How to Get Here
LAN, TAME and Aerogal (Avianca), operate flights to both of Galapagos’ main airports: Baltra (near Santa Cruz) and San Cristobal. Access to Isabela Island is easier from Baltra.
Getting to Isabela from Santa Cruz or Baltra
From Baltra, there are two ways to get to Isabela, air or sea. Emetebe is Galapagos’ inter-island air operator. Their small propeller planes take 25 minutes to reach Isabela and leaves from Baltra. Times vary, but often they depart around 12:30pm. The return flight from the small airport at Isabela to Baltra usually leaves around 8:30am. One way flights generally start around $160. Costs vary and are subject to change.
Most visitors to Isabela arrive by ferry boat. It takes longer, but is more affordable. It is also the best way to travel if you are spending time in Santa Cruz’ main town, Puerto Ayora. First you must get to Puerto Ayora docks, which are downtown. If you are coming from the airport it takes an hour or more to travel to town from Baltra airport. Take the airline bus from the airport to the Ithabaca Canal (recently a $5 charge has been talked about for this bus ride). Once there, a ferry will take you across the canal to Santa Cruz for about $1. From the other side you can take either a bus ($2) or a taxi ($25) to Puerto Ayora.
The ferry boats leave Puerto Ayora docks at 2pm every day. The crossing is 2 ½ hours and costs $30. Boats leave Isabela at 6am in order to make same-day flight connections from Baltra. If you are spending time in Puerto Ayora overnight, there is also a morning ferry from Puerto Ayora to Puerto Villamil (7am), and an afternoon ferry from Isabela to Santa Cruz (3pm).
* Prices listed here are estimates and provided to help you budget. Prices are subject to change without notice.
* Times listed here are subject to change without notice.
Getting to Isabela from San Cristobal
There are no ferry boats that travel direct between these two islands. If traveling by ferry, you will have to take a morning ferry from San Cristobal to Santa Cruz, then an afternoon ferry from Santa Cruz to Isabela. If flying on Emetebe, you will probably also have to stop over on Baltra Island. It can take a full day of your schedule to travel between these two islands.
If you have questions about the public ferry boats in the Galapagos Islands, Galakiwi has a good summary of ferry boat costs and schedules.
Once at Isabela Island, you will quickly notice the town is quite small and it is a short taxi ride from the dock or airport to the hotel. You will have to pay a water taxi fee ($1) and upon departure a dock fee ($5) or airport fee ($15).