Baltra Island, Ecuador
Baltra Island is the starting point for most visitors to the Galápagos, as it’s the site of the archipelago’s airport. The Baltra airport was remodeled in 2008 and has the usual amenities of a modern-day airport. Upon landing here, visitors will connect with board their cruises or take a boat directly to Santa Cruz Island, where plenty of lovely hotels and interesting wildlife attractions await.
Also known as South Seymour Island, Baltra is located near the center of the Galápagos archipelago, but is not actually within the boundaries of the Galápagos National Park. In World War II, it served as an American military base, put in position to protect the Panama Canal. It was dismantled in 1946, leaving only the airstrip that eventually became the main arrival point for visitors.
Baltra doesn’t have any attractions per sé, but you might see some interesting wildlife on a stopover. You’ll be greeted by a large population of land iguanas, which were recently re-introduced to the island. You might also see a few marine birds doing some fishing. The nearby islet of Mosquera has a large population of sea lions – wave to them from your boat, on your way to one of the most incredible nature destinations in the world.