In the village of Puerto Villamil, right on Isabela’s best (and, at two miles, longest in the Galapagos) beach, Iguana Crossing is a proper boutique hotel—not a common occurrence here. Constructed with native materials by local craftsmen, the hotel is surprisingly sleek in design, with curved balconies and exterior wood paneling reflecting the waves and natural environment that surrounds it. Outside, iguanas run along the sand, while giant tortoises, for which the island is most famous, may be spotted on the outskirts of town.
The rooms, facing either the Pacific Ocean or the Sierra Negra Volcano, are among the most modern in the Galapagos, though far from over-the-top. Big windows and balconies are their key features, and little extras like HDTVs and Wi-Fi really help the hotel stand out. The ocean-facing pool, lined with tiny blue tiles and surrounded by an expansive wooden deck with a bar, glows at night like an extension of the ocean’s bioluminescence. The best spot on the property, though, might the roof deck, where a Jacuzzi is waiting to ease tired bones into the next exotic excursion, arranged from the hotel’s own tour desk.