Travel Guide to Baltra Island

Known as South Seymour, Baltra Island is the smallest island in the Galapagos. It is arid, resembling a low and flat island, and lies at the centre of the Galapagos. The beauty of Baltra Islands lies in its creation. It is said that the island is the result of a geological uplift. Speaking from the point of view of vegetation, this place is home to prickly pear cactus, salt bushes, and palo santo trees.

History of Baltra Island

Baltra Island was earlier established as the Air Force base of the United States Army. This establishment took place during the second world war. At that time, the crews which were stationed at the island were believed to have patrolled the eastern region of the Pacific. This patrolling was to search for enemy submarines and in turn, protect the Panama Canal. Post world war II, the administration authority resides with the Ecuador government and hence today, the Island glorifies itself as the official military base of Ecuador.

What is the Baltra Island known for?
Passengers boarding an Andes Airport Service plane from Baltra Airport on Baltra Island, Galapagos, Ecuador
Passengers boarding an Andes Airport Service plane from Baltra Airport on Baltra Island, Galapagos, Ecuador

Baltra Island is reckoned for the oldest official establishment of the Ecuador military base. It represents one of the most visited islands in Ecuador as it is home to one of the two major airports on the islands. Seymour Airport in Baltra Island receives global tourists from Guayaquil and Quito in mainland Ecuador.

How to get to Baltra Island?

If you have opted for Galapagos tourism, you will be making your visit to Baltra Island as part of your Galapagos travel itinerary. Baltra Island has the main servicing airport which serves global travellers from mainland Ecuador.

Airline services are inclusive of LAN, TAME, and Avianca. Once you arrive at the Galapagos and get a Visa there, you will make your way to Baltra Island after you pay a park entrance fee of about $100 per head. Meanwhile, when you are accomplishing your airport formalities at the Galapagos, your luggage is due for a security scan.

There are inter-island flights with a capacity of nine passenger seats which boards passengers from San Cristobal Island to their final destinations. The airline’s service provider for the inter-island flights is EMETEBE airlines.

Where to stay on Baltra Islands?

If you hire a Baltra Island tourism guide, they will accommodate you at the best guest house as per your convenience. You can also find accommodation services at Hotel Crucero, Cabanas Isla del Sol, Hotel Elicio’s, Hotel Club del Sol, Hotel Cielo Azul, and Hotel La Barca. Besides, there are many other hotels in Baltra Islands.

Your guide might help you with your accommodation selection. All the hotels offer free Wifi facilities and parking services to their guests. On an average, the accommodation cost starts from about INR 2400 if you opt for the last from the list of the best accommodations available on Baltra Islands.

Things to do at Baltra Islands
A ferry takes passengers across the Itabaca Channel that separates Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island, Baltra, Ecuado
A ferry takes passengers across the Itabaca Channel that separates Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island, Baltra, Ecuador

Once on Baltra Island, you have a lot of things to do. Your Galapagos tourism or Baltra Island tourism guide will help you decide your itinerary. Or you can create your own itinerary depending on what you wish to see or do. You travel itinerary may lead your way to the North Seymour Island, Tip Top IV, and Ecua-Andino Galapagos. Baltra Island is the favoured destination for these three places of importance. And because it is well connected it is also a good starting point to go island hopping to the various other islands in the Galapagos.

Galapagos islands are UNESCO’s world heritage site for the most abundant bio-diverse region in the world.

Galapagos Brown Pelican taking flight on Baltra Island
Galapagos Brown Pelican taking flight on Baltra Island
Five things to consider before you plan a visit to Galapagos island
  • Passport immigration is important
  • Acquire Transit Control Card for $20 at Galapagos
  • Keep your luggage limited to the necessities
  • Enter Galapagos National Park at a nominal fee of $100 and hand over your Transit Control Card.
  • Carry Cash while you travel to islands in Ecuador

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