The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel is ideally-located at Punta Estrada, a 5-minute aqua taxi ride across the bay from Puerto Ayora, on the southern side of central Santa Cruz Island. It occupies a prime position right next to the only public beach in Puerto Ayora.
We always encourage our guests to consider our transfer services, which will take care of all of the logistics of arrival and departure. If you choose one of our programs, your first day’s itinerary will vary according to the day of the week and your programs, so please get in touch so that we can send you the correct documentation.
If you would like to book just the hotel, and do not want us to help with transfers, please follow these instructions:
All international flights coming to Ecuador will stop directly at either Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Quito) or José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (Guayaquil). If you are changing flights from Quito to Galapagos, you will have a mandatory stop in Guayaquil. If you travel directly to Guayaquil, you will fly directly to the Galapagos. Depending on your departure date and itinerary, you will be landing in the Galapagos at either Baltra Airport or San Cristobal airport.
There are plenty of places to visit in and around the port of Puerto Ayora. At the hotel, why not hire some sea kayaks and go for a paddle around the bay? From the hotel, a short hike leads to the beautiful cliffs known as Las Grietas, which offer some great swimming. On the other side of town lies the famous Charles Darwin Research Centre and the Tortoise Rearing Programme, headquarters of science in the Galapagos Islands. Further afield, it’s an invigorating walk to lovely Tortuga Bay, which offers surfing and a quiet beach. And then inland, in the highlands, one can visit giant tortoises in the wild, explore the island’s agricultural life, and visit Garrapatero beach, where it is also possible to enjoy mountain biking and trekking.
Yes, absolutely. It’s a most amazing place for young minds to enjoy the wonders of the Galapagos!
No, we don’t. However, we accept all major credit cards and/or cash at the hotel.
Not yet. For now, you can ask for a local masseuse to come to the hotel for your treatment. Please inquire at the Front Desk.
Yes, all of our rooms and suites are air conditioned. The restaurant and lounge are open to the sea breeze and cooled by overhead fans.
Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 10:00; lunch from 12:30 to 15:00; and dinner from 19:00 until 21:30.
We do not offer this service.
Yes, we do, for an additional fee.
No, we don’t. We have showers in the rooms/suites.
Our yachts visit wildlife-rich North Seymour, iconic Bartolome, the wildly rugged South Plaza, and the beautiful Santa Fe.
The longest navigation is the trip to Bartolome Island, at 2’15”. Add 45” by bus to the Itabaca Channel (where the boat is moored) to this journey time. Other islands are about 1’30” distant.
All of our trips include time to enjoy some snorkelling – one of the highlights of any Galapagos experience – whether at the same island, or at a nearby site. Snorkel equipment (mask, snorkel and fins) is included for free.
We recommend using ‘shorty’ wetsuits from May to December, when the waters in Galapagos are colder and it’s more comfortable for snorkelers to remain longer in the water. A modest fee of $15 per person applies for suit usage for the duration of your stay.
Yes, very. Act accordingly! Make sure to wear sunscreen and a sunhat even on cloudy days.
The archipelago is located 1,000 km (600 mi) from the mainland, less than 2 hours flying time from Guayaquil and an additional 55-minute flight (plus a 30-40 minute layover) if you are travelling from Quito.
UCT (GMT) – 6 hours. One hour less than on the Ecuadorian mainland.
The entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park (www.galapagospark.org) is currently USD 100, and the migration control card (to help regulate immigration to the islands) is USD 20 per person. These fees are subject to change.
It’s always a good time to visit the Galapagos but there is some variation in the weather depending on the time of year. There are two distinct seasons in the islands, each of which offers its own pleasures in terms of vegetation and landscapes. Wildlife does not migrate and so is visible year round.
The rainy, hot season is from December to June when humidity is high and average temperatures range from 26°-30° C (80s F). There may be occasional showers, but the days are generally hot and sunny.
From June to November, you can expect cool winds, occasionally bringing with them a light misty-type drizzle called “garúa”. Temperatures average 20°-24° C (70s F) during the day and lower at night.
Of course! It’s part of the second-largest Marine Reserve in the world and it’s a place where the wildlife both on land and in the water is fearless, giving you a great opportunity to discover all that lives beneath the waves. Snorkelling and swimming make up an important part of the Galapagos experience.
Here’s a checklist to help you prepare for your trip of a lifetime with us in the Galapagos. Please remember that flights to Galapagos restrict checked luggage to one (1) piece that does not exceed 23 kg (50 lb). Hand luggage cannot exceed 8 kg (17 lb). So, pack light and pack smart!
* All normal snorkeling equipment is available onboard and at the Finch Bay. Some charges may apply.
You should have good walking shoes/trainers, and a pair of Teva-type, closed-toe sandals. Also, depending on your programme, you may need to carry a pair of long sports socks with you the day you arrive in order to take advantage of visits to the highlands of Santa Cruz, where the tortoises roam free.
Very nearly. In fact, 97% of the archipelago’s islands is designated a national park. Human settlements are concentrated on the remaining 3%. There are strict rules about visiting the areas on islands that have been designated as visitor sites by the National Park authorities. The Galapagos is also part of a huge Marine Reserve, which ranks among the largest in the world.
The Galapagos National Park Service controls all visitor activities within the parks, including the vessels itineraries. Visits both within the National Park sites and the Marine Reserve, are always escorted by licensed Naturalist Guides. By following these rules, you are directly contributing to the ongoing local conservation efforts. The only footprints we want to leave are in the sand…
This is not the best term to describe the animals in Galapagos, since this would imply that they had been tamed by humans, or domesticated, if you will. We prefer to say simply that they are fearless, because their ancestors never perceived humans as a threat, and so neither do they.
No, although marine iguanas can get surprisingly big! Nor are giant tortoises endemic to the Galapagos. The elephantine sub-species developed in other parts of the planet, too. In Galapagos, the interesting aspect to note is the speciation of the tortoises once they arrived on the islands, evolving in time into different species, to the extent that different islands’ species are unable to reproduce amongst themselves.
From the medieval/Renaissance Spanish term for a type of saddle that was raised up at its front. The Spanish sailors who came across giant tortoises – of whom various subspecies have ‘saddle back’ shells – named them “galápago” after these saddles.
The finches on Galapagos are special because they are the bird species that inspired and illustrated Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. The work of the Grants on Daphne Major is an excellent case study of finch populations. The variations they show over a short period of time clearly proves that, as Darwin argued, “species are not immutable,” and adaptations can occur rapidly in populations in order to exploit ecological niches. There are 13 species of finch in all in Galapagos, some very similar in size and colouration: anyone who can says they can identify all of them in the wild at a glance is a liar!
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