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Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel

Stately Highlands villas with private lava tunnels...

Very good Four stars from 11 votes
Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel
Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel

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Set on a 325-acre private plot in the Miconia Highlands of Isla Santa Cruz, the Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel is an impressive estate that could keep one happily entertained without ever having to leave the grounds! The royal moniker comes from Prince Charles’ visit in 2007, and it is easy to see why the secluded location appealed. As well as the numerous activities in situ, the property is also less than 5 miles from the El Chato Giant Tortoise Nature Reserve. With the main pier in Puerto Ayora only a half-hour drive, excursions to other sites and islands are also very accessible. A top choice for those after a peaceful retreat without missing out on exploring the Galapagos further.


In the centre of Santa Cruz Island, the Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel is almost equidistant – approx. 25 minutes’ drive - between the Itabaca crossing to the north of the island (access to Baltra airport) and the main town of Puerto Ayora to the south. A number other island highlights are also within a similar distance or less; including Tortuga Bay, Las Grietas, the Gemelos craters Garrapatero Beach and the Cerro Mesa Ecological area.


The dirt track up to the Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel runs past the property’s half-mile lava tunnel, before terminating at the central point by reception, the bar/restaurant, tennis courts and swimming pool. To one side is the health club, business centre, start point of the crater hike and the casitas & the opulent Prince of Wales villa. On the other side are the 12 villas, grapefruit orchard and start points of the two forest walks.


The Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel has eight casitas (“little house”), ten villas plus 3 Superior villas. The casitas are in two blocks of 1-4 and 5-8 with latter featuring Jacuzzis. All casitas are 38m2 and include a bedroom (King or 2 Queen beds), lounge area, en-suite and front porch overlooking the gardens. There is one pair of interconnecting casitas. Of the ten Standard 85m2 villas, eight are 1-bedroom and two are family villas with 2 bedrooms. All villas include a separate lounge room, Jacuzzi, open fireplace and a wonderful views across the island to the ocean. The grandiose Royal and Presidential Superior villas are 78m2 but also have private gardens, and the latter an indoor sauna. Lastly, the splendid 90m2 Prince of Wales villa offers two bedrooms (each with en-suite and dressing rooms), a sauna with the main bedroom, a lounge/dining room, private garden and small roof terrace.


The unique attraction is the cavernous lava tunnel, that has been modified with lights, steps and small bridges to aid navigation – a fascinating insight into the geology of the island dating back over a million years! The property also has an outdoor pool and tennis courts and a Health Club featuring a hot-tub, sauna, gym and various spa treatments. The are a number of trails, such as the Miconia & Escalesia forest walks, a simple stroll around the grapefruit orchard or a more challenging crater hike. Bikes can be hired to further afield explorations, i.e. the Giant Tortoise reserve or to other attractions. The Royal Palm Galapagos Hotel offers a selection of programs, from Bed & breakfast to all-inclusive that includes guided day-trips to other islands.

Beautiful villas, which are a rarity in the Galapagos. Great location.

Chose when to visit carefully, to avoid the Highlands wet season.

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