This is a wonderful experience in an awesome setting.
We took our family; we're in our sixties, and two children in their late twenties/early thirties with their significant others. We all agree it was the best vacation ever. We did the eight-day/seven night package and felt it was worth every penny.
Because of the desire to preserve the environment the rooms are somewhat Spartan, but very clean, air conditioned, with great showers, hot water, and plenty of towels. All rooms have two single beds, which was not an issue for us.
The hammock on the veranda is a nice touch, too.
You cannot get to the hotel via car. At the municipal pier in Puerto Ayora you hail a water taxi and for $0.60 ($1.00 after dark) they take you to the hotel landing...about 1/4 mile. Then you walk along a lighted (and occasionally paved) path for another 1/4 mile, until you reach the hotel.
This means, of course, that you begin every day with a brisk 1/4 mile walk.
I should mention the breakfasts, though. Wonderful, with something for everyone. Bacon and sausage, fish, chicken, eggs, an omelet cook, rice, potatoes, cheeses, cereals and milk, wonderful coffee and fruit juices.
I can't say enough about the naturalist guides and the "Sea Finch", the hotel yacht. The guides were knowledgeable and very patient. Some of the terrain is pretty rugged, and they made certain we were all comfortable. Each day on the yacht started with a 1-hour boat ride, with coffee served, an excursion (maybe two hours) on a different island walking among amazing creatures who are not at all frightened of humans, a truly wonderful lunch prepared and served aboard, and snorkling and swimming. They had us back at the hotel by 4:00 PM.
We had one day with no activity planned. Half of us got massages at the hotel and loafed by the pool, while the other half signed up at a local dive shop and did a scuba day...truly amazing, lots of sharks and turtles, tuna, barracuda, and thousands of brightly colored reef fish.
Someone else mentioned the walk to Tortuga Bay. Don't miss it; there's a surfing beach with pretty treacherous currents, but just past it there is a wonderful swimming lagoon.
The town of Puerto Ayora is a wonderfully active place, with lots of children and families walking around and, as the day cools down, plenty of soccer and volleyball being played. We didn't see any beggars or homeless people on the streets. Quite inexpensive, with numerous nice restaurants and friendly bars.
I would recommend this highly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The award-winning hotel enjoys a peaceful and magical beachfront location in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. The 21 Garden View-rooms and 6 Ocean View suites hotel makes the ideal base for exploring the natural diversity and attractions of the island – including Tortuga Bay beach – and for taking day-trips to nearby islands, aboard its own, specialized yacht. The hotel also implements best practices in sustainable tourism. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Finch Bay Eco
- Finch Bay Eco Puerto Ayora
- Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora