Ecuador offers so much in so small a space: Jaguars, pink dolphins, macaws, and monkeys in the lush Amazonian lowlands; condors and snow-capped volcanos in the Andean highlands; and beaches, palms, and pelicans on the Pacific coast- all compressed within a mere 150 miles.
And then there are the Galapagos Islands! Because the animals here evolved in isolation from humans, they wander fearlessly among visitors as though they themselves are the curious tourists. Don a mask and snorkel, float in the clear shallows, and feel a smile form as an inquisitive Galapagos Penguin puzzles over the odd reflection in your mask.
In various destinations around the world, we have highlighted examples of exceptional accommodations that set new standards for aesthetics and responsible tourism. These properties reflect our own company values by emphasizing community involvement and the preservation of cultural heritage, protection of natural resources, and sustainability, both in practice and design. They also combine outstanding comfort and service, natural beauty, and functionality. Where you stay along the way can greatly enhance any journey. Options abound, but these are some of our favorites.
Offering an unforgettable close-up encounter with the wonders of the Galapagos, the Pikaia sits atop two extinct volcanic craters on Santa Cruz Island, surrounded by a private, 76-acre wild giant tortoise reserve. Airy, simple, and architecturally unique, the accommodations are tucked into verdant slopes, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular views. Carbon neutral, solar and wind powered, and using sugarcane ethanol for clean-burning fireplaces, the lodge is hailed as one of the world’s greenest.
Situated in the Santa Cruz highlands, nine luxury tents, a tented camp perfect for families, plus a 135-acre farm, infinity pool, and viewpoint terrace combine to create an unforgettable island experience. A common area lodge serves as the perfect end-of-day gathering place with its cozy lounge, library, and dining room serving forth farm-to-table cuisine.
A sanctuary deep within Ecuador’s rainforest, the 26 thatched roof cabins with private terraces offer an intimate encounter with the sights and sounds of the Amazon. Constructed with traditional materials and nearly camouflaged by their surroundings, the en suite rooms are designed for ultimate comfort. A Canopy Walk, an observation platform high in a Kapok tree, and one of Ecuador’s largest butterfly farms are all part of the lodge’s distinct features.