Galapagos – a remote, otherworldly realm situated some 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador – provides a paradise for nature-loving solo travelers, couples, honeymooners, and families alike, and experiences like no other anywhere else on the planet. But where can you and where should you stay on the Galapagos Islands to see the best of it?
This astounding archipelago comprises 127 islands, islets and rocks offering numerous outdoor activities and amazing visitor sites to explore, but only four of them are inhabited. In fact just 3% (equivalent to 300km²) of the Galapagos Islands have human settlements, with the remaining 97% maintained as a national park.
So if you were wondering whether you can stay on the Galapagos Islands themselves, the answer is yes, but only on the inhabited ones of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Floreana and Isabela, each of which have varying accommodation comfort and availability levels. Here are the best Galapagos Islands hotels to choose from on each of these inhabited islands.
Home to approximately 3/4 of the Galapagos’ entire population and the starting point of most Galapagos cruise itineraries, Santa Cruz unsurprisingly offers up the majority of hotel options found throughout the Galapagos Islands. This natural paradise is a popular destination and ideal for first-time visitors to the archipelago. The hotels are located either in the main town of Puerto Ayora or the remarkable highlands towards the center of the island.
Situated a short walk from the town’s main pier, the Ikala Hotel is surrounded by gardens and island trees, creating an oasis for your vacation. From its cozy rooms, you’ll enjoy a spectacular view of the harbor and the many shops and restaurants nearby.
Located in the highlands of the island, the Galapagos Magic Lodge provides a unique experience. Here you stay in luxury tents or elevated tree houses with exquisite views. Enjoy fresh dinners at the open-air fire in the lodge, and sip on a cocktail in the subterranean lava tunnel lounge.
Experience luxury while on the island with a stay at the boutique Finch Bay hotel. You’ll find contemporary art and modern décor throughout the hotel and can enjoy relaxing on its large terraces. Stroll to the beach or embark on a yacht tour of the islands from here. Swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. Sip on a drink at the pool or enjoy the hot tub and yoga studio. The premises also have an award-winning restaurant serving regional gourmet dishes.
Surround yourself with the trifecta of amazing wildlife, fascinating flora, and volcanic terrain at this out-of-the-way camp with luxury tents as your accommodation. Each tent comes complete with teak furniture and handwoven Ecuadorian rugs. The Galapagos Safari camp also offers a 3-bedroom family suite and multi-purpose lodge. Enjoy swims in the infinity pool with spectacular views as a special treat. Great accommodations for families or couples looking for a unique, less crowded locale.
Enjoy luxury living on the islands at the Pikaia Lodge. Couples will particularly enjoy this chic boutique hotel and its surroundings. Each room comes with floor-to-ceiling windows providing incredible views. The on-site spa and infinity pool offer spaces to relax and unwind with unrivaled views of the island.
Montemar, Galapagos‘ first eco luxury villas, nestle into a 43-acre private reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, along with their bamboo yoga studio, meditation studio and organic coffee plantation. Guests can rent out one (or both) of two luxury villas, Villa Tortuga or Villa Lechuza, that cater for eight and four guests respectively, and stay sustainably on the islands, exploring the archipelago whilst also practising restorative techniques like yoga, stretching, and mindfulness on site.
Home to the administrative capital of the Galapagos, San Cristobal is the second most populous island in the archipelago, and as such also has plenty of places to stay. Choose from various types of Galapagos Islands resorts and hotels in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and beyond.
At the island’s luxury hotel Galapagos Sunset, you’ll enjoy ocean views from your room and from the hotel’s terrace. You can expect exceptional service from the hotel staff here. Couples and honeymooners, in particular, will love this hotel and its location.
Enjoy world-class comfort and service in the midst of a tropical paradise at one of the exclusive best luxury hotel Galapagos, Golden Bay Hotel & Spa. With just 21 rooms, guests can feel uncrowded and enjoy the ocean views, swimming pool, and spa. There are also a bar and restaurant on the premises. Honeymooners and couples will enjoy their stay here, but it can also accommodate families.
Ocean view suites provide breathtaking views at the Sea Side Inn. All the amenities both couples and families need while on vacation can be found here as well. The pool and jacuzzi, along with the top floor sitting area, provide relaxing spaces to enjoy when not at the beach or out on an island tour.
While the biggest island in the Galapagos, Isabela is less crowded and offers unique opportunities to relax and explore. Families will love this island for its diversity and size and its many activities for kids and adults alike. Restaurants and hotels are mainly located in the town of Puerto Villamil.
Only a few steps from the white sandy beach, Isamar Boutique Hotel offers a retreat with amazing views on all sides. Choose between family suites or rooms, and venture out to nearby attractions just a short walk away. The Isamar also contains a business center if needed, and a restaurant and bar.
In the lush highlands portion of the island, Scalesia Lodge is situated on 40-acres of private reserve land. Enjoy views of the coast and the other islands. Stay in safari tent cabins with private bathrooms and screened decks. These accommodations are ideal for couples or families looking for a unique Galapagos experience.
If you’re looking for seclusion, look no further than Floreana Island. Small in size, this island is a perfect getaway for honeymooners and couples looking for a quieter piece of paradise. The main town on this island is Puerto Velasco Ibarra.
Get away from it all and stay in one of the ten cabins, or dollhouse villas, offered at eco-friendly Floreana Lava Lodge. Fall asleep to soothing ocean waves. Stroll along the black lava shoreline or lounge on the wide deck surrounding the hotel. Crafted to support sustainable tourism, this is a luxury, eco-friendly option for your stay. Honeymooners, in particular, will love the seclusion it provides.
Now that you know where to stay Galapagos Islands, isn’t it time to get started on making your Galapagos vacation plans?
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