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For the eco-traveller looking to escape, Pikaia Lodge on Santa Cruz Island provides an ideal base from which to explore the spectacular Galapagos Islands. Sitting on top of an extinct volcanic crater, the environmentally friendly lodge boasts expansive views of the Galapagos National Park.
While many travellers explore the Galapagos by boat, Pikaia lodge provides a perfect alternative for those without sea legs. The lodge has just 14 guest rooms, with floor to ceiling windows offering scenic views, ranging from arid savannah landscapes to mountains carpeted with tropical forest. The rooms are decorated in calming neutral shades, and are flooded in natural light. Even when soaking in the bathtub, guests have glorious ocean views, providing an 'al fresco' pampering experience. There is even a 'Garden Room' for those with green fingers and a 'Pool Suite' for avid water babies.
The 'Evolution' Restaurant teeters on the craters edge, providing unrivalled views of volcanic cones shrouded in mist. The menu is full of creative dishes which combine Peruvian and Ecuadorian cuisine. For refreshing cocktails, guests can visit the 'DNA' bar where the barmen experiment with champagnes, exotic spirits and tropical juices to create mouth-watering mixes.
Activities and facilities at Pikaia Lodge are wide ranging. For the escapist there is a serene spa, for the animal lovers there is a private Tortoise Reserve on the property, while adventurers can enjoy snorkelling or scuba diving trips in the surrounding marine reserve.
The lodge takes its name from 'Pikaia Gracilens', which are believed to be the first creatures to evolve into vertebrae 500 million years ago.
Ollie, Original Traveller