What are the ferry and speed boats schedules in Galapagos?
We are sometimes asked if there is a ferry to Galapagos from Ecuador. Although it is possible to find boats that will take you to the islands, there are no official ferries, and we can't recommend this option for the following reasons. 1. You will spend three and a half days to get there, taking up valuable time. 2. There's no guarantee of a proper berth - you might have to spend the time in a hammock, or even just on a mat on the floor. 3. Because the open Pacific can be rough, the journey can be very uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe. Our advice is to avoid booking any Guayaquil to Galapagos "ferry" at all costs!
Once you arrive in the Galapagos, you can travel between some islands by small boats used as a ferries. The following is the public transportation schedule for Galapagos ferry / speed boat services, which can transport you between islands. You might be able to buy your tickets the same day, but it's much safer to purchase online in advance, especially since a full speedboat means you are waiting until the next day to depart. Prices vary between $25-$35 pp one way with no round trip discount.
Ferry Galapagos Islands - Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela - Schedule:
|From||To||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
|Santa Cruz||San Cristobal||7:00 AM||9:30 AM|
|Santa Cruz||San Cristobal||2:00 PM||4:30 PM|
|Santa Cruz||Isabela||7:00 AM||9:30 AM|
|Santa Cruz||Isabela||2:00 PM||4:30 PM|
|Isabela||Santa Cruz||6:00 AM||8:30 AM|
|Isabela||Santa Cruz||2:00 PM||4:30 PM|
|San Cristobal||Santa Cruz||7:00 AM||9:30 AM|
|San Cristobal||Santa Cruz||3:00 PM||5:30 PM|
- The journey length depends greatly on the sea conditions. This might take anywhere from two hours to three hours per trip.
- You must arrive 30 minutes prior to departure to have your bags inspected by SICGAL for organic goods. They must be tagged by SICGAL to be put onboard. The line for this can be crowded.
- To transfer to San Cristobal from Isabela (or vice versa) by speedboat, you must go to Santa Cruz in the morning and wait until the afternoon to transfer to San Cristobal / Isabela. It's an all day event that does cost $50-$70 pp. It is quite safe to leave your luggage in the speedboat office and they almost always let you if you ask. This leaves you free to wander around during your wait for the next boat.
- If you are on Isabela before your cruise, you cannot travel to San Cristobal by boat on the same day. You must go one day in advance and overnight in San Cristobal. If you have an Isabela extension after your Galapagos Cruise and plan to go by speedboat, it is much wiser to disembark your final full day, overnight in Puerto Ayora and depart the next day.
The scenic alternative to the cheap but slow ferries are flights by small "puddle hoppers" that operate between some of the islands. Please click here to find all info on the inter-island flight in Galapagos.
Picture Above: Passengers at Puerto Ayora Harbour - waiting for the transfer to their Galapagos cruise ship and the local ferry.