My wife and I decided upon a land-based tour of the Galapagos for our honeymoon in May, and we organized our trip through Red Mangrove. We booked the 5d/4n Darwin's Triangle program. Everything about the experience was first-class. The Aventura Lodge is a beautiful, unique hotel, we had great service, and everything was very well-coordinated for our trip. We were pleasantly surprised with how smoothly everything went.
Organizing the trip was easy, and Daniela did a great job answering our questions when we were making reservations. We were met at the airport by Red Mangrove representatives and were helped by friendly employees the entire trip. Fernanda (our naturalist guide) and Jimmy (hotel escort) were both fantastic. Andrea at the Aventura Lodge helped us change our plans in the middle of the trip. We added an extra day to the program so we could go horseback riding on the Sierra Negra volcano. The staff helped to figure out the logistics (boat transport changes, etc.), and even found us a room at a neighboring hotel to accommodate our change in plans. It was totally worth it, and I recommend that anyone considering an organized program with Red Mangrove take the 6 day triangle, without question, because the Sierra Negra trip was our favorite activity.
As for the Aventura Lodge specifically, it's a really cool building with a very artsy, organic feel. There's a good sushi restaurant right downstairs, and the hotel location is very convenient. It is right next to the Darwin Research Station, and you can walk or bike down Charles Darwin Ave. into "downtown" Puerto Ayora. There are free bikes to use at the hotel, which we were happy to take advantage of (it's very hot to walk in the middle of the day), but we found the tires to be underinflated and the locks were rusted and difficult to use. There is food and shopping all along the main road, and we felt very safe the whole time.
We stayed in the Suite Mayor on the first night, and it was incredible! I'd recommend requesting this particular room if you want the best view. We were served a special "honeymoon" dinner in our suite and we felt it was worth the extra money for the honeymoon add-on (special dinner, breakfast, champagne, etc.). At the end of the program, we stayed in the Azul Suite. This room was also really nice and it has a big porch with a spiral staircase down the restaraunt. The Mayor and Azul suites each had a unique feel to them, were clean, had great beds, and we were very happy with both.
There are a good amount of mosquitoes out at night, though. My wife is very sensitive to mosquitoes, but we didn't really hang outside much after dark so it wasn’t a problem. The organized program is so packed with activities, that we were too tired to do anything other than crash in our rooms after dinner. The Darwin’s Triangle programs are very active (you are pretty much hiking, swimming, or riding a boat all day), and probably not for little kids or the elderly. It’s not the kind of trip where you bum around and relax a lot, but that’s not what we were looking for. It's a good idea to book an extra night after the program to relax if you want to spend some time shopping, dinning, and exploring Puerto Ayora at your own pace
Overall, I can’t recommend Red Mangrove highly enough. We will be staying there again if we ever can make it back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Red Mangrove is an oceanfront hotel with the best views of Academy Bay, located in Puerto Ayora. The hotel is the perfect place for Galapagos visitors to stay considering many activities like snorkeling, hiking, beaches, swimming, kayaking, and visiting the Charles Darwin Center are just minutes away. Why else is the Red Mangrove a good decision? For those who are prone to seasickness the hotel gives you a stay where you feel just like you're on the water with the option to choose different packages with the activities mentioned. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Red Mangrove Aventura Hotel Puerto Ayora
- Hotel Red Mangrove Aventura
- Red Mangrove Ecoluxury Hotel Galapagos Islands/Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz