Baltra Island was used as a US Air Force Base during World War II. It is a historical place and the point of entrance to this Archipelago.
Baltra is also known as South Seymour and is located at just 27 Km north of Santa Cruz Island.
The main airport of Galapagos is located here and it was originally built by the U.S. military in 1941 (during World War II). From 1941 to 1948 this Island was known as Beta.
There are three flights that arrive and depart every day. Until 1986, Baltra was the only airport serving the Galapagos. Now there's another one at San Cristobal Island
Upon arrival to this Island you must pay the Galapagos National Park fee ($100 per person). This is also the place where the Tour Guides or Naturalists will be waiting for you to begin exploring the different Islands in Galapagos.
Unfortunately there are neither accommodations nor visitor sites on Baltra Island. The public and private transportation available on this Island are only for carrying visitors to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz Island This trip will take you around 45 minutes.
Baltra Island is mainly a historically place due to the establishment of a US Air Force Base during World War II. At that time there were some US Navy ships and submarines patrolling this side of the Pacific Ocean and also protecting the Panama Canal.
This Island is flat and dry, surrounded by sea cliffs and a few beaches. It is mostly lowland with some opuntia cactus and other small trees.
Upon arrival you'll be able to see some Galapagos Ground Finches but in comparison to other Islands in Galapagos, Baltra has very few wildlife animals.
Some of this wildlife in Baltra Island includes birds such as the small ground finches, brown pelicans and Frigatebirds Occasionally few sea lions will visit this Island too.
Land transfer services are always available from Baltra Island to Santa Cruz Island. Visitors will be first taken by bus from the airport to Itabaca Canal (which separates the Islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz) This is just a 5 minute ride.
Then a ferry will transport passengers and their belongings across the canal to the bus waiting at the other side.
Then (this is the best part) you will travel for around an hour across Santa Cruz Island passing through farms from the lowlands up to the highlands and down again to the lowlands before you reach the main city of Puerto Ayora.
The amazing changes in vegetation that you will experience will be a rewarding way to start your expedition to Galapagos. This is the time when you will really begin to admire the natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Islands are quite isolated. But it is this isolation that promoted the evolution of unique plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to these Islands.
These Islands are the result of volcanic activity. A beautiful turquoise Ocean surrounds the entire Archipelago.
For your information you should know that there are Two Seasons in Galapagos:
The Galapagos Islands are World's Second Largest Marine Reserve and Baltra Island is the main point of entrance to this natural paradise.
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!
There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.
Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.
Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.
But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.
Small, well-priced, and reliable!
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.
This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!