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Before landing on Baltra Island, you’ll fly through either Guayaquil or Quito. Guayaquil is on the Ecuador’s coast and Quito is high in the Andes.

The Guayaquil airport is modern and bright. There are cafes and restaurants to relax and grab something to eat in, and there are souvenir shops with lots of interesting Ecuadorian handicrafts and souvenirs. The airport feels normal and safe.

Outside, right in front of the terminal is a pond with large goldfish. It’s nice to sit in the restaurant sipping coffee and watching the goldfish swimming around in the pond outside. And if the kids get bored, it helps to be able to step outside for some fresh air and watch the fish.

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While checking our bags we realize that we have to take our luggage to a special counter to be put through a special check before leaving for the Galapagos. This makes us stop and think about how special the islands are, and how important it is to keep out anything that might introduce harmful foreign matter. We certainly don’t want to be responsible for throwing off the delicate Galapagos ecosystem.

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SICGAL Inspection Point at Guayaquil Airport, Mainland Ecuador

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Before your flight to Galapagos, you'll pass through the SICGAL Inspection Point at Guayaquil Airport

After checking our luggage and passing security, we walk through an area with perfume, snacks, jewelry and some other souvenirs. Next, we enter the national departure area where there is a large seating area and some more souvenir shops. There is also a nice café to grab some joe before catching the flight, if you didn’t have time before.

We thought that it was kind of funny to see Galapagos souvenirs in the Guayaquil airport because we would much rather buy ours when we were actually in the Galapagos. But I guess if you forget to get them there, you can always grab something at the airport.

Sitting in the Guayaquil airport waiting to catch a flight to the Galapagos is exciting! There are lots of people milling around and we wonder how many of them will be on the flight to Galapagos with us. Will we be hiking and snorkeling with some of them later on today?

As we are talking about the adventure we are about to set out on, we hear the announcement (in Spanish and English) that it’s time to board the plane! Just a short flight (roughly one hour and forty minutes) and we will be landing on Baltra Island in the Galapagos!

Sidenote: The Guayaquil Airport carries the official name: José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional José Joaquín de Olmedo) with the airport code of GYE.

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