Isabela is definitely worth a visit, as it holds the most unique and diverse nature of Galapagos. You wouldn't want to miss out on it! Therefore, we help you to get the best boat ticket deal, as it is the easiest and cheapest way of transportation in Galapagos. As a result, here are a few things you should know about the inter-island boat connections:
We want you to be save and enjoy your time in Galapagos as much as you can. Hence, we do not recommend buying ferry tickets that seem to be an unbelievable good deal because most of the time, they are not great deals. As locals, we know which boats are taken good care of and we only work with them.
If you want to know all the details on how to travel to and in between the Galapagos islands - we dedicated a whole blog post on this topic.
A boat ride between Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) to Puerto Villamil (Isabela) takes about 2.5 hours, depending on the weather conditions. Hence, you can easily go for a day tour on the other island. There are two departures each day for all the boats on both islands. One departure is early in the morning at around 6 o'clock, while the other is around 2 o'clock. As a result, you can stay flexible in your planning.
There is also a direct ferry connection between Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal) and Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) which again takes about 2.5 hours and have departures in the early morning and the early afternoon.
There is no public ferry operating directly between San Cristobal and Isabela. However, you also should not waste 6 valuable hours of your stay in Galapagos on a ferry.
If you are visiting Isabela from San Cristobal, we recommend a layover in Puerto Ayora. Not only will it make your trip more relaxed, but you are able to visit the sights of Santa Cruz. If you have limited time but don't want to miss out on the beauty of Isabela, you can always chose one of the available air connections.
Be aware that there is a separate National Park fee of 10.00$ (non-residents) to enter Isabela. It must be paid in cash on the pier. Additionally, the operators of the taxi boats between the docks and the ferries will demand a small fee. (0.50$ p.P. in Puerto Ayora and 1.00$ p.P. in Puerto Villamil).
Please keep in mind that the sea around the Galapagos Islands is dominated by three big currents which can make the ocean go a little rougher then you might expect, especially during the months of June to October. Therefore, if you tent to get sea sick easily, take your medicine in advance and maybe pack a good rain jacket. Nevertheless, often people fall asleep on the boats due to the evenly rocking. Alternatively, you could book a plane ride in between the islands. Before doing so, please consider its impact on the fragile ecosystem of Galapagos.
You wont have to think about coordinating tickets with us. A few days before your arrival, we will inform you about the name of your boat and you will just have to board it. Please leave us a contact information, where we can reach you during your stay in Galapagos.