As a visitor, most of your movements around town will be on foot or in one of the many taxis which are predominantly king-cab trucks with open backs for cargo.
There is no public transport and groups of passengers are served by privately hired vans or buses.
Vehicle importation is controlled and supposedly based on real need, including:
Transporting passengers, cargo etc. for a business.
Access and transportation for a farm in the highlands.
Nonetheless, there are a large number of vehicles who owe their presence to nothing more compelling than influence or political connections.
Crossing Between the Inhabited Islands
You can take island-hopper flights between San Cristobal, Baltra and Isabela. You have to take the bus (or a taxi) and ferry to get from the airport at Baltra to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz. The airports in San Cristobal and Isabela are close to town.
Although others have come and gone, at this time there is only 1 carrier providing flights between the main islands: Emetebe. They use small twin-prop aircraft for up to 8 passengers. Ticket prices fluctuate but are generally around $200 each.
Flights are scheduled to get passengers to San Cristóbal and Baltra in time for departing flights and to take passengers from arrival in the morning.
The baggage allowance is 25lbs + $1.75/lb excess (may vary). There is an extra charge for carrying surf-boards.
If you are staying at the Galeodan Suites, we strongly recommend that you allow us to make the reservations on your behalf as the process can be troublesome. We are happy to extend the same service to other travellers for a nominal fee. A word of caution to all: Emetebe’s website is www.Emetebe.com.ec NOT Emetebe.com (which has been used by scammers).
Speed boats provide regular transfers between San Cristobal, Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) Isabela and Floreana.
Crossing times are dependent on sea conditions which range from dead calm to choppy. It is seldom really rough but the boats push on through regardless and it can be a bumpy ride!
San Cristobal to Puerto Ayora is 80km (50mi) \ 1.5-2hrs
Puerto Ayora to Isabela is 85km (53mi) \ 1.5-2hrs
Puerto Ayora to Floreana is 65km (41mi) \ 1.1-1.6hrs
The boats leave, both ways, in the morning (6:00 to 7:00AM) and afternoon (2:00 to 3:00PM)
The price of each trip is around $30.
At this time, there is no regular direct service between San Cristobal and Floreana but this could change.
The crossing between San Cristobal and Isabela requires 2 crossings: San Cristobal to Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz to Isabela.
There are several operators, each providing one or more boats. The number of boats crossing on any day depends on demand and the number of boats operable and is generally determined only a day or two in advance. It’s not often they run out of space altogether but we recommend advance booking just to be sure.
The uninhabited, protected areas can only be reached by specially licensed Daily Tour Boats, Cruise Boats or Vivencial Fishing Boats.