When to fly to Galápagos Islands
Whether you’re snorkelling under the sea alongside sharks and sea turtles during the wet season or admiring the stunning cactus forests in the dry season, there’s no wrong time to book a Galápagos Islands flight.
The busiest time to book flights to the Galápagos Islands is during the dry season (July to December), when the sun is out and the temperatures rest at a comfortable 22 degrees, on average. Colder southern currents keep the vegetation of the volcanic islands lush, providing stunning backdrops for the fascinating wildlife that make the archipelago famous.
Cheap flights to the Galápagos Islands are plentiful during the islands’ wet season due to the heavy precipitation, but it’s actually the best time of year for checking out the wildlife that live in the surrounding waters. A flight to the Galapagos Islands between the months of December and May ensures excellent conditions for diving and snorkelling.
Getting around Galápagos Islands
Most flights to the Galápagos Islands will require a layover in either Quito or Guayaquil. From Quito and Guayaquil Galápagos flights are operated by two airlines, TAME and Aerogal. From Quito, TAME has two flights to the Galápagos Islands scheduled each morning, while Aerogal operates three Galápagos Islands flights daily from Guayaquil. Once your flight to the Galapagos Islands reaches its final destination, the best way to get around the islands is by guided boat tour.
If the first leg of your Galapagos trip starts in Santa Cruz, buses and taxis are available to get you around the city, and most guided tours of the Galapagos Islands offer various options for getting around, including bike, boat and bus travel.
Galápagos Islands insider information
Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution was a direct result of his scientific expedition to the Galapagos Islands in the 1830s. It was after observing the plethora of endemic species that live on the Galapagos Islands that the "survival of the fittest" notion was born. The famed Galápagos tortoises, blue-footed boobies and black iguanas spotted by Darwin have curious visitors booking Galápagos flights by the thousands. Get up close and personal with the notoriously friendly Galápagos sea lions or island feathered friends.
Though the wildlife is arguably the driving motivation pushing tourists to book flights to the Galápagos Islands, the plant life and volcanic formations of the islands are breath-taking and worth a closer look. Isla Santa Cruz is home to massive cactus forests that tower over you at 30 feet high. The twisting hardened lava flows and beautiful island beaches make for fantastic photo ops with their varying black, white and red sands.
Isla Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the archipelago after Isabella and is where flights to the Galapagos Islands touch down at Baltra Airport. Puerto Ayora, the busiest town and most tourist-friendly town in the islands, is an ideal locale for socializing on the beach or in the dance clubs of the city, especially if you spent the day gawking at awkward Galápagos penguins and you’re eager to interact with your own species.
The required stopover in Quito or Guayaquil on your flight to the Galápagos Islands gives you an excellent opportunity to check out two of the most thriving cities in Ecuador, so why not take an extra day to make the most of your time in between destinations? Ecuador’s capital high up in the Andes, Quito, is a bustling city that boasts an incredible collection of museums and churches in its Old Town district. Guayaquil is the largest port city in Western South America, and is more of a centre of commerce or a jumping off point for international travel than a vacation destination.