Once you’ve chosen to experience the Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a hotel, your next job is figuring out which one. We’ve curated this list of the top five high-end resorts and lodges in the Galapagos Islands to make sure your next vacation is nothing short of idyllic.
Finch Bay (Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz)
Just across the bay from which it draws its name, Finch Bay Eco Hotel offers guests an intimate setting ideally close to the buzzing town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, but delightfully secluded.
The hotel features six suites and 21 rooms that are all right on the beachfront (though some rooms actually overlook the bay rather than the ocean). With four and five-day all-inclusive packages available, guests enjoy daily breakfast and lunch, airport assistance in Ecuador and Galapagos, and an exciting and customizable itinerary. With four suites that can interconnect, it’s also a great choice for families.
As its name suggests, sustainability is at the heart of its mission, evidenced even by the building itself, which is constructed of locally sourced material like lava rock and wood in order to blend into its natural surroundings.
Safari Camp (Highlands, Santa Cruz)
Inspired by the luxurious tents that have become a trademark of African safaris, Galapagos Safari Camp offers guests a unique experience. High in the verdant highlands of Santa Cruz, the main lodge features a grill and an infinity pool. Surrounding the lodge are nine fully furnished tents, complete with private bathrooms and running water. All-inclusive 5 and 6-day safari itineraries even include options that are engaging for young kids, like crafts, shoe painting, cooking classes, and storytelling.
Pikaia Lodge (Highlands, Santa Cruz)
The Pikaia Eco Lodge is nestled between two volcanic craters – in a location where it’s quite common to see giant tortoises plodding by in their natural habitat. Guests enjoy a private atmosphere secluded from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Ayora, featuring an infinity pool, two lounges, a spa, and a restaurant.
You might expect that a hotel with this many amenities would also invite many guests, but with just 12 rooms (6 terraces and 6 balconies) and 2 suites, you will enjoy relative privacy while here.
Four to eight-day itineraries include land and sea-based activities, thanks largely to the two private yachts that the lodge owns and operates. In fact, it’s easy to combine your land-based trip with a cruise if you book with Pikaia’s own yacht.
If you’ve visited the Galapagos Islands before, you might recognize this hotel as the Red Mangrove (aptly named for its location next to a healthy mangrove colony). Now known as the Galapagos Habitat, it is operated by the Eco-Luxury Group, which also operates Haugan Cruises and La Selva Jungle Lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon, making it very easy to combine your land-based Galapagos excursion with a cruise, a rainforest safari, or both!
Located on the other side of Academy Bay, this is one of the closest beachfront luxury hotels to Puerto Ayora. The lodge features five ocean-view suites, six standard rooms, and six superior rooms, plus several all-inclusive packages.
If you’re hoping to stay on Isabela Island (the largest and westernmost inhabited island in the Galapagos), then you’ll delight in the luxurious highland appointments of Scalesia Lodge. Similar to Safari Camp on Santa Cruz, guests enjoy the privacy of luxurious safari-style tents (complete with running hot water and electricity).
You should note that there are no flights directly from mainland Ecuador to Isabela, so travelers must fly into Baltra and either charter a private local flight to Isabela or take a speedboat from Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Once you arrive in the small fishing village of Puerto Villamil (Isabela’s largest town), it’s just a 20-minute drive to Scalesia. But don’t fret the details – that’s what we’re here to help with, and the travel experts at Scalesia Lodge are also eager to help their guests arrange all airport and ground transportation.