They may not appear overly enthusiastic when it comes to appreciating what’s going on around them on their native Galápagos islands, whose name-givers they are: the weighty Giant Tortoises – eye-lids on half-mast – remain in the know by sheer age. With some of them having been around for nearly one-and-a-half centuries, they have posed as reliable long-term witnesses of the wondrous proceedings happening on the remote archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. 1,000 kilometers west off the South American coast and under the sovereignty of Ecuador, the islands are teeming with rare fauna ranging from cute to ugly to downright strange: the pre-historic looking Iguana’s serrated crest lends him a ferocious dragon-like air; the male Frigatebird makes a mighty fuss during the mating season, when he stages his macho parade in front of adored females and fortifies his efforts by inflating his Ferrari-red gular sac until it stresses at the seams; the Blue-footed Booby wraps its courtship into a wobbly dance performance. By awkwardly swaying from foot to foot Chaplin-style, he offers amused onlookers an endearing sight and has become the star of many a nature video. Preserving the archipelagos of Galápagos is a primary goal locally. One of the precursors in achieving it, is the Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the isle of Santa Cruz.
The Finch Bay’s philosophy is orientated towards a conclusive eco-tourism concept. The property has won numerous awards for its conservation efforts and was, again, elected the „World’s Leading Green Hotel 2019“ by World Travel Awards, whose jury constitutes tourism experts and travellers from around the globe. The hotel operates on-site desalination and purification plants, solar panels for water heating and strictly employs bio-degradable products. A considerable number of the ingredients used by their Executive Chef are home-grown in the hotel’s organic vegetable garden, or else other fresh local produce finds its way into the pots; waste is being composted. A strong advocate of sustainable demeanour, the hotel also supports regional environmental initiatives and fosters educational programmes. The hotel offers 21 rooms and six suites/Business Centre/free WiFi. www.finchbayhotel.com
Header (Tortoise), hotel and iguana images by courtesy of ©The Finch Bay Eco Hotel.