Across the bay from Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, Finch Bay is one of the few hotels in the Galapagos Islands located near a beach. While the hotel prides itself on its ecofriendly touches—such as its own water treatment plant, solar panels, a composting system, and the addition of 500 new mangrove plants surrounding the hotel—the atmosphere is more that of a contemporary resort than a rustic nature lodge. Outside, an oversized pool overlooks the ocean; inside, a Cordon Bleu–trained chef heads a modern restaurant. Dark volcanic stones line the walls in the suites, while standard rooms all come with hammock-slung wooden balconies.
Like most hotels in the Galapagos, Finch Bay is all-inclusive, providing land and sea excursions to attractions like the highlands of Santa Cruz, to search for giant tortoises in the wild. Also included are daily excursions on the hotel’s private yacht to nearby islands like Bartolomé or North Seymour, national park highlights, which can be reached on day trips.
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Set on the south side of Puerto Ayora, Finch Bay sits beside the town’s only public beach. It's isolated from the rest of town, but a water taxi from the hotel’s dock can transport guests to the town’s centrally located municipal dock. From here it is a 15-minute walk to the Charles Darwin Research Station, the town’s biggest attraction. For happy hour, stop by the Rock Bar for two-for-one caipirinhas, then follow with dinner at Ecuadoran-Italian restaurant Il Giardino.
Need to Know
Rooms: 21 rooms, 6 suites. From $401.
Check-in: 1 p.m.; check-out: noon
Dining options: A buffet breakfast is included with the room rate; other meals are taken either in town or at the hotel’s restaurant, which is one of the area’s best. Headed by a Cordon Bleu graduate chef who utilizes the hotel’s own organic garden as well as locally caught seafood, the menu lists international plates like grilled tuna with a sesame-seed crust and locro, an Andean corn and potato stew served with fresh cheese and avocado.
Spa and gym details: There is no fitness center or spa, though in-room massages can be arranged.
Who's it for: Luxury travelers who want to get to know one place in the Galapagos well rather than spend all their time on a boat hopping from island to island.
Our favorite rooms: The hotel's elevated Ocean View Suites have balconies with views of the bay, and can also connect with other rooms to make one giant accommodation for families or groups of friends.
Plan ahead: Stay on land for a few days at Finch Bay, and then board the hotel’s yacht for a few more days to visit other islands.
Amazing Galapagos, wonderful Finch Bay
Finch Bay Eco Resort is a simply wonderful place to make your Galapagos visit amazing and amazingly simple. The grounds are well kept, the rooms simple and clean with comfortable beds. The meals are wonderful and Management is adept and accessible. The daily yacht adventures take most of the day and are fun and relaxing and exciting at the same time. Our guide for the entire stay was excellent! I cannot recommend this resort enough. It is suitable for single, family or romantic travelers. Please note that the daily trips on the yacht are not for those who are subject to seasickness. The daily trips are approx. 2 hours in each dirction.