From its quietly spectacular vantage point, Pikaia Lodge looks out over the island of Santa Cruz’s forests, farmland and walled fields. Every side of the volcano it stands on falls steeply away, leaving the Lodge looking like a watchtower, standing sentry over the Galapagos.
The Lodge is very contemporary, made from black volcanic rock and glass. Rooms are designed like the bridges of ships, with steel beams supporting sloping roofs. There’s nothing else in the Galapagos quite like it. Pikaia also has serious green credentials, with solar and wind generators creating a third of the necessary power, LED lights and furniture made from recycled materials. Interiors are light and bright. From your spacious white room or suite with its wooden floors there are exceptional views through the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows.
Step on to your private terrace for a shady spot and a chance to soak up the scenery of the Galapagos National Park. Take a leisurely walk through the Lodge’s private reserve looking out for giant tortoises and Darwin’s famed finches. Some of the island’s best beaches are within a short stroll and the Lodge’s location in the heart of the archipelago mean you are within easy reach of some of the best sites for hiking, biking, swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. Watch blue-footed boobies perform courtship dances. Let your expert guide show you the best sport for close up encounters with marine iguanas. Snorkel with angelfish, yellow-tailed snappers and barracuda or look out for whales breaching
As a guest at the Lodge, you’ll also have exclusive use of Pikaia’s private yacht, a 105ft cruiser that is ideal for day trips and cruise excursions. On boarding you’ll be shown to your own cabin for the day before you cast off to sail around the islands with an experienced captain, making this one of the most dramatic way to experience their diversity. After lunch on the boat, you might land and amble along a sand bar to spot sea lions in the surf before sailing back to port.
After a day’s adventurous exploration, sink into Pikaia’s sun-soaked infinity pool and revel in the views across the island to the shimmering sea. Lay on a daybed by the pool and absorb the scenery. If you have any aches, let a trained masseuse ease your muscles with a tailored treatment in the Sumaq spa. Intrigued by your destination and the incredible things that you are seeing? Immerse yourself in the Explorers Lounge where you can learn more about the islands and their incredible history in films and scientific lectures. Pause too to admire the pop-up art and photography exhibitions and installations by local artists.
As the sun sinks below the horizon, take cocktails in the lobby lounge. For dinner head to the Evolution Restaurant, with its unrivalled view. Even though the island is 600 miles from the Ecuadorian mainland the chef will create a fresh and delicious menu of regional cuisine fused with Peruvian flavours: all well-presented on fossil-inlaid tables. For the most romantic dining experience though, arrange a candlelit table under the stars for an al fresco barbecue. After dinner, retire to the DNA Bar for a nightcap and a chance to plan your next day’s adventures.