The Galapagos Islands almost always come up as one of the world’s bucket-list destinations. Of course, as with any remote location, there is the matter of getting to the islands, surrounded by vast swaths of Pacific Ocean. So choosing between Quito or Guayaquil is a frequently asked question on how to get to the Galapagos Islands for anyone planning a luxury travel Galapagos trip.
Quito or Guayaquil – how to get to the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands can be reached by flights from mainland Ecuador departing from either Quito or Guayaquil. But which flight is better? Well, it depends on your specific preferences as a traveler. I have compiled a list of pros and cons for both options (plus, a few more booking tips), so you can make the choice that is best for you.
Flying from Guayaquil
Advantages to flying to the Galapagos from Guayaquil:
- Shorter flight time (about 2 hours)
- No altitude concerns
- Cost can be slightly cheaper
Disadvantages to flying to the Galapagos from Guayaquil:
- Guayaquil is not as charming a cultural destination as Quito
- Smaller choice of recommend hotels
Flying from Quito:
Advantages to flying to the Galapagos from Quito:
- Plenty to do and see
- Good range of hotel options
- Wider range of international flight connections
Disadvantages to flying to the Galapagos from Quito:
- Longer flight time (about 3.5 hours) with early morning start
- Costs can be slightly more expensive
- Altitude (2,850m / 9,350ft)
When booking flights to the Galapagos, it is essential to ensure that flights are booked to the correct airport. The two airports of Baltra and San Cristobal are located on different islands. It is very important to consult with the cruise or hotel operator to see which flights they recommend.
With regards to connections to Peru, both LAN and Avianca offer daily direct connections between Guayaquil or Quito and Lima. Departure times and prices vary depending on the day of the week, with both routes taking approximately 2 hours and costing about the same. My personal suggestion is that Guayaquil is best for an overnight stop for passengers en route between Peru & the Galapagos, while Quito better for multi-night stays at the start or end of a trip.
If you would like to plan a luxury travel Galapagos trip with one of our expert travel planners (who will certainly help you work out how to get to the Galapagos and choose between flying through Quito or Guayaquil), contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org