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“Star gazing!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Floreana Lava Lodge

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Floreana Lava Lodge
Via a la Loberia, Ecuador   |  
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Oslo, Norway
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Star gazing!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We travelled to Galapagos for the 8 days Full Adventure trip, and it was absolutely wonderful! After an interesting stay on Santa Cruz, visiting the Darwing Research Center, lava tunnels, Los Gemelos and seing giant tortoises, we had lunch and left for the island of Floreana. Our guide Juan Carlos (thank you to Red mangrove for giving us one guide for the entire week!) was accompanied by Willian from Red Mangrove, a very nice an knowledgable guy. Floreana was very different from Santa Cruz. The accomodation was wooden cabins with a wonderful view. The cabins are not big, but you really don't need anything more. They have electricity, bathroom with both shower and WC, and even a safety deposit box and an air conditioner! Much more than we ever expected from cabins like this! If anything, the toilett bucket should have been emptied every day (it started stinking). There are not many people on Floreana, and electricity is from solar panels. Therefore there is hardly any light after dark. This made it a wonderful location for watching the stars. They shone so brightly and you could see so many of them, even the Milky Way. Absolutely magnificent! The meals were served at a local family's home nearby. Excellent food! The chicken we had for lunch one day was one of the best I have ever had!

We had great trips around Floreana; to pirat coves, interesting geological formations and we saw lots of giant tortoises. That was so great to see! Maybe the best part, however, was the first night when our guide, Juan Carlos, told us the story about the Floreana mystery. What a facinating story! We got a couple of snorkeling opportunities as well, which was really good. We saw sea turtles! The water was wonderful. Taking some time to observe the sea lions at the pier is reccommended. They are really so relaxed!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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66 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

My wife and I booked a six day package in the Galapagos with Red Mangrove. And this is a brief review of that whole experience.

Floreana was one of the islands that we stayed at; we also stayed on Isabella and Santa Cruz in Mangrove lodges/hotels. Red Mangrove also provided us with all meals; guides; inter-island boats--the whole deal.

Floreana was the simplest and most distinctive of all the islands: ten or so cabins with a thin boardwalk connecting them together. Fifteen minutes away, by truck, was a simple outdoor restaurant, a pavilion owned by a local family, where we had dinner and breakfast.

We took a long walk up the beach, past tidal pools, out to a point. It was very quiet, and as the sun set over the Pacific, a full moon rose over our shoulder. Apart from the surf and the sound of an occasional bird, it was absolutely quiet, and magical.

In the morning, the group we were with (six of us and a guide) had breakfast and then drove up in to the highlands to see tortoises--200 pounds, almost up to your knees, utterly benign and perhaps 100, 150, maybe even 200 years old. Unreal, as was much of the wildlife on the islands--tortoises; iguanas; lizards; sea lions who own the joint; bluefooted boobies and red gulleted frigates; finches and thrushes, an extraordinary array of native wildlife, and a set of islands steeped in history.

Darwin spent five weeks in the Galapagos. He didn't have an "aha" moment while he was there, but his observations and notebooks simmered in his mind, and over time significantly contributed to his theory of evolution. For that reason alone, it was worth it to visit the islands, but, in and of themselves, the islands were a revelation. It was a memorable trip, and Red Mangrove did an excellent job organizing it.

Room Tip: Take a long walk along Floreana's beach.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

The "hotel" was comprised of small, wooden cabins by the sea. The bathroom was very small, everything was very primitive. The room was clean. There was no tv, no coffee maker, no Internet, no phone reception. All these gave a special perspective of the Galapagos experience. Just walk out of the cabin, it was the ocean. I saw seals swimming and lots of colourful crabs walking around. The next morning, I saw blue herring standing at the tip of the pavilion outside of the cabins. It was such an interesting stay!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

The Red Mangrove Lodge on Floreana are individual cabins -- Nothing more, nothing less. It was exactly what I expected after looking at the on-line pictures and reading the description. Do not expect the cabin to be anything like a hotel room stay. I would describe the cabin as something you would find in a campground, only much smaller. Our bedding was clean, the airconditioner worked well, but the bunkbed did wobble a bit, so of the 3 of us traveling, we decided to have the least heavy person stay in the top bunk. I agree with a fellow reviewer that the bathroom could have been cleaned better, but we were fortunate to have packed a package of Lysol To Go Wipes and we used them here and there (I found this item in the travel size section of my home pharmacy for @ $1.50) All of the water on Galapagos Islands is a treasured resource, so these wipes, along with a small bottle of purel, I think are worth the minimal cost and slight weight to a suitcase. Dinner at Lela's restaurant (the only restaurant on the island) was fine. We were served a small portion of swordfish that we were told was carried with us on our boat ride to the island. The road to the cabins is quite bumpy, so holding on tight while traveling in the chiva was necessary, but we chaulked it up to the adventure. Bugspray for the mosquitos is mandatory - this is another item that comes in travel size. Even with the bugs, this is one of my favorite islands from our trip. We sat outside in the morning and listened to the calming waves, loved the island's history, and the snorkeling was fantastic!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto,Ontario,Canada
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

I almost got thrown into the water and crushed by the boat upon arrival since I was the first one getting off from the front deck of the boat. The only thing that save me was my good balance from teaching snowboarding for many years. Their staff got all excited ,yelling in Spanish as the boat rocked away from the docking site by the incoming wave. This happens shortly after our boat to boat transfer in the open sea that end up with a guest twisting her ankle and needed to go to the local hospital
They don`t have any proper facility for docking at their docking site. The boat just keep rocking in and out of the cement slab by the wave. (No rubber absorbent on the dock either) The worker on the dock will just grab you when the boat was pushed in by the wave.
The cabin at the Floreana Lodge is just horrific! From the outside, the cabin is kind of cute and lovely. My daughters were so excited initially! Our daughters were being assigned a cabin far away from us even though we requested a room next to each other.Soon we discovered that there are dead and alive bugs everywhere. Yes, I know it is Galapogos! I am talking about dried up dead bugs underneath our bed sheets which were there for at least a few months! Should it be detected and removed long time ago if their staff change the bedding when they clean up the room. The pillow and blanket smell so badly , I just don`t know how many guests have share that same unwashed pillow cases! My wife and I end up sharing a single bed that night ( It has fewer dead bugs,hopefully less bed bugs too underneath that bed). We were wearing long john ,socks and hoodies so our body would not contact any of their materials. A huge 4 inches cockroach jump down from the ceiling and landed next to my feet when I came out from my shower. Out of panic, I crushed it with the hotel slipper. It was so grossed that I just covered it with their waste basket in the middle of the room.
We noticed that the waste basket was never moved and the bed sheets were not changed for the next guest when we have to pick up our hiking stick from our cabin after the room is cleaned for the next arriving guest.
This is totally unacceptable consider how much money we paid Red Mangrove!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

The complex of cottages looks very cute and it is in a great location with beautiful ocean views. However, cottages themselves are not exactly comfortable - they are small and unbarebly hot (AC could not catch up with the heat). As they are made of wood, floors are creaky. The bathrooms are tiny. There is only sporadic internet connection near the outdoor sitting area. Insects are relentless, particularly around the sunset. Food is served in a decent, family owned restaurant in town.
Complaint: I notified the company in advance about my sea food allergies, I even got a braclett of a certain color which apparently warns staff about my dietary restrictions when I checked in, and yet there was nothing but sea food for dinner in this place.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

I enjoyed the remote Red Mangrove Floreana. The island is barely populated, only about 120 people. The cottage were quaint but needed better fans/cooling. The view was beautiful and it was nearly silent but for the waves and birdsong. There is no restaurant on site and the road to reach it is a bit treacherous but it was worth it for the site. All the Red Mangrove Lodges we stayed in were very good and I would return without hesitation. Our Red Mangrove host, Raphael, was excellent and took very good care of us.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Floreana Lava Lodge

Address: Via a la Loberia, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Floreana
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Floreana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Floreana Lava LodgeFloreana´s fascinating story and the desire of the local people to offer a more relaxed , more enjoyable and environmentally sensitive kind of tourism, is why Tropic has chosen to launch its new Galapagos adventure here. Together with the local community and the owners of ‘Floreana Lava Lodge’, and under the supervision of the Galapagos Authority, Tropic has created a new program designed for visitors who are looking for something out of the ordinary, who will understand the value of slow tourism.Located in Puerto Velasco Ibarra (named after a five times president of Ecuador) Lava Lodge is owned by members of the Cruz family, one of the Floreana´s oldest. The hotel is a comfortable lodge with top class service and the best of friendly local hospitality, built on black lava sands at the ocean´s edge: one of the best sites on the island. Situated only 5 minutes walk from the centre of the village, Lava Lodge is also only a few steps from the ‘lobería’ where visitors can watch the islands famous sea lions in their natural surroundings. ServicesThe 10 independent cabins are each equipped with 2 twin beds (bunk beds for up to 3 people are also available). Each ocean front cabin has its own bathroom, front porch, a reading and shady area to provide privacy and enjoyment of the outdoors.The lodge also has a common area where guests can relax together and savor a welcome drink while enjoying the striking Galapagos sunsets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Floreana Lava Lodge Galapagos Islands

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