Once you’ve made it to Ecuador, visiting the Galapagos Islands involves a short flight from the mainland (it’s a three and a half-hour flight from the capital Quito, or a two-hour hop from the coastal city of Guayaquil). Flights are notoriously expensive, and a round-trip runs to around $350-550 per person – realistically, you’re unlikely to be able to buy a flight for any less.
So, how do you ensure your ticket is at the lower end of the scale?
– Research your flight options. Three airlines fly to Galapagos from the mainland: Aerogal, LAN Ecuador and TAME. – Buy your flight at least three to six months in advance. – Flights rise around Christmas, Easter, summer holidays, and Ecuadorian holidays (Click here for a list of national holidays).
Where should I fly to?
– Most people fly to Baltra, which is a short boat and bus ride away from the island’s capital city, Puerto Ayora. Flying to the other international airport, on the island of San Cristobal (from where you can also pick up a tour) can be significantly cheaper. – Flying from Guayaquil can cut your flight ticket by $50 or more. Of course, you have to get to Guayaquil first, and if you fly from your home country directly to Quito, this isn’t ideal. However, if you have some time to spare and have a few days to travel down the coast, this can help you cut costs.
Don’t forget this one important factor:
– One important fact to be aware of is that flight prices are lower for Ecuadorian citizens, so, if you buy your flight directly from the airline, check that you’re buying a flight for a non-Ecuadorian; otherwise, as some unwitting travellers have found, you will be forced to pay the difference at the airport!