Until recently, the best way to explore this fiercely protected archipelago—located about 620 miles west of Ecuador—was on a cruise. But the modernist, sustainably built Pikaia Lodge (pikaialodgegalapagos.com; three-night packages from $7,950 for two) changed all that, offering a threeday combined land-and-sea experience, complete with its very own yachts to explore the surrounding islands. Here’s what you can expect.
→ Check in and immediately hit your private plunge pool (available in pool suites, for $600 more), which overlooks the verdant and volcanic landscape—and likely a few wandering resident tortoises. Afterward, fuel up on quinoa croquettes, octopus carpaccio, and Andean fruit cheesecake in the restaurant; tomorrow’s a busy day.
→ Over the next six hours, you’ll explore jagged lava tunnels, stare into the cavernous Los Gemelos sinkholes, and meet 800-pound tortoises at Rancho Las Primicias. Be sure to book a predinner Shamanic massage back at the lodge: The spa’s got a rainmaker stick—and the staff knows how to use it.
→ It’s yacht time! On the docket? Spotting the locals—meaning blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, and fur seals—sunning themselves on South Plaza Island. Then you’ll chillax in the onboard Jacuzzi or your private cabin while sailing the crystalline Pacific waters. Next up: Santa Fe Island, to snorkel with sea lions and wander a prickly-pear-cactus forest.
Best time to go