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.
Both use small twin-prop aircraft for 6 to 8 passengers. Ticket prices for foreigners vary between $145 and $190 depending on route and season.
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 allowances are 20lbs with $1 to $2/lb for excess. If you have exceptionally heavy bags, they may have to follow on a later flight. There may be an extra charge for large items such as surf boards.
While we do not buy tickets for the general public, we are happy to do so for our Galeodan Suites guests. A word of caution: Emetebe’s website is www.Emetebe.com.ec NOT Emetebe.com (which has been used by scammers).
Speed boats with 16 to 20 passengers provide daily transfers between San Cristóbal, 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 Cristóbal (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno) to Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora) is 80km (50mi) \ 2hrs
Santa Cruz to Isabela (Puerto Villamil) is 85km (53mi) \ 2hrs
Santa Cruz to Floreana (Puerto Velasco Ibarra) is 65km (41mi) \ 1.5hrs
The crossing between San Cristbal and Isabela requires 2 trips: San Cristóbal >< Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz >< Isabela. At this time, there is no regular direct service between San Cristóbal and Floreana.
The boats leave at:
7:00AM and 3:00PM from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal)
7:00AM and 2:00PM from Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz)
6:00AM and 2:00PM from Puerto Villamil (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
Each crossing costs $30, purchased at the piers. There are online agencies that sell the tickets with a small handling fee and we are happy to make reservations for our guests.
The uninhabited, protected areas can only be reached by specially licensed Daily Tour Boats, Cruise Boats or Vivencial Fishing Boats.