Galápagos: Rare Fauna and a Leading Green Hotel


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 Eco Hotel on Galápagos

The Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the Galápagos isle of Santa Cruz

The Finch Bay Eco Hotel on the Galápagos isle of Santa Cruz is a role model for environmental responsibility.

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.

A Blue-footed Booby on Galápagos. © 2002 - Paul McFarling, Charles Darwin Foundation. Licensed under Creative Commons +

A Blue-footed Booby. On his voyage to Peru in 1535, Panama’s first bishop, Tomás de Berlanga, was carried off course by currents – and discovered the Galápagos Archipelago by pure coincidence. He wasn’t impressed and noted down that the islands were „dross and worthless and full of thistles“ and merely inhabited by reptiles, seals and birds. He dubbed the vast flocks of blue-footed birds populating Galápagos „Bobos“ (awkward/stupid), because they were not clever enough to run away so as not to get caught. How were they to know that humans were wicked and they would soon be sizzling on some skewer?  Photo: ©2002 Paul McFarling, Charles Darwin Foundation. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Greater Frigate Bird. Photo by Charles J. Sharp (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

A male Frigatebird during courtship. Gular pouch deflated, he is not much of a stunner and will have to wait until the next mating season to get the limp crumpled tissue and his impaired avian ego back in shape. Frigatebirds are known to be kleptoparasites meaning, that they snatch away food other animals have caught or stored for themselves. Photo by Charles J. Sharp via Wikimedia Commons.

Galapagos. Photo: Finch-Bay Hotel.

A pre-historic sight: Iguanas are far from pretty, but oh so fascinating.

Header (Tortoise), hotel and iguana images by courtesy of ©The Finch Bay Eco Hotel.