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Galapagos Islands Transportation: Speedboat or Plane?

Galapagos Islands Transportation

Hi! This is Rebecca. Very often I get the question of whether it is better to take the speedboat or plane for transportation in the Galapagos Islands. Since I go to the Galapagos almost every 2 months, I have a lot of experience, both on the flights and on the boats, so let me give you some tips. But first, some information on both ways of transportation.

Galapagos Islands Transportation

Public Speedboats

These boats have a capacity of 20-40 passengers and they usually have 2 or 3 motors. The average duration of a trip is 2,5 hours per way and the routes are like this: San Cristobal – Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz – Isabela. The boats leave two times a day; at 6:00 AM (Isabela) or 7:00 AM (San Cristobal and Santa Cruz) and at 2:00 PM (San Cristobal and Santa Cruz) or 3:00 PM (Isabela), all these local times. In general, there are about 3-8 different speedboats going on each route each departure. The price is about 30 – 45 USD per way.


There are two airlines flying in the 3 airports on the Galapagos Islands; Baltra (Santa Cruz), San Cristobal and Isabela. The airplanes that are being used are Britten-Norman BN-2 Islanders (max 9 passengers) and the Piper Navajo PA 31 – 325 executive (max 6 passengers). There are one or two planned flights per day between the 3 different islands. The duration of the flight is about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the route. The price ranges between 150 – 240 USD per way.

Pros and Cons

  Speedboats Airplanes
Comfort Can be very jumpy especially between July – January Comfortable. Sometimes there are some turbulence in the clouds.
Baggage Allowance Unlimited, but it is recommended to carry small luggage Max 12 kilos
Availability Almost always In high season, it is difficult to find available flights. In low season, a similar case because flights get cancelled (last minute) when there is not enough people.
Duration Slow, especially between Isabela – San Cristobal (about 5 hours) Quick, e.g. between Isabela – San Cristobal just 45 minutes
Charter Possible Possible
Price Way cheaper Lot more expensive

If you have any doubts, please contact us!

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