Visiting the Galapagos Islands alone (and in an economic way) is possible! It’s a special pleasure to go and discover these magical islands without a defined program, without a travel agency nor a cruise!!
But before starting to mop and enjoy this incredible fauna and flora, there is a certain procedure to respect.
It is possible to go from Quito or Guayaquil to the islands of San Cristobal or Santa Cruz.
Personally, I did Guayaquil – Santa Cruz – Quito. And the formalities start from the airport of departure. Let’s go!!
Once arrived at Guayaquil airport, you have to go to the INGALA (Instituto Nacional Galapagos) ticket counter to get your TCT (Tarjeta de tránsito control) card for a $ 20 tax. It’s necessary to keep this paper carefully for the return.
Then, the agents check the baggage, after what it is possible to go to the registration desk and proceed to check-in.
On the plane, we are given a form to fill out to declare the food brought. We are also asked to remove all plastic bags and bottles and leave them on the plane.
As for Easter Island (and Chilean territory in general), it is forbidden to bring fresh or prepared foods or seeds or plants.
Only industrial products are allowed. That’s cool, because doing some shopping on the mainland before going to the islands allows to save some money.
We landed on Baltra Island (South Seymour); then we joined Santa Cruz in a Ferry.
Once arrived at the airport, we presented the different documents (passport, TCT, declaration of food), then we payed the entrance fee on the Galápagos territory of 100 $. This tax is used to fund wildlife protection programs on the islands.
Then came the moment to retrieve the luggage but it is necessary to wait behind a safety line. the time needed for the baggage handlers to prepare the suitcases and backpacks and for the dogs to sniff them is quite long. The Ecuadorian authorities are very preventive from contamination, that’s why they have put in place all this tedious process that only increases our excitement about (finally) reaching the center of Santa Cruz and starting to enjoy its splendors!
Once baggage retrieved, we went out to take the bus that brought us to the Ferry for free in about ten minutes.
The ferry also needed a similar duration to take us to Santa Cruz Island for $ 1.
There it is possible to take a bus for $ 5 and to reach Puerto Ayara, the center of the island, in 40 minutes.
Taxis will offer this trip for $ 20, beware of the scam!!
Phew! It’s over with procedures and transport; here I am on Santa Cruz!!
You will find all my adventures and my advice on Santa Cruz Island by following this link.
For Isabella Island, it’s this way!!