We stayed here 2 nights as part of a land-based tour. This hotel is just as great as the Red Mangrove on Santa Cruz, just different! The rooms are a decent size and extremely clean. The beds are okay, but really, nothing is as good as your own bed at home! The a/c works well, it does make some noise but not too bad. The bathroom was clean and a decent size, they provide a hair dryer, soap, shower gel, shampoo/conditioner, hand towels, face towels, but no face cloth (no place on our tour had face cloths, not even in Quito). The hotel is made up of 4? 5? rows of 2 rooms, with a separate small building for the kitchen & dining room. There are 2 tables with umbrellas that you can eat at or just hang out, and some lounge chairs on the patio. The hotel is right on a beautiful beach, and we found the water warm enough for swimming even in the "cold dry" (26C) season. Wifi is available by the kitchen.
Staff were lovely, spoke enough English to do their jobs. Red towels for the beach are available by asking at the kitchen, which also serves as the bar & reception area. Our food was included with our tour, so I can't comment on the price, but it was good quality food, mostly local.
Lots of activities are available nearby on Isabela, including snorkelling, scuba diving, giant tortoise breaking centre, wildlife watching...
I highly recommend visiting the Galápagos Islands as part of a tour, as it seemed to take a lot of organizing for the people we met who weren't part of a tour. The islands are mostly national park, and you can't enter most activities without a licensed guide. This is done to protect Galapagos, not to rob you of your money. Plus, the guides will help you navigate all the entrance fees & water taxis and speed boats (between the islands), and lots of other stuff that we on the tour didn't have to worry about at all. If you insist on coming on your own, do all your boat rides in the early afternoon (with plenty of gravol as the ride will be 90 mins to 3 hours in possibly very rough water) so you'll have time to check out from your previous island and get to the next one with time for an activity. I recommend not doing a cruise tour as a land-based tour allows more money to go to locals and directly to the national park.
As the sun goes down around 6-6:30pm & comes up around the same in the am, we were in bed by 9 so we could be up for most of the daylight hours. There aren't any shops apart from restaurants & activities, and we were only told of one bar that is open afternoon & evening (closed for supper) so this is not the place to go if you want a nightlife. Actually, if you are into parties, a Galápagos Islands vacation is probably not the vacation for you, as it's mostly wildlife watching, water activities, history, science, etc...
Tipping was appreciated but not expected. No souvenirs available, except photographs and great memories!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Great Beach Hotel, Iguanas, blue footed boobies, penguins at the beach ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Red Mangrove Isabela Hotel
- Red Mangrove Hotel Isabela
- Redmangrove Galapagos Islands/Isabela - Puerto Villamil