Today we leave Galapagos Islands. Our flight leaves at 1:20 pm, so we will still have time for a stop along the way.
Transportation between islands: boat and plane
There is only two ways to move between islands in the Galapagos: by plane and speedboat. The first option is around $ 160 USD each way and must be booked well in advance because they are 8-seater planes. The second option forces you to always go through Santa Cruz as origin or destination, which means that if someone wants to go from Isabela to San Cristobal or vice versa, they should take this aspect into account. That is our option and our return passes through the Baltra Airport on a route similar to this ...
Although all this and much more we detail in the article, the prices of the speedboat are $ 25-30 USD per trip per person, and their FIXED schedules are as follows:
- From Santa Cruz to Isabela it leaves at 7 am and 3 pm
- From Santa Cruz to San Cristobal also at 7 am and 2 pm
- From Isabela to Santa Cruz it leaves at 6 am and 2 pm
- From San Cristobal to Santa Cruz departs at 7h and 15h
Our option was precisely the one that forced us to get up early, on the other hand the only possible. We leave Puerto Villamil at 6 o'clock (which forced us to be in port at 5:30 for luggage inspection) destination Puerto Ayora, where 2 hours later (today quiet) around 8:30 am we were already taking something (5.50 USD) "to warm the bones "(that said the grandmother Keys). The landing was by means of a water taxi as usual for 0.50 USD
Los Gemelos, two craters in the highlands of Santa Cruz
With a full stomach (a good tip for speedboats would be to avoid eating before taking them) we face the42 km between Puerto Ayora and the Itabaca Canal, although the road leaves some interesting stop.
If days ago we talked about the one that inhabits these wetter high areas, today taking advantage of the fact that we are going well for time, we have stopped at the famous "Twins", two craters or subsidence of the earth which has facilitated the creation of several trails through a Scalesia forest (we have talked less about endemic flora) and an excellent place to observe land birds, especially the woodpecker finch and the witch bird we saw yesterday in Triplets
Although we have talked about craters, this landscape was not really due to volcanic actions, but it was the collapses that led to the current panorama.
We do not have too much time and, perhaps, we are already thinking more about the return than in a new adventure, so we decided to continue our journey.
Baltra Airport in Galapagos, one of the most usual
Many days have passed since our entry through the San Cristobal Island Airport. Already back, we are convinced that entering through one and leaving through another has been one of the best decisions (almost improvised) that we could take. But Baltra Airport is not in Santa Cruz, but is part of the island that gives it its name, an almost desert island, on the other side of the Itabaca channel
Until the last day, we remain fascinated with the "authentic touch" that has everything in Galapagos. Until the ferry that takes you from Santa Cruz to Baltra It is still a rustic boat that looks like it has been for years and where suitcases and backpacks come in as good as they can.
In just 20 minutes we "colonized" the island of Baltra. Don't even think about walking to the Airport! The distance is huge and there are Airlines buses that come to pick you up for free. Shrubs, cactus of the genus Opuntia and trees of the genus Bursera make up an arid island formed of tectonic plates.
Baltra airport, whose specific name is Seymour airport, the Second World War originated when the United States Navy built the original in its desire to control the Pacific. Today, there are a few privileged airlines that allow access to a limited number of passengers per year, beingLAN Airlines one of the best options for its multiple connections and intervals (and the one we use)
The terminal barely has a couple of stores and somewhere to eat or drink something (a coffee for 3 USD). We leave around 13'20 towards Quito via Guayaquil.
We will leave for the most traveling talks some curious story to tell about those that only happen to us, haha.
Return to continental Ecuador
Flying over the Galapagos Islands back while I see the Plaza Islands (and I remember the Martian place of South Plaza) in the distance, I reflect and maybe now if I understand a little more those people who have passed through the most privileged places on earth and maintains that this archipelago is the most special. The congregation of species, their biodiversity and their interaction with us surpasses any experience lived in the Arctic wave Antarctica.
I may not realize yet how lucky I am to be able to make that comparison. Someday I hope to value it in its proper measure. While Quito has already received us at night and tired, not wanting to enter its beautiful historic helmet due to its distance to the airport where we have to be very early. A small makeshift hotel will give us shelter. Tomorrow we return to Spain (although we will know Guayaquil) and one of the adventures that we will never forget will remain in our photos and memories ...
Isaac, from Quito (Ecuador)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 9 USD (approx 7.44 EUR)