Galapagos by Land
Choose one of these three luxurious places to lay your head and spend your days exploring the otherworldly landscapes of the Galapagos.
Put on the map by none other than Charles Darwin nearly two centuries ago, the Galapagos still represents one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Coming here means not only bringing Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to life, but having face-to-face encounters with a wealth of fearless, endemic species in an extraordinary archipelago that includes volcanoes, craters, geological formations, white-sand beaches and lava-sculpted tunnels.
“There are many reasons to choose a lodge rather than a boat-based trip to the Galapagos but it mostly comes down to personal preference. It can work better for families with younger children, so everyone has space to spread out. Some people prefer to be based on land, especially if you don’t have ‘sea legs’. There is more flexibility with dates as you can arrive on any day to a lodge, you could add scuba diving to your wilderness activities and you will still enjoy boating day trips to nearby islands to spot wildlife in their natural habitat – including the Galapagos Big Five and more.
Galapagos Safari Camp - Santa Cruz
Not unlike a tented camp you might see in the wilds of Africa, staying at Galapagos Safari Camp means being immersed into the heart of the Galapagos’ nature and wildlife on the island of Santa Cruz.
The luxuriously appointed tents are very comfortable but also help the barrier between inside and out to dissolve – so you can rise at dawn with the exotic calls of birds, wander the jungle that encases the camp or swing in a hammock on your private terrace and admire finches rustling in the trees. And that’s before you’ve headed out on a day trip. After your excursions, return to camp for delicious Ecuadorian food and a chance to talk about the mesmerizing ecosystems you’ve explored.
"Galapagos Safari Camp is small by design with only nine safari-style tents, a family suite, lodge, pool and viewpoint spread over 55 hectares of land roamed by wild giant tortoises and bordering the Galapagos National Park, allowing it to be flexible and exclusive to your needs."
Out and About
The camp will organise your experience, curating it on your interests whether that’s focused on diving, in-depth island explorations or a family-based itinerary; all of which will include seeing the Galapagos Big Five: land tortoise, sea turtle, blue footed boobie, marine iguana and sea lion via boat trip, nature walk, snorkel or kayak.
FINCH BAY HOTEL - Santa Cruz
As the only hotel in the Galapagos Islands set directly on the beach, Finch Bay on Santa Cruz Island is perhaps most suited to those that enjoy more traditional holidays pleasures while exploring the wild of the Galapagos. Offering the best of both worlds, alternate your days between beach, pool or spa relaxation juxtaposed with in-depth explorations of the Galapagos’ famed wildlife and extraordinary topography. Even on rest days, you may be disturbed by a marine iguana on the beach or aquatic birds in the mangroves of the national park that surrounds the hotel, and from Finch Bay you can also walk in 15 minutes to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Come home hungry and relish Finch Bay’s delicious dining: freshly caught seafood, organic vegetables from the garden and innovative Ecuadorian flavours.
"A clever combination of subtle architecture mimicking the surrounding volcanic rocks and its idyllic location right on a beautiful beach makes The Finch Bay Hotel a perfect land-based stay to explore the Galapagos"
Head deeper into the islands and seas of the Galapagos and be rewarded with more endemic wildlife spots, try kayaking around turquoise waters and sea lions; admire the slow pace of wise giant tortoises; snorkel with sea turtles and sharks; dive with rays, birdwatch and see frigatebirds, blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
Pikaia Lodge - Santa Cruz
Encompassing one of the more dramatic locations for a land-based lodge, Pikaia clings to the edge of an extinct volcano crater on Santa Cruz Island, overlooking arid savanna and the lush tropical mist forest of the volcanic highlands which is part of the protected giant tortoise reserve. Modern in style, Pikaia is an architectural gem, sculpted around the caldera steppes in steel columns, glass and volcanic rock, jutting out so the suites have unobstructed views. A model in sustainable tourism, the lodge is carbon-neutral with a forward-facing outlook, so your stay will contribute to the preservation of the Galapagos.
Downtime at Pikaia includes sunbathing by your private pool, browsing an evolutionary tome in the library or indulging in spa treatments.
"When you're in the Galapagos, it makes perfect sense to stay somewhere that has environmental sustainability at its core - Pikaia is not only carbon neutral but has wildlife protection as the motivation for everything they do from re-forestation to waste water management."
Out and About
From Pikaia, enjoy exploring the island of Santa Cruz or head out on the lodge’s own expedition ship to discover islands further afield. Snorkel to get closer look at a Galapagos penguin, dive amid hammerhead sharks or cycle the forests, meeting varied creatures at every turn.
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Just back from
Just Back From – The Galapagos
Personal Travel Designer Stephanie Carthy reports back from her exploratory trip to the Galapagos aboard the new Ecoventura luxury expedition yacht Evolve.
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