Pikaia Lodge Ecuador
Km. 1.3 vial El Camote a 100 m de Cerro Mesa,
Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands,
Date of Creation
Hotel General Manager
Andrew Balfour joined the Pikaia Lodge team in 2013 to contribute with the construction, set up and opening of the Lodge. Andrew is the son of British father and Ecuadorian mother and was brought up in the Galapagos Islands. He studied hospitality and tourism in Ecuador, obtained a yacht master license in the United Kingdom and got a master’s degree in the United States.
For four years Andrew worked in the luxury private yacht industry attending high end clients and visiting renowned and secluded places around the world. He was part of the management team for the construction of a high end 48 guest cruise ship that currently operates in Galapagos Islands under the name of La Pinta. Following this he worked in the hotel industry in United States for two years and decided to return to Galapagos. In Galapagos Andrew worked as General Manager of Royal Palm Hotel, member of Leading Hotels of the World, before joining Pikaia Lodge. Andrew is the Honorary British Counsel in Galapagos where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.
5 star Lodge offering luxury accommodation, daily land excursions and day-cruises on private yacht M/Y Pikaia I and M/Y Pikaia II.
Member of Kurz Ahlers & Associates, member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
First Lodge of the brand.
History & Story
The “Pikaia Lodge concept” was conceived to deliver an exciting and real “once in a life time” experience to the environmentally conscious, eco-adventure traveler, who seeks active and intimate contact with the unique natural heritage of the Galapagos along with all the comforts of a highly evolved lifestyle
Hidden in a secluded giant tortoise reserve on an extinct volcano crater, Pikaia Lodge is a spectacular new alternative to cruises, enabling guests to explore Galapagos in a sustainable, yet luxurious way.
Pikaia Lodge guests can enjoy high quality small group tours. During land excursions and day-cruises on private yacht M/Y Pikaia I, guests observe wildlife, go hiking, swimming, kayaking and snorkelling.
Pikaia Lodge offers comfortable, spacious accommodations, fine gastronomy. The quiet surroundings command stunning views of savannah, verdant mist-covered volcanic cones and other islands of the archipelago amidst the Pacific Ocean.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience, offering relaxation and stimulation of the mind, body and spirit.
Pikaia I underwent maintenance and upgrades in November 2017
Main Strengths, Special Touch
• A new alternative to seeing the Islands : Luxurious land accommodation + private yacht and boat for excursions
• Breathaking location and view
• State of the Art facilities
• Strong environmental and social responsability standards.
• Breathtaking location and view
Our 31 hectares of property and private wild giant tortoise reserve is located 450 meters above sea level in the transition zone between the sunny, arid savanna and the lush tropical mist forest of the volcanic highlands. The main building is perched on a small plateau on top of two extinct volcanic craters and the rooms are nestled amongst the slopes. This location offers one of the most spectacular view points in the Galapagos – a great scenic destination in itself. From all our public areas and rooms, our guests will enjoy expansive views of the pristine arid savanna of the adjacent Galapagos National Park by looking north, to extinct volcanic cones shrouded in mist, mountains covered with lush tropical cloud forests, and green pasture farms by looking to the south-west; along with a 270 degree view of the infinite Pacific Ocean with nearby islands as a backdrop.
Key sites/activities in the area
Pikaia Lodge offers explorations packages by land and yacht to fulfill your experience of the Galapagos Islands.
During land explorations, guests will be able to discover different parts of Santa Cruz island such as, El chato II, Charles Darwin station, Puerto Ayora & Tortuga Bay.
On our yacht excursions, guest have the chance to visit various islands around the Galapagos such as, Bartolome, North Seymour, South Plaza, Santa Fe as well as Bachas Beach, Mosquera, Sullivan bay and Chinese Hat islet.
Only 3% of the entire Galapagos land mass is private land for the use of farms and towns, while 97% is National Park area and is protected from development. Before we acquired the property in 2006, it was a cattle ranch. All native vegetation and trees had been cut down and replaced by pasture. If they could pass the barbed wire fences, the free roaming wild tortoises had to compete, mostly unsuccessfully, with the cattle for the scarce water in the natural rainwater ponds on the ranch. The finches and other rare birds had lost their nesting sites and seed producing trees for food. Four years ago we undertook the titanic task of restoring this property to its original natural state because it borders on the National Park and we would like our property to be a natural extension of the Park. We have engaged in an ambitious program of reforestation with native, endemic species and have set favorable conditions for the wild tortoises and birds to return.
Ours spacious rooms and suites have panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, private shaded terraces and balconies with breathtaking unobstructed views over the green-tinged volcanic landscape of Santa Cruz to the blue Pacific Ocean. Designed with a modern but cozy contemporary style, the rooms are naturally well- lighted and ventilated.
All rooms have large bathrooms decorated with marble, walk-in closet, wall mirrors for each guest, a closed toilet room, and a shower area with views of the ocean or separate bathtub.
TERRACE ROOMS – These six beautiful rooms are 61 sq. m., including a 11 sq. m. ground floor terrace. They are furnished with either two queen size beds or one king size bed with cotton linens, duvet covers and plush hypoallergenic pillows, a desk with chair and two comfortable armchairs.
• BALCONY ROOMS – Six beautiful loft rooms, situated above the Terrace rooms, are 61 sq. m, including a 11 sq. m. balcony on the second floor. They are furnished with either two queen size beds or one king size bed with cotton linens, duvet covers and plush hypoallergenic pillows, a desk with chair and two comfortable armchairs.
• GARDEN SUITE – This large suite is 74 sq. m, including a 16 sq. m. ground floor terrace with private garden. It is furnished with a king size bed with cotton linens, duvet covers and plush hypoallergenic pillows, a desk with chair and a sofa-bed with two comfortable lounge chairs.
• POOL SUITE – This splendid suite is 74 sq. m, including a 36 sq. m. ground floor terrace with a plunge pool and private garden. It is furnished with a king size bed with cotton linens, duvet covers and plush hypoallergenic pillows, a desk with chair and a sofa-bed with two comfortable lounge chairs.
• ALL ROOMS ARE EQUIPPED WITH: • Flat screen TV and DVD player • iPod audio dock • IDD telephone • In-room safe • Bathrobes and slippers • Beach bag • Signature toiletries collection • Hairdryer • Minibar • Daily fruit basquet • In-room tea and coffee making facilities • Drinking water • Ice cubes on request • Postcards and stamps • Optimal in-bed reading lights
Restaurants & Bars
The « Evolution » Restaurant
is situated in our main building on top of the edge of the crater. It offers an unrivalled view from the pristine Galapagos National Park with its mist covered volcanic cones, to other islands in the Archipelago and our infinity edge pool. It is furnished in a contemporary style decorated with casual elegance, with a subtle artistic touch inspired by the evolution of mankind. A candle lit dinner under the stars can be arranged upon request.
• In the morning, « Evolution » serves a full American-style breakfast with fresh bread, organic Galapagos eggs and coffee, crisp bacon and sausages, tropical fruit and juice, cereals and pancakes, yoghurt and many other delicacies.This wholesome breakfast will provide guests with sufficient energy for an exciting day of exploration and physical activity.
• a specific light menu designed for lunch, with a selected variety of dishes to choose from. Lunch can also be served outside on the shaded decks and terraces with the splendid panoramic views behind the infinity edge pool.
• « Evolution » restaurant has a sophisticated daily menu for dinner, inspired by a unique fusion of the peruvian and ecuadorian cuisine. Appetizers, entrees and desserts are lovingly prepared and creatively presented using fresh local products.
Piakaia’s DNA Bar is strategically placed between the restaurant, the lobby-lounge, and the shaded terraces and pool area.
Our barmen can mix world famous cocktails as well as popular local drinks prepared with top quality imported liquors, tropical juices, Champagnes, exotic spirits, wines, beers, soft drinks and bottled mineral water.
« Sumaq » SPA
Our wellness center is an oasis of calm, perched on the rims of the craters at the eastern end of the main building with dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean interrupted only by a few islands in its vastness. « Sumaq » is decorated with peruvian travertine marble in a minimalistic Japanese Zen style to soothe the mind. It is a serene place to spend well deserved time releasing muscular tension and stress while travelling, or to pamper and purify the body with a massage after a “hard day’s” explorations. There is a massage room for parallel massage sessions for couples. Massage sessions can also be done in the guest rooms if requested.
Our wellness center is also equipped with a state of the art infrared sauna for a more comfortable sauna experience.
The whirlpool provides the best ambience to experience utter peace and profound relaxation with its never-ending, 270- degree view of the ocean.
If guests want to keep track of their workout schedule during their stay at Pikaia Lodge, our Gym is equipped with a modern treadmill, elliptical and spinning bike while offering the same spectacular views as in the wellness center.
Our property boasts almost 3.5 km. of paths and private trials for walking, jogging or biking. These scenic paths pass through reforested endemic forests, where guests will most likely encounter wild giant tortoises grazing while listening to exotic singing birds.
Extra Notable Features
• Infinity Edge Pool
Our pool is on the top plateau of the crater and is centered amongst the exteriors of the main building. The infinity pool merges with the horizon with the back drop of the endless ocean and the pristine savanna – a mesmerizing sight. With its surrounding decks plastered with peruvian travertine marble and furnished with comfortable beach chairs, the pool is strategically placed to receive the sun, shadow free the entire day to maintain a pleasant water temperature. Guests can take a refreshing dip or do some laps for exercise. There is a covered terrace next to the pool where guests can enjoy meals and drinks without having to change. At the eastern end, on the very edge of the main crater there is a covered gazebo with two sofas for napping, reading or quiet contemplation. At night the pool and decks are softly illuminated, creating a tranquil ambiance.
• Homo Sapiens Explorers Lounge:
Our comfortable « Homo Sapiens » explorers Lounge is located in the main building with a 24-person seating capacity. All guest briefings are held here. All programmed guest conferences and lectures are held here. It is equipped with a large 3D HD-TV screen with a special selection of DVDs, 3D goggles, wireless microphones and audio amplification system. Temporary art and photography will also be exhibited here to promote local artists and scientific knowledge. For cool nights we have a fireplace for a cosy and warm and relaxed atmosphere.
Number of employees