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For visitors that wish to experience this incredibly unique destination, the Galapagos Islands can only be accessed by plane.
No boats, cargo ships, or cruises serve the Galapagos directly from Ecuador’s ports. Furthermore, there is no bridge between the Galapagos and the Ecuadorian mainland, despite its proximity to the Ecuadorian coast on the world map. Fun Fact: Such a bridge would have to be double the width of Ecuador to reach the Galapagos – not exactly the equivalent of a Sunday afternoon drive! That’s why knowing how to get to Galapagos is always essential.
Of course, the silver lining is that visitors can take advantage of their stopover to explore the Ecuadorian landscapes before getting to Galapagos Islands or after returning from them.
Keep an eye out for special prices with your flights as, occasionally; there are some excellent deals advertised. If you are looking at how to get to Galapagos, the average roundtrip prices hover around $450* for flights out of Guayaquil and around $555* 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, remember that direct flights into Ecuador are not usual; This chart shows the airports that feature direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil and 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 in cash before arriving at the airport.
METROJOURNEYS TIP: See airfare that looks incredibly cheap? Always double-check and ensure that said airfare includes checked baggage (often, they don’t!). If in doubt, be sure to ask your airline!
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Taking into account that the only airlines that fly to the Galapagos are LATAM and Avianca, to know how to get to Galapagos, it’s essential 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 the best way to get to the Galapagos Islands it’s planning 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 getting to Galapagos on 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 leave little room to explore the city beforehand, so we recommend spending at least one night in your chosen departure city to enjoy your time in Ecuador and give yourself time to breathe between traveling and sightseeing.
How to get to Galapagos Islands if your best option differs from 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:
Flying to Galapagos Islands from this airport: Approximately 2.5 hours (If you want to know how to get from Quito to Galapagos, you must know you will have a layover in Guayaquil).
The Mariscal Sucre International Airport was named the 2016 “World Travel Award Winner” for the third year in South America’s Leading Airport category. This is a highly sought-after award in the global community and is considered the “Oscar” of the airport industry.
Various free services are 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. Many waiting areas are available, along with VIP lounges. There’s an assortment of shops for you to browse and several different restaurants. The restaurants include both South American eateries and popular American franchises, including the only Outback Steakhouse in Ecuador!
Guayaquil: José Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (GYE)
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 fly from here, your flight will be a slighter, shorter (non-stop!) journey to the Enchanted Isles.
This airport has received many awards, including 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 non-stop international flights. It also has many connecting flights that go to several countries in South America, making it a gateway for accessing the rest of the continent.
One of the main reasons people traveling to the Galapagos use the Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport is the slightly shorter flight time. Many luxurious items, such as Wi-Fi internet at the airport, allow flyers to spend their time here more comfortable. Many waiting areas are available, along with VIP lounges.
*Prices and rates are subject to change.