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Galapagos Islands

Photo of Galapagos Islands

About Galapagos Islands

Most people are well aware of this region, but few ever get the chance to visit. Our recommendations open the doorway to the best places to stay in the Galapagos islands.

First discovered in 1535, the Galápagos are home to some of the most diverse wildlife in the world with native species spectacular enough to inspire Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Go to witness the breathtaking, untainted scenery, the inspiration behind modern science, or just to bask in the year-round warmth! For the real sun lovers, best to aim between January and June as the latter half of the year is slightly cooler.

Five things not to miss:

1. La Loberia (San Cristobal Island). Visit the isolated stretches of beach and spot wild iguanas, lava lizards, yellow warblers and frigates

2. Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island). A great starting point to any trip, the centre gives a unique insight into the archipelago's ecology and history

3. Sierra Negra Volcano (Isabela Island). Hike through the alien landscape and peer into the second largest crater in the world, but be warned, the terrain can be hard work so take a strong pair of shoes!

4. Turtle Bay (Santa Cruz Island) . Visit the isolated white sand beach for some relaxation, sun and to catch up with the local turtles (to catch sight of emerging hatchlings, aim for July-June).

5. Rancho Primicias Galápagos Tortoise Ranch (Santa Cruz Island). Meet some of the Galápagos most famous residents. These gentle giants offer a window into another world!

Any exploration of the national park must be led by a naturalist guide, and therefore it is worthwhile picking the right hotel to help you organize your day trips. Additionally, many people opt to hop between the three larger islands, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela, in order to see as much as possible of the archipelago. As such, we’ve handpicked the best places to stay in the Galápagos Islands to get the most out of your stay:

For sea views

  • The Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel on Isabela Island offers comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation with a great terrace to watch the sun go down.

For super luxury

  • A contemporary twist to the ancient landscape, Pikaia Lodge is the height of luxury on Santa Cruz. An infinity pool, spa and floor to ceiling windows have helped earn this hotel’s exceptional reputation.

In the thick of it

  • Galápagos Safari Camp is an eco-friendly hideaway deep in the forest with luxurious tents and natural décor. A great place to start your adventure!

Reasonably priced boutique

  • Royal Palm Hotel sits in the remote heart of Santa Cruz. Stay in a casita or villa in this charming and traditional hotel, known for its great food.

Contemporary architecture near the beach

  • Located on the South coast of Santa Cruz, Finch Bay Hotel boats modern décor, contemporary art and is only a short walk from the beach.

Still not sure which to book?

  • Browse our list of the best places to stay in the Galapagos Islands
  • expand your search to include all our Ecuador recommendations,
  • or contact a friendly guru for advice.

Best Hotels in Galapagos Islands

  • Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel from $228

    Galápagos, Galapagos Islands

    A boutique property overlooking the sea and surrounded by the Galapagos' wild landscape. Smart rooms feature floor to ceiling windows, most have terraces and luxurious bathrooms. A tranquil pool provides a relaxing spot to unwind after a days exploring. The ideal spot for nature lovers.

    Back to Nature  -  As the name suggests the hotel is situated amongst wildlife (namely iguanas).
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the 'Wall of Tears', an eerie reminder of Isabela's past.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
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  • Royal Palm Hotel 21 rooms from $304

    Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

    A small boutique hotel set in an outstanding remote location in the centre of the Galapagos. A collection of casitas and villas are charmingly decorated with white washed walls, beamed ceilings and antique furniture. Spend days exploring land and sea before returning for indulgent dinners. Fabulous.

    Hideaway  -  A glorious hideaway set in the lush Miconia highland forests of Santa Cruz in the heart of the Galapagos.
    Diving  -  Find a great diversity of sealife on a dive. PADI courses are also on offer for beginners.
    Sailing  -  Charter a yacht and explore the islands with a hotel guide.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
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  • Finch Bay Hotel 27 rooms from $348

    Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands

    A contemporary hotel set amidst tropical surrounds and just a short walk from the beach. Light rooms are all white on white, dressed with contemporary art, and feature large terraces. Feast on gourmet regional dishes and find endless unique activities found exclusively in the Galapagos. Superb.

    Beach Life  -  Just steps from the beach and complete with a selection of yachts for island exploration.
    Back to Nature  -  The Galapagos are well renowned for their fascinating array of flora and fauna.
    Diving  -  World-class diving, professional instructors and PADI designed courses.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
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  • Galapagos Safari Camp 10 rooms from $819

    Bellavista, Galapagos Islands

    Hidden in the depths of the forest find a luxury tented camp perfectly primed for adventure holidays. Atmospheric tents feature Ecuadorian rugs, teak furniture and large windows opening onto epic views. Unwind by the naturally inspired infinity pool and gorge on regional fare. An eco-friendly gem.

    Back to Nature  -  Be surrounded by volcanic landscapes, unique wildlife and unspoilt jungle.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.
    Outstanding location
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
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  • Pikaia Lodge 14 rooms from $2070

    Santa Cruz Galapagos, Galapagos Islands

    A game changer of a property offering boutique luxury in the Galapagos. Stunning contemporary rooms boast epic vistas from the floor to ceiling windows and sleek minimalist design. A gorgeous infinity pool and spoiling spa fill all one's pampering needs. The cuisine is on point too. Very chic.

    Back to Nature  -  The Glapagos is the king of natural wonders and this boutique hotel boasts a remote location in the heart of it all.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels, CN Traveller
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