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Domestic Flights in Ecuador

Domestic Flights in Ecuador

Domestic Flights, Airports and Airlines in Ecuador

Domestic flights in Ecuador are reasonably priced and a fast way to get around this small Andean nation. Domestic flights, except those to the Galapagos, rarely cost more than USD $120 round trip.

Most travelers base their trips to Ecuador out of Quito. As of February 2013, Quito has a new International Airport, Mitad del Mundo Airport, which is nearly a one hour drive east of Quito near the town of Tababela.  35 buses per day will be running from Ave. Los Granados via Avenida Simón Bolívar to the Tababela terminal. The buses will leave every 20 to 30 minutes, cost $8-12 per person, and be set up to carry passenger luggage. There is a new road and bridges being built, so possibly in 2014, transportation time may shorten considerably.

Once you get to the new Quito airport, traveling from Quito to la costa (the coast) or to el oriente (Amazon), or most anywhere in Ecuador is a short 30-minute plane ride away.

Expect incredible views, particularly if you are passing over Ecuador’s breathtaking “Avenue of the Volcanoes” on the Quito-Cuenca flight.

Flight schedules change frequently, so check the websites of the domestic airlines below for the destinations and times of flights.

Flying to the Galapagos Islands

Flying within Ecuador, with the exception of the Galapagos, is quite easy and affordable. For Galapagos flights, there is a two-tiered system where foreigners can expect to pay more than double what nationals pay. As an independent traveler finding availability can be challenging as tour operators usually reserve seats months in advance, fully booking most flights. If you go on a Galapagos cruise or organize a Galapagos land based tour, your tour operator almost always reserves your flight for you.

There are two airports on the Galapagos Islands one on Baltra, which is used to access the adjacent Santa Cruz Island and its main town, Puerto Ayora. The second airport is on San Cristobal, next to the main town Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Most tours and cruises define where you fly into and out of for you.

Ecuador’s Domestic Airlines

Avianca, a local airline recently bought out by a Colombian consortium, flies to/from Quito, Guayaquil, Coca, Manta, Cuenca, Lago Agrio, and both Baltra and San Cristobal Islands in the Galapagos. Aerogal’s website is about as reliable as Tame’s, which means it’s best to have a local travel agency book for you, unless you happen to get lucky.

LATAM Airlines is a Chilean based airline who started to offer domestic flights in Ecuador recently. The airline is very professionally run, and their website actually works to purchase flights. Beware though, if you select your country as being outside Ecuador on the website, you may get highly inflated prices, frequently several times the price of reserving the flight while in Ecuador. Domestic flights, except those to the Galapagos, rarely cost more than USD $120 round trip, make sure you’re not getting gouged.

Updated 6 September, 2023 by Jason Halberstadt

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Provider Spotlight

Free Galapagos Trip Planner at Galapagos Islands .com – easily plan your Galapagos vacation online, find great value, and a wide selection of customized Galapagos cruises and vacations.

Galapagos Tour Experts – Adventure Life Specialize in luxury Galapagos cruises, and land-based Galapagos tours. Adventure Life can help you design the perfect trip to Ecuador. As seen in Outside Magazine, NatGeo, and the New York Times.

Voyager Galapagos Tours haS excellent Galapagos cruise deals & last-minute offers, and land-based Galapagos tours (aka Island Hopping).

Galapagos & Ecuador Insiders use their local expertise to assist you in planning the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour for your precise budget, needs, and interests.

Latin Trails craft customized journeys to the Galapagos Islands, the Ecuador mainland, the Amazon rainforest, and Peru. They operate the highly-rated Galapagos cruising yacht: Seaman Journey and the day tour yacht the Galapagos Hopper.

Andando Tours – Pioneers in Galapagos tourism. Two generations of sailing and shipbuilding showcase unparalleled knowledge in creating the most unique Galapagos Cruises. Owners & Operators of S/S Mary Anne & M/Y Passion.

Gulliver Expeditions – Learn more about our Ecuador ToursPeru ToursEcuador Climbing Expeditions, Galapagos Land Tours, and Machu Picchu Tours. Gulliver Expeditions offer fantastic travel experiences since 2005.

Surtrek Galapagos Cruises – has offered exceptional custom-designed trips to the Galapagos for over 20 years. They now bring their brand of off-the-beaten-path trips to other countries in South America such as Peru’s Machu PicchuBolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats, and Chile’s Atacama Desert.

ViaNatura – provides excellent value Galapagos cruises on the Monserrat yacht, a luxury cruise experience on the Hermes yacht, and a variety of tours in Ecuador and Peru.

Exclusive Galapagos Cruises, part of the EQ Touring group – specializes in private Galapagos yacht charters. They can help your group find the perfect yacht that matches your needs at a price negotiated by a true insider who has been doing charters in the Galapagos for decades.