“This is your home, Miss Johanna” says Cesar, when I compliment him on the beauty of Finch Bay Eco Hotel. And I am made to feel so welcome in my temporary home!
This 27-room hotel is located a 3 minute boat ride (free in the hotel’s panga or 60 cents by water taxi) plus a 5 minute walk from the main pier in Puerto Ayora. While it is easy to get back to the main town, there is little need given the resort’s great restaurant, big pool, and pretty beach complete with Galapagos animals.
Finch Bay also has two yachts for day cruises, the Sea Lion and Sea Finch. I had a spectacular day aboard the Sea Lion, visiting the land and marine iguanas and bachelor sea lions of South Plaza Island, and snorkeling with colorful fish and a few rays at Las Bachas, a white beach on the north part of Santa Cruz. The yachts are comfortable, with places to relax in the shade and sun, and serve a delicious buffet lunch.
You’ll be back at the hotel in time for a swim in their gorgeous pool, a drink while the sun sets, dinner in the restaurant, and then a restful sleep in your comfortable bed. Rooms at Finch Bay are not huge, but are well designed and have lots of closet space. And each one has a welcoming hammock on the balcony surrounding the mangroves.
As the name implies, Finch Bay Eco Hotel takes extra effort with its environmental practices. For example, it is the only area hotel that desalinates its own water, it is replenishing the mangrove forests, and was named a World’s Leading Green Hotel at the 2014 World Travel Awards.