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Getting There

All flights from Quito and Guayaquil to San Cristóbal land at the Aeropuerto San Cristóbal (tel. 05/2520-156; airport code: SCY), which is just a few blocks west of downtown Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Both of the major airlines, Tame (tel. 02/3977-100 in Quito, or 05/2521-351 in Puerto Barquerizo Moreno; www.tame.com.ec) and Aerogal (tel. 1800/2376-425 toll-free nationwide, or 05/2521-118 in Puerto Barquerizo Moreno; www.aerogal.com.ec) have desks at the airport.

Taxis are always waiting to meet incoming flights. A taxi to any hotel in town should only cost $1 (65p).

Visitor Information

The chamber of tourism runs a tourist information office (tel. 05/2521-124) on Avenida Charles Darwin and Teodoro Wolf. It is open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 5pm. They can provide orientation and some brochures, but you're probably better off going to one of the small tour operators that are concentrated around the tiny downtown area. All offer a range of tour options and can help you try to find a last-minute berth on a boat or cruise ship, or to book a hotel room.

Fast Facts -- To contact the local police, dial tel. 05/2520-101, or 911 in an emergency. Their headquarters are located on Avenida Charles Darwin and Calle Española. The post office (tel. 05/2520-373) is located on Avenida Charles Darwin and Calle Española.

The hospitals in the Galápagos can provide for emergency care, but any serious condition or long-term treatment should be dealt with on the mainland, or back at home. There is a small hospital in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (tel. 05/2520-118), on Avenida Quito and Charles Darwin. In an emergency, you can call the Red Cross at tel. 05/2520-125. If you need a pharmacy, try Farmacia Jane (tel. 05/2520-242), on Avenida Charles Darwin and Teodoro Wolf, or Farmacia Nicole (tel. 05/2520-676), on Avenida Charles Darwin and 12 de Febrero.

You can get a cash advance, exchange traveler's checks, or use the ATM at Banco del Pacífico (tel. 05/2520-365), on Avenida Charles Darwin, near the main dock. There are several Internet cafes along the Malecón and scattered around the downtown area. Rates run from $1 to $3 (65p-£2) per hour.

Orientation

Almost all the hotels, restaurants, shops, and tour operators of any importance on San Cristóbal are located in a compact area around Puerto Baquerizo Moreno's Malecón (the town's seafront promenade), which is about 10 blocks long. The main part of the downtown extends inland from the Malecón for just some 3 blocks, where it is bordered by Avenida Alsacio Northia, the town's primary east-west thoroughfare. At the far eastern end of the Malecón lies Playa de Oro (Gold Beach). A little beyond this is the island's small museum and interpretive center. The airport lies on the western outskirts of town.

Getting Around

Almost everything in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is within easy walking distance, including even the airport, although if you have any baggage you're best off taking a taxi. Taxis are readily available and a ride anywhere in town should cost $1 (65p). If you want to tour other sights around the island on your own, hire a taxi for around $10 (£6.65) per hour. If you can't flag one down on the street, have your hotel arrange one for you or call Coop La Galapaguera (tel. 05/2520-900).

If you're looking for a commuter flight to one of the other islands, contact EMETEBE (tel. 800/481-3163 in the U.S., or 05/2520-615; www.emetebe.com), which has a desk at the airport.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.