Pikaia Lodge

Santa Cruz Island Galapagos, Ecuador

Pikaia Lodge is a luxury eco-lodge set in a secluded giant tortoise reserve, nestled on top of an extinct volcano crater on the island of Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. Pikaia Lodge is a superb alternative to a traditional cruise and is carbon neutral.

At a Glance

  • Eco-travel at its finest

  • Offering a range of land-based activities as well as seabound adventures

  • A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World

  • Enjoy spectacular views of the mountains, the coastline, the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding islands

  • A totally new concept in the Galapagos Islands

  • Explore the Galapagos by boat during the day but return to the stylish and spacious comforts of the lodge to sleep in a full size bed on dry land

  • Located on a private wild giant tortoise reserve

  • They have an exclusive private yacht, the 100 foot Pikaia I

Eco/ethical tourism, Wildlife, Family

Insider's View

Pikaia is the only lodge to have its own motor yacht with cabins for each set of guests and is one of the few that can visit the beautiful island of Mosquera with its friendly sea lion population.

Katie Aston

To start planning your vacation to Pikaia Lodge


The eco-friendly Pikaia Lodge provides guests with the unique opportunity to explore the fascinating natural heritage of the Galapagos Islands while staying on dry land and with all the creature comforts.

Pikaia Lodge is named after the archipelago's Pikaia Gracilens, an extinct species which evolved more than 500million years ago and was a precursor of modern vertebrates, including humans. The lodge is located at 1,300 feet above sea level in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island in the heart of the archipelago and is close to some of the best land and sea visitor sites of the Galapagos National Park. The lodge affords 14 spacious and comfortable guest rooms with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and private shaded terraces with breathtaking views.

Pikaia Lodge operates a varied schedule of daily land and boat excursions in small groups on their private yacht, M/Y Pikaia I. There is so much to see, do and explore in the Galapagos - observe wildlife, go hiking, swimming, sea kayaking and snorkeling. Scuba diving, fishing and mountain biking can also be arranged. The lodge also hosts fascinating scientific talks on the local flora and fauna.

Pikaia Lodge has implemented a comprehensive social responsibility program with the local community and every aspect of the lodge's construction and operation minimizes environmental impact.


Pikaia Lodge has 14 spacious rooms and suites with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows, private shaded terraces or balconies with breathtaking views of Santa Cruz and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Designed with a modern but cozy contemporary style, the rooms are naturally well-lit 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, plush cotton linens, hypoallergenic pillows, a desk with chair, two comfortable lounge chairs, flat screen TV and DVD player, iPod audio deck, IDD telephone, in-room safe, bathrobes and slippers, beach bag, signatures toiletries collection, hairdryer, minibar, daily fruit basket, in-room tea/coffee making facilities and drinking water.

Balcony Rooms

Six beautiful loft rooms, situated above the Terrace rooms, are 61 sqm, including a 11 sqm terrace on the second floor. They are furnished with either two queen size beds or king bed.

Garden Suite

This large suite is 74 sq. m, including a 16 sqm. ground floor terrace with private garden. It has a king bed and sofa-bed.

Terrace Rooms

These six beautiful rooms are 61sqm including a 11sqm terrace on the ground floor. They are furnished with either two queen size beds or king bed.

Pool Suite

This splendid suite is 74 sqm, including 36sqm ground floor terrace with a plunge pool and private garden. It has a king bed and sofa-bed.


Children are welcome at Pikaia Lodge, however they recommend children 8 years and older. At present, they do not offer interconnecting rooms, however a child can be accommodated on a rollaway bed if they are 18 years of age and under. There is a maximum of two adults and one child sharing per room. Children should be accompanied by an adult during all explorations and activities.


The "Evolution" Restaurant is situated in the main building and offers an unrivalled view of the National Park and the infinity edge pool. The lodge can arrange romantic candle lit dinners and barbecues “alfresco” under the stars.

Pikaia’s DNA Bar is strategically placed between the restaurant, the lobby-lounge, and the shaded terraces and pool area and offers famous cocktails as well as popular local drinks prepared with top quality imported liquors, tropical juices, Champagnes, exotic spirits, wines, beers and soft drinks.

The "Homo Sapiens" Explorers Lounge is located in the main building with a 24-person seating capacity where programd nature talks take place. It is equipped with a large 3D HD-TV screen with a special selection of DVDs, 3D goggles, wireless microphones and audio amplification system. The library is dedicated to science, evolution and the Galapagos. Temporary art and photography will also be exhibited here to promote local artists and scientific knowledge. On cooler nights they have a fireplace.

There is also a wellness center, “Sumaq” Spa and gym equipped with state of the art equipment. The lodge also boasts almost 3.5 km. of 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. Detailed maps are available at reception.


The Galapagos Islands are a truly unique destination, home to a wealth of endemic flora and fauna. Many activities are on offer to guests staying at the Pikaia Lodge such as guided excursions on the hotel's yachts to the nearby islands, mountain biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, bird watching and sea kayaking. The lodge offers comprehensive 3, 4 and 7 night Exploration Packages.

Visits to the islands are strictly regulated to ensure minimal impact on the wildlife, so it is important for us to know if there are any particularly animals that you would like to see because they are not on all of the islands.

Pikaia Lodge explorations are guided half-day and full-day adventures that cover the distinct landscapes and marine wildlife of the islands, under fixed three, four or seven-nights programs. Each morning your experienced guides will plan explorations based on satellite weather imagery and tides charts. Programs incorporate hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, visiting beaches, volcanic craters or lava tunnels; looking for giant tortoises and endemic wildlife; visiting the Charles Darwin Scientific Research Centre or visiting organic coffee farms in the highlands to see how settlers live.

Location & Directions

Santa Cruz Island Galapagos, Ecuador

The Galapagos consist of 19 volcanic islands and 40 islets, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. The Galapagos and its surrounding marine reserve are Natural World Heritage sites of UNESCO. The marine reserve is one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the world and the second largest protected marine reserve, after the great Australian Barrier Reef. Pikaia Lodge is located on Santa Cruz Island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago.

When to go

There's never a bad time to visit the Galapagos in terms of wildlife. The peak season lasts from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. The national park limits the number of visitors to each island and coordinates each ship's itinerary, so the Galapagos will never feel like Disney World. But if you visit in the summer, you are less likely to feel a sense of solitude and isolation. From December through to May the water and the air are warmer, but this is the rainy season. It drizzles almost daily for a short period of time. Ironically, this is also the sunniest time of year.

June through November, the Humboldt Current makes it way up to the Galapagos from the southern end of South America. The current brings cold water and cold weather, but it also brings water rich in nutrients and plankton, which attracts fish and birds. During this season there always seem to be clouds in the air, but it rarely rains. It's also quite windy, and the seas tend to be rougher.

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