Pikaia Lodge

Chic, design, eco

Pikaia Lodge, Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador

5934 371-1670

See Website

At a Glance

With a chic, minimalist design, the lava-built Pikaia Lodge offers unparalleled comfort with a conservationist focus.

Indagare Loves

  • The hilltop location overlooking the rest of the archipelago
  • Evolution Restaurant, easily the top table on the islands
  • The commitment to native wildlife, including a large population of wild tortoises on property - The complimentary mountain bikes for guests
  • Review

    Staying at an inland hotel provides an escape from the crowded, touristy town centers, and there’s no better option than Pikaia Lodge. Outside of town, the dilapidated cinder blocks that dominate Galapageño architecture fade into Eucalyptus forest, and by the time you reach Pikaia Lodgeset on a large plot of land previously used for farmingthe landscape better resembles the natural park that the islands are known for. This is entirely due to Pikaia Lodge’s own conservationist efforts: the hotel has spent multiple years engaged in a reforestation project, including the removal of invasive species and replanting of native plants, and the islands’ world-famous tortoises flock to the Pikaia property in droves.

    For luxury travelers who require the comforts of a full-service hotel, Pikaia Lodge is the best option. The sprawling, monochromatic construction erupts from the hilltop like the lava from which it is composed, and the property’s sweeping vistas offer glimpses of all but two of the other islands in the archipelago. The 12 rooms and two suites overlook the national park. The spa and the gym are simple (there is only one treatment room, and the gym has treadmills and weights), though they are the only such amenities offered by a hotel of this caliber. The Evolution Restaurant, which may be the only must-visit eatery on the island, features a lunch menu focused on small plates for dining by the adjacent infinity pool, while dinner offers more substantial meals of Ecuadorian and fusion cuisine.

    The Galápagos have become a symbol of the planet’s continuing evolution, red and violent and chaotic and eternal, and Pikaia Lodge celebrates this once over. Named after the Pikaia, an ancient organism and the ancestor of all vertebrates, the hotel features centuries-old fossils and original art by the Ecuadorian artist Larissa Marangoni. Pikaia Lodge is proud of its heritage, both geological and biological, and it passes along this enthusiasm and care to its guests.

    While staying inland at Pikaia Lodge is ideal for a land-based tour, there is a minimum 20-minute drive to the port for boat outings. Its location in the highlands also means that Pikaia Lodge is one of the few places in the archipelago that experiences regular rain. During inclement weather, the property can become very muddy and difficult to navigate.

    Who Should Stay

    Pikaia Lodge is best for anybody interested in visiting the Galápagos without staying on a boat. While boat trips are the best way to see most of the islands, a land tour here would allow for more flexible timing. Families should note that there is an age limit of eight years old.

    Written by Colin Heinrich

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