There is a place where life has set its own rules. Different from anything you can imagine. A totally volcanic archipelago, in the Pacific, a thousand kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. Singular! A parallel universe where birds have blue feet, sea lions are docile, iguanas feed at sea and turtles seem to have come directly from Jurassic Park. Welcome to Galapagos! One of the most impacting and unusual places in the world. Where Charles Darwin was inspired to write nothing less than the Theory of Evolution.
To explore this magical corner, declared a Natural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, you will need at least one week. There are only 4 inhabited islands in the archipelago: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana. It is important to choose a hotel that greatly respects this ecosystem and that focuses on sustainability. Do you want the best tip? Pikaia Lodge. A super exclusive hotel, with only 14 accommodations, isolated in the cone of an extinct volcano, with impeccable service, luxurious standard and elected by Relais & Chateux as number one in sustainability, on the 2021 list.
Pikaia was built to have the least impact on the environment. Its support columns were brought ready made of steel, a cleaner material. External floors and walls are covered with natural lava stones taken from the island itself. Rainwater is collected in large reservoirs, as water is a precious asset in the archipelago. Solar panels and wind turbines are used to produce energy. Very cool! We need to be aware of these details and value responsible properties, especially in the moment we live. Tremendous respect for nature. Now that’s luxury!
But, at the Galapagos Islands a good boat is a must in order to fully explore. And you know what? Pikaia has a 105 feet yacht, very well equipped, with 8 cabins, capacity for 16 people and a wonderful crew formed by people from the land. Perfect for day trips. Each island has a surprise. I was at the end of November in Galápagos and saw dozens of albatrosses, magnificent frigates and blue paws taking care of their young. You can get very close to the birds because as the animals have no terrestrial predators, they are not afraid of those who approach. I swam with sea wolves, iguanas and turtles. Besides the water being an unbelievably beautiful blue!
Before going to the Galápagos, watch the 3 episodes of the documentary Galápagos 3D, by David Attenborough and read the Sapiens by Yuval Harari. This will help you to understand things better. To relax at the end of the day after so much adventure, Pikaia has a beautiful infinity pool and a beautiful spa. A highlight is also the delicious cuisine of chef Carlos Moran.
Has the Galápagos won you over yet?
XoXo and a great December to all!