From pangas to private planes, we have a variety of transportation options to move you around the Galapagos Islands. From the moment you touch down in our magical islands until the day you depart, we can arrange to get you to where you want to be with confidence and safety. Below are descriptions of the different modes of transportation at your disposal.
Travel by Air
The fastest mode of inter-island transportation is by small aircraft. These vintage planes have capacity for 5-9 passengers. Their low flying altitudes allow for panoramic views of the Galapagos Archipelago. Though this is the fastest option between islands they have weight limitations. Not to worry, we can arrange for transfer of your additional baggage directly to your hotel on the destination island or organize storage until you return.
Travel by Sea
If you prefer to travel by sea you have two choices. You can cruise between islands on a public outboard motorboat or sail in comfort on a power catamaran.
The outboard motorboats are 30 foot watercraft with capacity for 20 passengers. Enjoy the local experience while watching for marine life en route to your next destination. The outboard motorboats are the most common form of inter-island transportation. Due to the smaller size of these craft the journey can be bumpy year-round but the seas are considerably rougher between the months of June to November.
If you are looking for a more relaxed cruise between islands you have the option of chartering a luxury 47 foot power Catamaran. This is the most comfortable form of island-hopping that we offer. Cruise between islands while watching for wildlife such as rays, sea turtles and sometimes whales and dolphins!
Coffee, tea, and snacks are served by a professional crew with excellent attention (alcoholic beverages are available for purchase). Two full bathrooms and two cabins with full size beds will be at your disposal during the cruise.
Land to Sea Transfers
On the inhabited islands water taxis are utilized to facilitate movement around the bays and from the piers to deeper water moorings. Most of the uninhabited islands lack docks or piers so many tour operators utilize pangas to get from ship to shore.
Some of the destinations in the bay areas of the inhabited islands and many of the open-water transportation options are accessed only by water taxi. These watercraft cost between $1-2 per transit payable in cash. Exact change is preferred.
Panga – Zodiac
Many of the day tours involve wet-landings from the tour boats to the uninhabited destinations. This entails disembarking the motorboat to transition to land. Often these are conducted with pangas, zodiac-like small rubber watercraft. The smaller craft allow you to reach the destinations with less impact.
Some of the shorter day tours are conducted in what are called lanchas. These fiberglass-hull boats are smaller and less ornate than the larger outboard motorboats. Typically with less shade, no cabin space, and limited bathroom facilities, these utilitarian boats are used to shuttle to destinations that are closer to the main port areas.
Santa Cruz Land Transportation
Arrivals by Air Flights from the mainland arrive at either Baltra Airport (GPS airport code) or San Cristobal Airport (SYC). Baltra is the airport if you are planning to begin your Galapagos adventure on Santa Cruz Island. From the Baltra airport you must board a bus to the Itabaca canal, then transfer to a ferry, and back to another bus or taxi to traverse the island of Santa Cruz before arriving at Puerto Ayora.
Itabaca Canal Ferry
The Itabaca Canal separates Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island. When arriving by plane to Santa Cruz it is necessary to cross this canal en route to Puerto Ayora from the airport. There are water taxis and a ferry boat that cross the canal that charge a nominal fee.
With our VIP arrival packages we take care of all the arrival processing including entrance fees, baggage collection and all transfers from the airport to your hotel (Available for Santa Cruz or San Cristobal arrivals).
Arrivals by Sea The main passenger pier in Puerto Ayora is located downtown. Upon arrival, a Galapagos Alternative representative will meet you at the pier to facilitate the transfer to your hotel.
The hotels we use in Puerto Ayora are centrally located and within walking distance of most highlights. Our day tours & excursions include hotel pick-up and drop-off unless noted otherwise. Rest assured, taxi services are readily available throughout town if needed.
San Cristobal Land Transportation
Arrivals by Air The San Cristobal airport is located 10 minutes from town and we arrange arrival & departure transfers from/to the airport to your hotel.
Arrivals by Sea The main passenger pier in San Cristobal is located downtown. A Galapagos Alternative representative will meet you at the pier upon arrival to facilitate the transfer to your hotel. Our overland tours include transportation and we can also arrange vehicles for your free-day activities if desired. In town taxi services are also readily available if needed.
Isabela Land Transportation
Arrivals by Air The Isabela airport is located just outside of town. A Galapagos Alternative representative will meet you at the airport to facilitate the transfer to your hotel.
Arrivals by Sea The main passenger pier in Isabel is located just outside of town. Upon arrival, a Galapagos Alternative representative will meet you at the pier to facilitate the transfer to your hotel.