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Getting here from Baltra airport (GPS)

The only way to get to the islands is flying from Quito or Guayaquil.

 There are two airports in the Galapagos; you want to fly to GPS Baltra, not San Cristobal SCY. You need to ensure you have at least 3 hours between landing and your flight to Galapagos due to the long immigration process.

Quito airport is far from the centre of the city, but there are some reasonable hotels close to the airport. It is in the mountains, so if you suffer from altitude sickness you might want to take precautions.

Guayaquil is on the coast and the airport is very central. It is a busier city and is chaotic in the centre. You need to be alert in both cities, as there is a high crime rate, especially compared to the crime rate here on the island.

You need to get your $20 immigration card from the kiosk on the right hand side of the airport (Quito) or in the middle of the check-in desks (Guayaquil).

You will most likely see a long line of people with huge backpacks. You then get your backs checked in a scanner. Then you join the check-in line to get your ticket and hand over your luggage, and you go to the departure lounge. This process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the line. It is recommended that you arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight, just in case. If you are connecting at the airport straight from another flight, you need to pick up your baggage from the previous flight and check-in again, as described previously.

The flight is just under 2 hours and Galapagos is one hour behind the mainland. On the flight you need to fill out a declaration form that states you are not carrying any animals or prohibited products. When you arrive, you go through immigration, where you show the transeunte document (work permit for Galapagos) instead of paying the $100 park fee. Next to this desk, there is someone selling tickets for the Lobo bus. It costs $5 and takes you from the airport to the canal. You hand the declaration form to someone by a big scanner and your carry-on bag is sent through.

You then wait in a big hall for your checked luggage to be brought in. It is all placed on the side and you must wait for the dogs to check all the bags before you can take yours. Security sometimes takes bags at random to open and go through; it’s completely normal and nothing to worry about.

Outside of the airport on the right you’ll find the bus to the airport.

The porters will take your luggage (hang on to anything delicate) and you get on the bus. You get to the canal and board the ferry to Santa Cruz. The porters will transfer your bags from the bus to the ferry, so don’t collect them. The ferry costs $1, and someone will walk around to collect during the 10 minute trip. On the other side, get off the ferry and go to collect your bags. They will pretty much just throw them at you from the boat. You can then choose between a bus to the town, or a taxi. 

The bus costs $5 (they collect it on the journey) and takes about 45 minutes. The taxi costs $25 and takes around 30 minutes. If you can find some people to share the load, the taxi is preferable, but the bus isn’t too bad if you aren’t in a rush.

If you are in a taxi, ask the driver to drop you off at ‘la oficina de abogado Caceres atras de banco Pichincha’. If you are in the bus, it will drop you at the market, which is about 6 blocks from the school. I’d recommend hailing a taxi (any of the white pick-up trucks) and asking the driver to bring you here, especially if you have heavy bags. It costs $1.50 to go anywhere in the town in a taxi. Our school has a big penguin logo outside.




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