

Galapagos Flights
Flights to and from the Galapagos Islands, air routes and airline options.  Note that no responsibility can be taken for the content of external links or for reliance on any of the suggestions on this site.  For the sake of the islands' environment, please consider the carbon footprint from your Galapagos flights and take some personal action to neutralise the carbon emissions caused by your Galapagos travel.