The Galapagos islands are one of the world’s most spectacular destinations. The five-star Pikaia Lodge Galapagos is the most luxurious hotel accommodation available on the islands, where you can escape to the simple serenity of nature without compromising on comfort. Aracari’s travel planner Mark tested it out and shares his review of this fabulous upscale property that’s perfect for luxury seekers.
Pikaia Lodge Galapagos Luxury Hotel
A Member of Pure, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and also a Traveller Made Partner hotel, the Pikaia Lodge is certainly the most luxurious hotel that I visited during my time in the Galapagos. Sitting on top of an extinct volcano in the middle of lush Santa Cruz Island, the hotel offers incredible 360-degree views down to the ocean. On a clear day, you can see across to neighboring islands of Santa Fe and San Critosbal.
This 14-room eco-lodge is situated on 31 hectares of private tortoise reserve, once used as a cattle ranch, which has been restored to its former natural state. Each spacious room, appointed with floor to ceiling windows, offers sweeping views of the Galapagos National Park savanna, islands and volcanic cones. They also have outdoor terrace and balcony seating area, sitting room area with a TV, and large bathrooms with separate shower and bath. Décor throughout the hotel is in a contemporary, minimalist design. I never thought I would describe evolutionary-themed artwork as tasteful, but the artwork depicting fossils and maps that prevail throughout the hotel are positively chic. WiFi is complimentary and available through public areas, although signal does not reach the rooms.
Fine Dining & Top-notch facilities
The property has a fine dining restaurant, where a-la-carte breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. Spa and gym services are available at the on-site ‘Sumaq Spa’, and guests can also enjoy the heated outdoors infinity pool. The “Homo Sapiens” Explorers Lounge serves daily complimentary afternoon tea and screens documentary programs, sometimes in 3D. The Explorers lounge is also used by naturalist guides for briefings ahead of daily excursions. Guests can take advantage of the network of trekking, jogging and biking paths to explore the island and its pristine beaches. SCUBA diving can also be booked as part of a stay at Pikaia, and is operated by Scuba Iguana in Puerto Ayora.
Day trips to the Galapagos Islands
In addition to the in-house amenities, Pikaia Lodge offers day trips on their own private yachts for maximum comfort while kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling and exploring other islands. Pikaia Lodge offers 3,4 & 7-day all-inclusive packages, including daily excursions by land and yacht. The lodge owns and operates its own private yachts, Pikaia I & II. The Pikaia I is a luxury cruise yacht, whereas Pikaia II is a smaller boat used for fishing and snorkeling excursions. It is important to note that for yacht based excursions, the drive from the lodge to the port takes between 30-45 minutes in each direction, which can make for long days.
Who is Pikaia Lodge suited to?
Because of its high luxury and its remote location, Pikaia Lodge is not necessarily an ideal pick for families. Whereas other less luxurious properties are surrounded by beaches and restaurants, the lodge is about a 40-minute drive from anything resembling civilization. It is also definitely the only place in the Galapagos where I saw women in cocktail dresses and men in suits, a style that the adventurous destination does not usually inspire! Pikaia Lodge is the perfect place for luxury-seeking clients to relax for a couple of nights after their action-packed cruise, or to usa as a base to explore the islands with day trips or just unwind surrounded by the natural splendor of this region.
Where to stay in the Galapagos
If you’re looking to take a luxury Galapagos cruise, check out our handpicked top Galapagos cruise recommendations.
Travel to the Galapagos with Aracari
Contact us for expert travel advice on the best places to stay in the Galapagos Islands and to book a tailormade trip.