Real Weddings - - Travel -

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 (pika­ialodge­gala­pa­; 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

Pikaia Lodge

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