www.audleytravel.com/galapagos ?01993 838 635 ?Galapagos cruises19Large boatsStandard double cabin, Santa CruzStandard suite, Explorer IIRed-billed tropic birdSANTACRUZ£-£££Built exclusively for Galapagos cruising, the SantaCruz is an excellent option for those looking foroptimum service on board a larger vessel withadditional stability. 90 passengers are carried in 47 cabins, which range in size and facilities fromsingle cabins through to suites with privatebalconies. The large sun deck has a bar andJacuzzi, along with an observation area for dolphinand whale watching. Evening entertainment and educational briefings take place in the elegant dining room, lounge and bar, and there is also a cosy reading room and library. The glass-bottomed observation boat is popular as an alternative to snorkelling.EXPLORERII£-£££With a capacity of 100 passengers, Explorer II is one of the biggest vessels to operate in theGalapagos and is perfect for those seeking a more relaxed, conventional cruising style trip to the islands. 53 large outside-facing suites arespread across five decks with the majority havinga small outdoor sitting area. The four top decksuites have their own exclusive private balconies.Features onboard include a Jacuzzi, spaciousdining room, lift, large briefing room, lounge, three bar areas with evening entertainment, and a reading room.SnorkellingSnorkelling is an integral part of anyGalapagos cruise. The incredible diversityand fearlessness of the wildlife is notsolely reserved for terra firma andsnorkelling enables you to see theabundance of underwater marine life at close quarters. Snorkelling trips areentirely optional and vary from wading in from a pristine sandy beach toswimming in deep water along cliff lines.There are opportunities for all levels,whether a first timer or a snorkeller with years of experience.Whichever way you choose to see theunderwater wildlife, the experience of the unique mix of tropical and deep-ocean fish, coming nose to nose withfeeding turtles and playful sea lions, orwatching a ray or marine iguana saunterpast, is sure to live long in the memory.
FINCHBAYHOTEL, SANTACRUZISLANDSituated on a secluded bay a short water taxi ride away from the town of Puerto Ayora, theFinch Bay Hotel is in a quiet location with its own semi-private beach. The hotel has 21 en suite air-conditioned rooms plus six new ocean viewsuites. It is a lovely place for a few days' relaxationbefore or after your Galapagos cruise, duringwhich you could sunbathe, soak in the Jacuzzi ortake a dip in the best pool in the Galapagos. The Finch Bay also offers a variety of full-boardpackages whereby guests can take guided trips to the highlands of Santa Cruz island and theCharles Darwin Research Station, as well as dayexcursions on its motor boats, the Sea Finch orSea Lion, to nearby islands.REDMANGROVEAVENTURALODGE, SANTACRUZISLANDAn ideal choice for those who would like to stayin the centre of Puerto Ayora, Red MangroveAventura Lodge sits right on the seafront amongst the eponymous trees, close to one ofthe island's best dive operators. The hotel has its own unique style and each of the 14 en suitebedrooms is individually decorated with eithermangrove or sea views. There is a small outdoorJacuzzi on the ocean-view terrace and therestaurant serves fantastic food, with sushi a speciality.ActivitiesSimilar to staying onboard a cruise boat, morningsstart early when staying in a hotel to enable youto see the wildlife at its most active and to avoidthe heat of the day. If visiting a nearby island forthe day, a short walk will take you to youranchored motor boat. Following the designatedtrails with your expert naturalist guide, you canobserve squabbling frigate birds, 'skypointing' blue-footed boobies and sun-bathing land igaunas atclose quarters. Depending on the location theremay be the opportunity to snorkel with tropicalfish, sea lions and turtles before returning to yourhotel for a relaxing afternoon by the pool or on the beach.Staying ashore gives you more free time to relaxor organise excursions such as scuba diving,mountain biking and kayaking. They can be ascomprehensive or flexible as you wish. There arealso more specialised activities such as islandhopping or hikes into the cool highlands of Isabelaand Santa Cruz islands, walking around vastvolcanic craters, across rugged lava fields andseeing the iconic giant tortoises in the wild.Alternatively, Galapagos hotels can simply providethe opportunity to relax before or after a cruiseon a boat.Staying ashoreHotels in the Galapagos provide an excellent alternative or accompaniment to the cruises offered on previous pages, particularly if sleeping on a boat does not appeal. Whereveryour preferences lie, you can enjoy a multitude of activities such as wildlife excursions to nearbyislands, hiking, mountain biking, snorkelling, scuba diving or simply relaxing. The majority ofhotels that we offer are located in the town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island. However, ahandful of simple lodges on Floreana and Isabela islands make perfect bases on island hoppingtrips, enabling you to explore some of the outer islands whilst still sleeping on dry land.20Finch Bay Hotel, Santa Cruz islandRed Mangove Aventura Lodge, Santa Cruz islandPhotographing local wildlife