The famed Galapagos Islands marine sanctuary off the coast of Ecuador, is located approximately 2,600 miles (4200 km) from Santiago in Chile. The journey here takes between 11 and 20 hours with a minimum of one flight transfer. Usually, you can expect 17-18 hours of travel time and it's common to have two transfers.
Take a look at the top places to visit in this Galapagos destination guide before starting your journey.
Duration: 11-18 hours (9 hours of flight time, plus layovers)
Traveling by plane is the only way to get from Santiago to Galapagos Islands. The journey usually takes 17-18 hours and sometimes requires two transfers. The shortest time for this trip is 11 hours with one transfer—there are no direct flights. What takes up a lot of time is the actual waiting at the stopover but being flexible when picking your dates can save you hours.
You'll start the trip at the Santiago International Airport (SCL) by taking a 5.5-hour flight to either Mariscal Sucre International (UIO) or José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE). If you're traveling to José Joaquín then you might want to take the opportunity to spend a few hours or a night in Guayaquil—it's an amazing place and the most populated one in Ecuador. Guayaquil city is only 3.8 miles (6 km) from the airport so it's easily reached by taxi or transfer. The remaining journey from José Joaquín to Galapagos Islands is only two hours by plane.
When transferring twice you'll first fly to José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport, then get on a one-hour flight to Guayaquil, with one last transfer to the Seymor Airport (GPS) and Galapagos Islands.