Red Mangrove Galapagos Lodges offers overnight accommodations and complete adventure and diving packages from lodges located on three of the Galapagos Islands. All guests will arrive at the airport on Baltra. Hotel staff members will meet you at the airport upon arrival, assist with your luggage and accompany you to the ferry for the 10-minute crossing to Santa Cruz Island, where you will transfer to the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge. Guests may spend their entire time at the Aventura Lodge or book all-inclusive packages that include excursions to other islands.
RED MANGROVE AVENTURA LODGE: The Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island is as enchanted as the islands themselves. Santa Cruz Island is the most important of the inhabited islands of Galapagos archipelago. Puerto Ayora is the largest town, 15.000 people live and work here mostly in the tourism industry.
From the bright, hot light of the equatorial sun and the bustle of activity along Charles Darwin Avenue in Puerto Ayora, suddenly you step inside a cool, shaded tunnel of wild red mangrove and stroll into another world. The terracotta colored, soft adobe walls seem to rise organically from the mangrove forest. The horizon is an emerald green bay dotted with blue and white boats with the shops, restaurants and other hotels of Puerto Ayora lining Academy Bay as a backdrop. This shore has no beach, only broken, jet black volcanic rocks which add yet another contrast to this extraordinary palette of color. That the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge is so close to both the Charles Darwin Station and the town of Puerto Ayora, yet is seemingly its own secluded little world right in the middle of it all is a very rare find anywhere in the world, but in Puerto Ayora, it is unique.
This is not a large chain or high-rise hotel. Each of the guest rooms and suites has a name, not a number, and each is uniquely decorated with its own personality. This is what some have described as whimsical, rustic elegance, but we won’t go so far as to say luxury. We will say you will be very comfortable in our guest rooms and if you ever have need of anything, our superior staff will quickly respond to whatever you may need.
There are 14 guest rooms are divided in 2 areas: seaside, or inside the mangrove, all equipped with a/c, flat screen cable TV, private bathroom and hot water. Rooms are always provided with pure drinking water. Rooms do not have telephones, however, reception staff members are more than happy to assist you with any calls you need to make. There is wireless broadband access available in both the guest rooms as well as the social areas. There is also a computer available for guests to use at the reception area. Bikes for use in town are available free of use for guests. Wet suits and snorkel gear are available to rent. Laundry service is available. The seaside restaurant is the best in town and offers a choice of Japanese and Galapagos fusion cuisine.
All four Suites offer scenic views to the ocean and to the bay. Three of them with private balcony and one with a whirlpool. There are four Superior guest rooms with ocean view. One of them with private balcony on the upper level and the rest located on the ground level. Six standard rooms have mangrove views. Three are located on the ground level and three on the upper level.
RED MANGROVE FLOREANA LODGE: The newly constructed lodge in Floreana has 10 wooden cabins located directly in front of the sea. Consider it well-appointed camping in cabins, although be forewarned…the lodge has no air conditioning nor fans and it can get hot during the day though it is pleasantly cool in the evenings. Itineraries have been arranged with this in mind. Each cabin has one full bed and two twin bunk beds, a private bathroom with hot water and a front porch with spectacular views of the sea. Rooms are provided with pure drinking water, cotton towels and fresh linens. Soothing ocean waves beat against black lava shoreline mere meters away from your front door. A broad, wooden deck runs the length of the 10 cabins down to an open, breezy gazebo on the sea at this isolated part of Floreana Island…a nice cool place to lounge in the afternoon heat.
Floreana Island is the least populated of Galapagos Islands, a total of inhabitants of 150 live mainly in Puerto Velasco Ibarra. The lodge is located only five minutes from town. A path behind the lodge leads you to a magical sandy point where a colony of sea lions often sun on a sandy beach. Turtles are frequently in the sea through the desolate stretch in front of Floreana Lodge and Black Beach, located back towards town. This is a black, sandy beach called Playa Negra, which can be another great place to snorkel or just relax. Both La Loberia and Playa Negra are easy walks from the lodge. Nowhere else in the Galapagos is it possible to stay overnight in such an isolated, undeveloped location.
RED MANGROVE ISABELA LODGE:
The lodge (in Puerto Villamil on the island of Isabela) is located directly in front of the sea on one of the most beautiful, white sand, palm-lined beaches in the whole of the Galapagos. It stretches on for 3 kilometers (1.8 miles). The lodge has 8 oceanfront guest rooms. Each guest room has 2 queen beds and a private bath. Guests arriving at the lodge on Isabela tend to be very pleasantly surprised by the luxurious appointments and spectacular ocean views. Room amenities include pure drinking water, fresh linens, cotton towels, housekeeping, AC and a CD Alarm clock with an iPod dock. There are no TVs or telephones in the rooms at the lodge, but there are two charming decks…one wooden with chaises and umbrellas and the other a roof deck with spectacular views of the sea under the shade of bushy palm trees. The sand here is as white and powdery as anywhere. The beach is quite broad and the sea beyond that spectacular shade of Isabela green. Immediately in front of the lodge, at low tide, Isabela marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and sea lions grace the shoreline in abundance offering guests great up-close and personal photo ops.
Located across the sandy street in a lovely, old island, 3-story home is both the reception area and the Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge Restaurant. At reception, there is a computer with Internet available for guest use. At the restaurant, you will enjoy scrumptious home-cooked meals and artisan breakfasts with home-baked breads and locally grown organic fruit.
Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands. Formed by six large volcanic domes fused together, this is one of the most volcanically active places on earth. The laid back fishing village of Puerto Villamil with its sandy streets is not only charming, but is surrounded by lagoons on one side, where you often find many aquatic birds and especially the huge, pink Greater Flamingo and an especially beautiful sea on the other. Penguins are often spotted around the town’s main dock as they dash through the crystalline water. Puerto Villamil has only 2000 inhabitants, most of them fishermen.
Red Mangrove packages include:
4 and 5-night Darwin’s Triangle
4-night Darwin’s Discovery Dive Triangle
5-night Darwin’s Land & Sea Adventure Dive Triangle
5-night Darwin’s Triangle Underwater Adventure Tour
Day tours from Aventura Lodge include:
Depart on a full day exploration to one of the nearby islands. Depending on local conditions, this may be:
A small bay on the northeast coast of Barrington Island offers 2 trails. One of these leads to a scenic viewpoint on top of a cliff and eventually leads to an area where unique land iguanas may be seen. The second trail is a short walk from the beach to an unusually tall forest of prickly pear cactus.
Different parts of this island have various origins; some with fresh lava and others with tuff and scoria formations ... not unlike a lunar landscape. There is sparse vegetation of pioneer plants concentrated in an area behind the beach, and you'll have a perfect view of the surrounding islands from the top of the island. There is excellent swimming and snorkeling here, and penguins can also be observed.
You'll land on an olive-colored beach inhabited by sea lions. A short trail leads to a brackish lagoon surrounded by palo santo trees, where you may see a colony of flamingos. You'll also witness a rich variety of plant life, including lantana, sesuvium and cut-leaf daisies. Sea turtles lay eggs on the soft coral sand beach and spotted eagle rays swim along the shallow water.
There is a lot of life around the 1¼ km. visitors path of North Seymour. On this island you can find sea lions waddling on the beach, land iguanas, frigate birds displaying their red throat pouches, colonies of blue-footed boobies, swallow tailed gulls, the bright yellow warbler and fur seals. (B,L,D)
Depending on the tide, departure will either be from our own dock or the main dock in Puerto Ayora. Our shaded speedboat will comfortably whisk you in roughly 10 minutes to "La Loberia" Island, named after its large colony of sea lions. You will have the chance to snorkel with these frolicking creatures, a great opportunity for photos if you have underwater housing for your camera.
Keep an eye out for sea turtles and try not to be so distracted by the playful sea lions that you forgot about the great variety of colorful fish.
Next you will travel over to Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches on Santa Cruz Island with powdery white sand and calm turquoise water. On the way through the bay, you may see sea turtles, Galapagos sharks, reef rays, pelicans, blue footed boobies and herons in the mangrove forest lining the bay's side as well as other Galapagos marine birds. You will disembark for a quick walk to observe marine iguana colonies sunning and sneezing the salt from their recent outings at sea. The 'long' walk (10 minutes) back to Tortuga Bay is through a cactus forest above a carpet of crimson Sesuvium ground covering. It is a stunning array of colors against the beautiful blue skies, the black volcanic rock, the white sand and the emerald green or deep blue sea. Just remember to keep an eye on the path so you don't step on a marine iguana as they are very abundant in this area. By the time you get back, you will have your box lunch laid out so that you can enjoy eating in the sun or under the shade of our umbrellas or one of the trees that line the beach. No doubt you will have many Galapagos ground finches nearby hoping to pick up crumbs from your lunch. As tempting as it is, please do not feed the finches. Outside food products may disturb their digestive tracks or cause other harm. After lunch, enjoy a swim in this peaceful bay or just relax awhile.
Next you will go to Punta Estrada where we will sail through the Canal de Amor (Tunnel of Love). Many endemic birds nest or rest in the cavernous walls providing wonderful up close and personal photo opportunities with blue footed boobies, pelicans, lava herons, frigates and more. You will disembark for a short, rocky walk where you will probably need to step around the sleeping sea lions to walk out on the dock above volcanic rocks dotted with bright orange/red sally lightfoot crabs before heading over to a viewing platform to observe resting white tipped reef sharks in abundance. If you wish (weather/visibility permiting), we will bring the boat around to the Canal entrance where you can snorkel with the sharks. Eagle rays have also been known to visit this canal.
RED MANGROVE CAMPING
This is not camping as you've ever known it. This is culinary camping in the majestic green highlands perched above the blue sea. The iconic giant Galapagos tortoises graze alongside horses here much of the year and leave a wide trail in the high grass for relatively easy sightings and leisurely observation.
Have a glass of wine in a whimsical cave, once part of a lava tube. Your own personal chef will prepare a delectable four-course meal from the freshest ingredients available while you are served drinks and appetizers as you relax in a comfy chair or swinging hammock in front of a roaring fire. If you are here during the garua season, the mist begins rolling in as the sun sets and the low lights come on to mark the path between your tree house and the open dining hall…a scene so enchanting, the Islands' moniker springs to mind.
Since there is no light pollution whatsoever, apart from the garua season, the heavens will be a starlit ceiling above and the lovely low path lights on the ground will seem like an earthbound constellation below as you climb up into your scrumptious tree house and under snow white sheets and warm covers for the night. Wake up in the morning mist where the vanilla sky outside seems a framed box through your billowing white curtains inside as you look out any of the many windows of your tree house. Head down to the dining hall for a delicious breakfast of fresh juices, fruits, breads, and eggs. Unique Galapagos nature, scenery and dining worthy of the setting that even the most discriminating traveler is likely to rave about will leave you with a camping experience you are not likely to forget anytime soon, if ever!
Given the proximity, this tour is perfect in combination with the "Tortoise Quest" tour. Arrive at the Camping Lodge around 3:00 PM. Observe and photograph the tortoises, visit the caves, soak in the stunning scenery, relax in your tree house or one of the hammocks, then take a hot shower after a full day and before your gourmet dinner. The camping lodge offers 4 tree houses and 4 platform tents, each accommodating 2 people. Each tree house or tent is stocked with fresh cotton towels and pure drinking water. There are immaculate shared men's and women's washrooms with hot showers, soap, shampoo and conditioner.
TORTOISE QUEST OR MOUNTAIN TOUR
This tour begins with a trip to "Los Gemelos" (The Twins) - two enormous collapsed lava chambers, an awe-inspiring visual reminder of the power of nature. The short, easy hike to each of the twins is teeming with endemic flora and fauna, including the remaining Scalesia Forest draped in Liverwort, large and small tree finches, the adorable Vermillion flycatcher and more.
It's a wonderful introduction to the majestic power of the forces of natures and the great biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands.
Afterwards, you will visit a 600 acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze and sleep. Sometimes, it's a bit muddy here, so before we set out, there is a selection of field boots to choose from, large sizes for men are available. You will be transported through this tropical environment by truck and from there, you walk through fields to mingle with these gentle giants. As prehistoric as these creatures look, wait until you hear what they sound like!
After visiting the tortoises, you'll take a 5 minute ride to the entrance of a 450 meter (1350 feet) illuminated lava tunnel. With a ceiling nearly 20 feet high in most places, this is an incredible opportunity to ramble through the remnants of one of the most powerful forces in nature...lava flows. Stalagmites, stalactites, sulphur and mineral colored walls and the rippled form of a floor of lava can all be experienced in this uniquely Galapagos stroll. You emerge just outside a lovely dining area with astounding views of islands in the sea beyond the highlands. It is here, in the midst of this palette of unique Galapagos sights and sounds that you will be served a wholesome hot lunch.
This tour can also be offered upon your arrival from the mainland. A representative from the hotel will pick you up at the Baltra Airport. Also, this tour is perfect in combination with our Red Mangrove Galapagos Camping experience, also located in the Santa Cruz Highlands.
Call us for itinerary details and pricing.