There were four of us sharing accommodations and Hotel Espana was recommended to us by college aged friends who had stayed there before. We had corresponded by email in advance and had arranged for pick-up at the airport. We met by our driver who was friendly and proud to be a Galapagoan! He rode with us on the bus that transports you to the ferry (about 10 minute ride through an arid desert area). We then took a boat across to Santa Cruz about 10 minutes to cross a small waterway. Our driver who spoke little English offered to take us on a tour as we drove along to Puerto Ayora...if your driver does this....AGREE! It was great to be able to stop along the way. We hiked through some lava tubes, visited and hiked around a turtle farm, visited a ranch, hiked around some cloud forest craters and then finally arrived at the hotel. It was a great use of time and rewarding. We practiced our Spanish along the way and all was well.
Arriving at the hotel...We walked through the entrance way through the courtyard and were greeted. Our room was basic...there were five twin beds, a large closet, many windows (with broken screens), a wash basin (for clothing), and a bathroom with shower, toilet and basin which had walls that only went up 3/4 to ceiling so privacy was lacking...but we rolled with it. Rooms are a bit noisy...open windows over a courtyard.
Good location...a couple blocks from the main street, Charles Darwin.
Breakfast was available for an additional surcharge of $3. The women who prepared breakfast were pleasant and if you ask will make you different style eggs. The standard was bread basket butter/jam, hot beverage (coffee, tea, hot chocolate), fruit juice, water, scrambled eggs. Additionally, you could walk to the mini mart next store and bring items for them to prepare or you could prepare yourself as long as it did not interfere with their morning breakfast.
There was a party one night and we were invited to attend. While we were appreciative, by the time we returned at the end of the day from scuba, snorkel, hike, bike, etc...we were past exhausted.
We did arrange a tour to Floreana through the hotel one day and subsequent tours directly with our naturalist from Floreana; hiring a boat, captain and naturalist for private adventuring.
Do go to Floreana, Isabella and if you time it well go to Bartholme first when you arrive (arrange ahead of time) and are on that side of the island.
WiFi is mostly reliable; the router required reset/reboot DAILY. And, we did the reboot...rather than wait for the hotel folks to figure it out. If you are having trouble connecting that is likely the reason. Remember you are on an island...the connection options are being shared on the island.
We did store our passports here when we were out.
We enjoyed the hammocks in the evening. Brought in wine and beer and snacks.
Best dinner recommendation: eat in the open air restaurant Lobster market...they have other food choices...but the Lobster meals....are great for about $10 per person...many, many locals dine there as well. Bring hand wipes :))) Chocolat is a good restaurant option as well. There are some swanky hotel food options too if you need them.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Espana Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz