Baltra Wildlife

Baltra Island

Main airport

Baltra Island, Galapagos – Doorway to the volcanic islands

Apart of Ecuador, the archipelago of Galapagos is a popular holiday destination. Speaking from a geological perspective, these pieces of land are newly formed and are known to be volcanic in nature. Most of the tourists would have first heard of Galapagos from the references made by Charles Darwin, in his research. Even before this time, there is a legend of pirates and buccaneers who are credited with producing the first navigation chart of the archipelago. Although Ambrose Crawley, the buccaneer, initially named the islands after his mates, the Spanish names have been given recently by the Ecuador government.

Baltra Island, also called South Seymour, is one of the main islands and is one of the gateways to the islands that are to be visited by anyone who enjoys a nature vacation. Baltra is connected to the rest of world mainly via 3 Airlines, TAMLAN, Avianca and TAME. It is also the place where the main airport of Galapagos was built by the US Military for the protection of the South Pacific during World War II. It is observed that there had been fauna local to the island before the base was installed. Only recently, new sightings of iguanas have been reported. Baltra Island is still the main naval base and the sightings of wildlife are not as rich as those reported in the rest of the Galapagos National Park. Baltra Airport, until 1986 was the only one catering to the needs of the peoples.

Past this year, a new airport in San Cristobal was built to add to the connectivity. The main airport is still the one with the maximum facilities, catering to most landings and private charter planes as well. Visitors of Baltra, however, will find it is here where there adventure starts, with the boat docking at the island and being met by an exclusive tourist guide who is knowledgeable in the local flora and fauna. He/she would have many tales to tell about the history, culture, Nature and other interesting features of the archipelago. There are ferries and buses to help tourists get across the place. After crossing the Itabaca channel to reach Santa Cruz, many farms and highlands can be sighted along the way while one travels to the main town Puerto Ayora.

Tourist Information

Upon arrival, Galapagos Park Fees (or the receipt of paid Park Fees) is collected at the Kiosk.

Transfers to Santa Cruz Island: Land transfer services are available from Baltra to nearby Santa Cruz. Those visitors planning land-based visit Staying on Santa Cruz board the bus departing the airport for the Itabaca Cannel (approximately a 10-minute ride). A ferry takes passengers and their belongings across the water to the CITTEG bus waiting at the other side. Then an hour-long bus ride crosses Santa Cruz, cutting through the highlands and passing many farms before finally reaching Puerto Ayora.

Cost: The total cost is about $2.50, including the channel crossing and buses on both islands. It takes a little over an hour to get to Puerto Ayora.

Note: Baltra does not have any visitor sites.

Recommended itineraries that visit Baltra Island

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Frequently Asked Questions

What animals live on Darwin Island?

Darwin Island is home to a wide variety of wildlife on both land and in its waters. Divers will be thrilled by the island's diverse shark population, including scalloped hammerheads and whale sharks. The island is home to colonies of land and marine Iguanas as well as frigatebirds and swallow-tailed geese. The vibrant community of sea lions and fur seals is also home to Galapagos Penguins. Darwin Island's unique setting and conservation efforts make it a great place to see a wide variety of animals that have evolved to live in this remote, pristine habitat.

How to get to Darwin Island?

Typically, to reach Darwin Island, most travelers will fly into Ecuador and land in Quito or Guayaquil. Domestic flights will take travelers to Baltra and San Cristobal, the main Galapagos Islands airports. You must take a multi-day liveaboard, which is known for its itineraries that explore the Galapagos Islands and Darwin Island. It is important to prepare well, adhere to Galapagos National Park rules, and understand your itinerary. Darwin Island is home to a wide variety of marine life and birds, including hammerhead sharks, red-footed boobies, and other species. The journey is characterized by responsible tourism, environmental protection, and respect for the environment.

Why is Darwin Island off limits?

Darwin Island and several other Galapagos islands have restricted access to protect their fragile, extraordinary ecosystems. The regulations protect the unique species of animals, breeding areas, and plants that have developed in isolation on the Galapagos Islands and can be disrupted by humans. Controlling access is a way for authorities to stop habitat destruction and the introduction and disruption of wildlife. The Galapagos Islands are committed to sustainable tourism, conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the islands, and a commitment towards the preservation of the Galapagos Islands. This is why they have adopted this approach.

Can you stay on Darwin Island?

Darwin Island is not a place where visitors can stay overnight. It is not possible to stay overnight on Darwin Island because it's a protected area that lacks infrastructure or accommodations for tourists. Darwin Island is best explored by liveaboards, which offer diving or day excursions on the island. Overnight stays are usually spent in inhabited Galapagos islands. The regulations were put in place to protect the fragile ecosystems on the Galapagos Islands and reduce human impact. If you are planning to return soon, please check with local tour operators or the Galapagos National Park Authority for updates and changes.

Where is Darwin Island?

Darwin Island is also called Isla Darwin by Spanish speakers. It's one of the Galapagos Islands. The island is situated in the Pacific Ocean about 0.75 miles (0.12 km) northwest of Wolf Island. Galapagos Islands is part of Ecuador, located in the eastern Pacific Ocean approximately 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) west of Ecuador's mainland. The Galapagos Islands are famous for the unique wildlife that they have. They played an important role in Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and evolution.

What country is Darwin Island in?

Darwin Island is a part of the Galapagos Islands. This archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is located on the Pacific Ocean. Galapagos Islands is a part of Ecuador. Darwin Island, therefore, is located in Ecuador. Charles Darwin was a famous naturalist who conducted research on the islands during the nineteenth century. This contributed to Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection.