For most visitors, Baltra Island’s scrubby, arid landscape is their first look at the Galápagos. This island has the main airport in the Galápagos, and serves as the departure point for cruise ships.
There’s not much for visitors to see here. Due to the transportation infrastructure, this island has not been able maintain the same level of biodiversity as the other islands. It is very close to Santa Cruz Island, which is the island in the Galápagos with the largest selection of accommodations.
Baltra Island has an airstrip, built in the 1940s by the U.S. government as part of an air force base. The U.S. no longer has an air force presence in the Galápagos, so the Ecuadorian military has taken over the base.
Baltra Island is sometimes also referred to as South Seymour. This island was originally named in honor of Lord Hugh Seymour, who was an admiral in the British Navy who fought during the French Revolution.