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The Best Ways to Travel Around Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

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Bartolome Island, Galapagos

Bartolome Island in the Galapagos archipelago

As you consider your plans, the following guide details the different transportation options on the Galapagos Islands and the best ways to get around Ecuador and the islands.

The archipelago covers approximately 3,040 square miles spread out across the Pacific and over the equator. The islands offer a remarkable diversity of biospheres and overflow with endemic wildlife and unique scenery that you can capture from unique vantage points during your adventure.

A Zicasso Galapagos travel expert will ensure that you have an immersive and comfortable experience as you travel around the islands with your logistics fitting with your particular travel style, whether it be cruises or private transfers.

  1. Best for Long Distances: Flights
  2. Best for Short Travel: Private Driver & Taxis
  3. Best Alternative Travel: Cruises & Bikes
  4. More Travel Information & Tips

Best for Long Distances: Flights

Flights are an easy way to travel between the islands and to reach the archipelago from the mainland. Flying around the Galapagos allows you to travel much farther faster so you can see more in less time, which is helpful if you have a limited amount of days to travel. The islands, the reef system, and the clear waters do make scenic flights very alluring.

Best for Short Travel: Private Driver & Taxis

Water taxis in the Galapagos Islands

Water taxis in the Galapagos IslandsWater taxis in the Galapagos Islands

Private Driver:

The Galapagos archipelago is best with a private driver as you visit the unique ecosystems of the unpopulated islands. A local driver can be a dedicated guide who both ensures that you stay on the official footpaths or within the prescribed boundaries of natural habitats but also provides helpful information on the landscape, marine life, and wildlife. A private driver can also escort you between the airport or ports and your accommodations for seamless transfers.

Taxis & Water Taxi:

Taxis are one of the best ways to travel around the available islands during your Galapagos trip. Most of the archipelago is uninhabited, and many of the islands that do have communities are not very large. But the number of islands that have taxi services available gives you the freedom to travel to and from specific destinations at your pace. Destinations in towns are easy to reach, but the highlands take time and often have a set price. Water taxis also make it easy to visit remote coastal areas on individual islands by letting you circumnavigate the restrictive landscape.

Best Alternative Travel: Cruises & Bikes

Isabella II Yacht Cruise in the Galapagos Islands

Isabella II Yacht Cruise in the Galapagos Islands


Cruises are one of the best ways to experience the Galapagos archipelago as they travel at night to give you more access to distant islands. By reaching the more remote islands, you have a better chance of seeing the celebrated wildlife and visiting the more remote snorkeling or scuba diving destinations. The popularity of the cruises through the archipelago comes from its ability to give you more access, more visibility, and more adventure in less time.


Biking is a fun and different way to enjoy some of the islands that have established communities in the Galapagos, such as Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, or Isabela. It is easy to visit the downtown areas or cycle on the designated roads, but it is also essential to know that some areas on the islands require a naturalist guide to be with you, which can turn a casual bike ride into a private tour.

More Travel Information & Tips

Nariz del Diablo, the Devil's Nose, railroad in Ecuador

Nariz del Diablo, the Devil's Nose, railroad in Ecuador

The Galapagos has a surprising variety of transportation options that can easily accentuate your travel style and help with the experiences you want to have. The best time to visit the Galapagos can determine your logistics, and our Galapagos Travel Guide has much more information on ways to have your perfect trip. You can also speak to a Galapagos travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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