How to get from Isabela to San Cristobal? A review of our flight.

April 2019

 

If you want to go from one island to another, you usually take a speedboat. But there are some drawbacks to this method.

First, it takes a while. Especially if you are going from Isabela to San Cristobal (or vice versa) because you have to catch the early speedboat from Isabela to Santa Cruz and the afternoon speedboat from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal. This basically means an entire day of travel.

 

Second, the sea can be quite rough and some people get seasick. The speedboats are also very crowded and you may have to sit in the sun for the whole journey.

 

But besides the common way of traveling between the islands, there is another option. You can take a plane. There is a direct connection between Isabela and San Cristobal which takes you only an hour. If you want to reach your destination faster, be more comfortable and enjoy incredible view, this is the way to go. The flight is certainly impressive, from the unusual airports to the tiny planes to the breathtaking views. Plus, you save an entire day of travel.

 

However, it is quite expensive and the booking process is very unusual.

Airline and booking process

There are two airlines that offer flights between the islands. We booked our flights with Fly Galapagos and will go over all the important information you need to know.

 

First, you have to book the tickets in advance as there is only a very limited number of seats available.

 

Second, as already mentioned, the process is very different from the usual booking process. There is no booking tool that can be used to check whether tickets are available. You look for the airline's website, choose your flight date and time, email them your details and ask if tickets are available. If you want to book the tickets, you will receive an invoice by email. However, you can't pay by credit card. You have to transfer the money and select an operator for it, which increases the ticket price considerably. Once the airline has received the money, they will send you a confirmation.

Airport on Isabela

The hotel staff arranged a taxi for us that took us to the airport. The ride doesn't take long, around 10 to 15 minutes. The taxi driver drop us off at a building that looked more like an abandoned building than an airport. We walked through this place and found some people that also waited for a flight.

 

There is one counter that opens to check in luggage. On this flight you are not allowed to take the usual 23 kilograms of luggage with you. However, the surcharge for every kilogram of overweight luggage is comparatively low.

 

After a while we saw our plane arrive. The people got out and after a little while we were allowed to board the plane. However, boarding is also unusual. Since this is a very small airport, you just show your ticket to someone and walk to the plane. Just one tip, you don't have to hurry like we did. We wanted to make sure we got window seats. However, all the seats are window seats.

Take off, flight and landing

 

You realize that as soon as you board this airplane. It was the smallest plane we have ever been on. There isn't even a door between you and the pilots. In addition to the crew which consists of two pilots, five people fit in this very, very small airplane.

 

After take off, you can enjoy the incredible view of the Galapagos Islands. We were able to spot Las Tintoreras on Isabela, Baltra, Santa Cruz and Kicker Rock on San Cristobal. The landing was an highlight as well because you can follow every move of the pilots which was very fascinating. All in all, this was one incredible hour up in the sky above the Galapagos Islands.

 

Once we arrived, our plane was parked and everyone got out of the plane. The pilots opened the luggage cabin, everyone picked up their luggage and went into the airport building.

 

Airport on San Cristobal

The airport on San Cristobal is an international airport like the one on Baltra and therefore much larger than the airport on Isabela, which is only used for these types of flights. The airport on San Cristobal is basically located in the city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and we read somewhere that you can walk to your hotel. Which is kind of true, since our hotel was only 15 minutes away. But we didn't wanted to carry our luggage and looked for a taxi.

 

We were lucky enough to find one in front of the airport. There were no other taxis as there are usually no other flights arriving from the mainland at this time. If you plan to travel this way, ask your hotel in advance if they can book a taxi for you.

Warning

 

The planes obviously don't fly in bad weather conditions. So, if you take this plane to catch your return flight to the mainland, we recommend flying a day in advance to be on the safe side.

 

LOGISTICS

Departure

Puerto Villamil, Isabela

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal

Airport

Duration & Distance

Duration & Distance

1 hour

Cost

Approximately 200 USD

Equipment

Camera