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.
- 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