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For visitors that wish to experience this incredibly unique destination, the Galapagos Islands can only be accessed by plane.
There are no boats, cargo ships, or cruises that offer service to the Galapagos directly from Ecuador’s ports. Also, despite its apparent proximity to the Ecuadorian coastline on the world map, a bridge between the Galapagos and the Ecuadorian mainland does not exist. Fun Fact: Such a bridge would have to be double the width of Ecuador to reach the Galapagos – not exactly the equivalent to a Sunday afternoon drive!
Of course, the silver lining is that visitors can take advantage of their stopover to explore the Ecuadorian landscapes either before heading to the Galapagos Islands or after coming back from them.
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Keep an eye out for special prices with your flights as, occasionally, there are some excellent deals advertised. Nevertheless, average roundtrip prices tend to hover around the $400 range for flights out of Guayaquil and around $500 range for flights out of Quito. Of course, these prices can vary greatly depending on the time of the year. NOTE: For non-citizens and non-residents of Ecuador, published airfares have an added supplement of $150. Most airlines, however, will list their airfares with this supplement already included, unless otherwise noted.
Also, keep in mind direct flights into Ecuador are rare, this chart shows the airports that feature direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil, as well as the airlines that offer said flights.
|Country||City||Airline||Airport (Departure)||Airport (Arrival)|
|Jet Blue||FLL||UIO; GYE|
|Iberia (LATAM)||MAD||GYE; UIO|
VERY IMPORTANT: When flying into the Galapagos, immigration requires that all visitors pay for the following two items in cash only:
It is highly recommended that you have these amounts on you in cash before arriving at the airport.
METROJOURNEYS TIP: See airfare that looks incredibly cheap? Always be sure to double-check and make sure that said airfare includes checked baggage (often, they don’t!). If in doubt, be sure to ask your airline!
Taking into account that the only airlines that fly to the Galapagos are LATAM, Avianca, and TAME, it’s important to look at the benefits that you’d like to have upon purchasing your flight to the Galapagos, be it through the airlines themselves or travel agencies, such as Metrojourneys!
We strongly recommend that you plan your trip or book your tour before buying your plane tickets so you don’t have to travel long distances between islands on a speedboat or incur more expenses by having to board an interisland flight to align with your cruise schedule or the things you have planned for your trip.
Always book your flights with time to spare before and after your Galapagos cruise departure days, as these tend to depart in the early morning. Departure flight times are usually as follows:
As these flights depart in the morning, they don’t leave any wiggle room to explore the city beforehand, which is why we recommend spending at least one night in your chosen departure city to enjoy your time in Ecuador as well as giving yourself time to breathe between traveling and sightseeing.
Your best option may not be the same as the next person’s. It all depends on which international country you are coming from and your budget. However, it’s important to note that sometimes flight prices may take a dip, so keep checking between the airlines and your preferred travel agency to ensure you get the best deal.
These are the only International Airports that offer service to the Galapagos:
And these are the only national airports in the Galapagos that you can arrive in:
Flight time to Galapagos from this airport: Approximately 2.5 hours (plus a layover in Guayaquil)
The Mariscal Sucre International Airport was named the 2016 “World Travel Award Winner” for the third year in a row in the category of South America’s Leading Airport. This is a highly sought-after award in the global community and is considered to be the “Oscar” of the airport industry.
There are a variety of free services available at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport, including self-check-in, charging stations, free Wi-Fi, and even a small children’s play area. The VIP Lounge at the Mariscal Sucre Airport offers flyers a luxurious and quiet place to enjoy snacks, refreshments, and a collection of reading material.
There are lots of things to keep you busy at the airport while you wait for your connecting flight. There’s an assortment of shops for you to browse as well as several different restaurants. The restaurants include both South American eateries as well as popular American franchises, including the only Outback Steakhouse in all of Ecuador!
Flight time to the Galapagos from this airport: Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport is the closest major airport to the Galapagos. If you opt to fly from here, your flight will be a slighter shorter (a non-stop!) journey to the Enchanted Isles.
This airport has received many awards, including being one of the Best Airports in South America awarded by Airports Council International. That’s not a surprise once you read the facts: it’s open 24 hours a day and offers nonstop international flights. It also has many connecting flights that go to several different countries in South America, which makes it a gateway for accessing the rest of the continent.
One of the main reasons why people traveling to the Galapagos use the Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport is because of the slightly shorter flight time. There are also many luxurious items such as Wi-Fi internet available at the airport that allow flyers to spend their time here more comfortably. Many waiting areas are available, along with VIP lounges.