The only beachfront hotel in the Galapagos Islands, the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel boasts a privileged location overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the southernmost point of Santa Cruz Island. Tucked away behind a white sand beach which is home to nesting iguanas, it is just a short water taxi from the bustling town of Puerto Ayora with its shops, restaurants and markets, but far enough away to feel entirely secluded and tranquil.
Recently refurbished by Ecuador’s leading interior designer, Julio Vinueza, the 27-key hotel exhibits a sophisticated and stylish ‘expedition chic’ design, punctuated with standout design pieces and playful Galapagos-inspired textiles. The colour palette mirrors the hotel’s extraordinary location amid smoky lava rock, sandy beaches and azure sea, combining natural textures and neutral tones.
The hotel is the perfect place to relax and refuel after an exhausting Galapagos cruise, or alternatively it makes an unrivalled base for a land-based Galapagos experience, ideal for those who prefer to rest their heads on dry land come nightfall. Guests can choose from 21 Garden View Rooms and six spacious Ocean View Suites complete with private terraces.
Since first opening its doors in 1976, the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel has set the benchmark for sustainable hotels in the archipelago, and has been awarded multiple times for its pioneering approach to responsible tourism. Among its many initiatives, the hotel currently houses the first Chakrita Lab project in the country: a revolutionary pilot programme which allows a huge variety of fresh fruit and vegetables to be grown and harvested in small spaces, in areas where crops won’t flourish on their own. It is also the only property in the Galápagos Islands with a biological sewage treatment plant and uses organic waste for composting to enrich its organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden. Solar panels, energy saving lightbulbs and movement sensors throughout the property also contribute to creating a sustainable environment.
The Finch Bay’s yacht, the Sea Lion, whisks guests away on day trips around the islands, allowing them to immerse themselves in the unparalleled biodiversity of the region. Sea lions, blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas are just a few examples of the species that are prime for spotting by eagle-eyed guests.
Following a day of exploration and adventure, guests can retire to their luxurious suites before enjoying a poolside sundowner and tucking into exquisite cuisine masterminded by the hotel’s Cordon Bleu trained gastronomy director, Byron Rivera.
Lonely Planet Traveller
The diverse birdlife of Santa Cruz can also be observed at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel. Guests share the open-air bar with Galapagos mockingbirds hunting tiny geckos, and the pool with a family of white-cheeked pintail ducks.
National Geographic Traveller
A secluded eco-hotel accessible only by boat, [the Finch Bay] sits outside Puerto Ayora and overlooks a small, sandy beach surrounded by mangroves , which chirp with the sound of finches and from which the hotel takes its name.
Guests can explore the island independently, organise a scuba dive or two, or take a day excursion to one of the central islands... Even if they choose to decompress and simply relax by the pool, they'll have to share it with a feathered friend or two - blue herons turn up regularly to bathe.