Flights To/From the Galapagos Islands
All you need to know about the flights from the main land to Galapagos and back
Booking your flights to Galapagos
Galapagos boasts two airports on Baltra and San Cristóbal Islands, offering daily flights to and from Quito and Guayaquil. To mitigate any potential issues arising from flight delays or cancellations on your international leg, please arrive in Quito or Guayaquil the night before your Galapagos departure, and read the frequently asked questions below:
Are my flights to and from Galapagos included in my tour price?
Unless clearly marked otherwise (e.g., "National Flights included"), these flights are not part of the package, as many travelers have already secured them independently before making their cruise booking.
Can I book my flights to Galapagos myself?
While you have the option to book your Galapagos flights yourself, we highly recommend entrusting this to us for a seamless experience.
- Avoid Additional Costs: Booking through us eliminates potential extra charges of 50-100USD per person. To ensure the smooth operation of our trips, it's crucial that all clients synchronize their arrivals and departures. Shipowners reserve "allotments" with airlines, pre-booking tickets for all travelers, securing seats, and cargo capacity for essential items. Should these pre-reserved flights go unused, the resulting costs are passed on to us and, consequently, to you as a "flight penalty."
- Mitigate Increased Risk: Opting for self-booking comes with increased risk. If you choose this route, coordinate with us to match the flights of fellow passengers or secure earlier options. This coordination extends to return flights, where group dynamics impact our ability to accommodate individual early departures. Please note: we cannot guarantee the ship will wait for you in the event of a delay with your self-booked flight, emphasizing the inherent risks of booking independently
Why are your flights to Galapagos more expensive than on the open market?
While it's true that our flights may appear more expensive compared to platforms like Google Flights or Kayak, it's essential to understand the added value. The ship owners, involved in each flight booking, seek to contribute to the local economy while supporting the transportation of essential items like food and hygiene products. When comparing prices, consider not just the flight itself but the intricacies of your specific itinerary, baggage allowances, and potential flight penalties. This comprehensive evaluation ensures a fair comparison that considers the unique aspects of your Galapagos journey.
How long does it take to get to the Galápagos Islands?
Galapagos boasts two airports on Baltra and San Cristóbal Islands, offering daily flights from Quito and Guayaquil. Departing in the early morning, the journey from Quito to Galapagos takes approximately 2.5 hours, often including a brief stopover in Guayaquil. The direct flight from Guayaquil to Galapagos clocks in at around 1.5 hours. Three airlines currently serve Galapagos - Avianca, TAME and LATAM.
To mitigate any potential issues arising from flight delays or cancellations on your international leg, it is advisable to arrive in Quito or Guayaquil the night before your Galapagos departure. Ask us for advice on Ecuador hotels when you book your cruise with us.
How much baggage can I take to Galapagos?
On all flights to and from the Galapagos islands each passenger is permitted to take 50lb (23kg) of baggage that must be checked in. In addition, each passenger may have an item of carry-on luggage up to 17lb (8kg). Cabin baggage is often subject to maximum size restrictions - check with your airline before you arrive at the airport.
It is possible to buy excess baggage allowances, but only subject to the aircraft having sufficient load capacity. Expect to pay excess fees of $5 or more per additional 2lb (1kg).
My flight is delayed. How can I contact the ship?
If your flight is delayed, if you cannot find your guide at the airport or if you can't make it to the meeting point in time, please call the emergency number we communicated to you prior to your trip.
In case you have bought your flights through us, there is no need to worry. We have let the ship know which flights you are booked on, and the ship's crew knows if your flight has experienced a delay. In case you have booked your flights to and from Galápagos yourself and your flight experiences a big delay, we cannot guarantee that the ship will wait for you. According to our terms and conditions you will be running the risk of missing your cruise, without right to reimbursement.
What is the INGALA fee? What is the TCC? What is the TCT?
These are all the same thing! In short, this is a small fee that is paid to receive a "transit card" that authorizes you to visit the Galápagos Islands, and ensures that you return again at the end of your trip.
Introduced in 2012 by INGALA, the Ecuadorian government department that administers the Galápagos, the Galápagos TCT is designed to help control unauthorized immigration to the islands, whose fragile ecosystems are already at risk from human activity.
You must go to the INGALA booth at the airport in Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) with your valid plane ticket to Galápagos. After paying the 20 USD administration fee, you will receive your TCC ("Transit Control Card"), also known in Spanish as TCT Galápagos ("tarjeta de control de transito"). You then turn in your card at the end of the trip. The system tracks all non-resident movements into and out of Galápagos. In most of the cases it is possible to prebook this service if you have booked the national flights together with your Galapagos cruise. If you have prebooked this card, a ship representative will meet you at the airport and give you the Transit Control Card.
Please note, the INGALA booth at the airport only accepts CASH payments and most importantly, please keep the Galápagos Transit Control Card safe for your flight back.
What is the interisland flight schedule in Galápagos?
When hopping from island to island in Galápagos, a scenic alternative to the cheaper speed boats and ferries are the interisland flights. EMETEBE and ESAV operate 'puddle hoppers' which usually have strict weight limits of 20 lbs per person. The flight is quite a scenic tour in and of itself.
The big advantage is that the flights get you there in about 30 minutes. The disadvantage is that the price is $175+ each way for a foreigner, and flight times are not dependable. You must arrive at the airport at least 30 minutes prior to your flight.