Semilla Verde Lodge is not your typical Galapagos lodge. While most hotels are by the ocean, Semilla Verde offers a very pleasant alternative in the highlands of the island of Santa Cruz. About 10 minutes taxi ride away from downtown Puerto Ayora, we found the highlands to be very relaxing as the weather was way cooler than by the sea.
Semilla Verde offers 5 star treatment with a homey feeling: it’s a massive property but with just enough rooms, keeping both private and shared areas spacious and pleasantly decorated. It never gets too busy and that gives a certain sense of exclusivity. At the same time, the personalized treatment that comes from the fact of this being a family owned lodge makes you feel truly welcome.
The rooms at Semilla Verde are spacious, receive a lot of natural light, have their own terrace with seats (the upper room with an al fresco hammock even) and have a really solid bed. Bathrooms are practical and complete, and all bedrooms have a huge TV screen and DVD player – the house has a great selection of movies and documentaries about the Galapagos.
There are 2 living rooms where you can relax, hang out and read books about Galapagos that they make available as well. Alternative, hang out in the terrace where you can seat in the swing while admiring an impressive view that on clear days goes all the way to the sea and even Floreana Island!
The open kitchen is very well equipped: they serve breakfast and others meals upon request but you can also use the kitchen to prepare your own food if you’d like to. We had lunch once, typical Ecuadorian chicken grill with lentils, rice and salad and it was cooked home-made style and really tasty.
Breakfast is healthy and fulfilling, including different options every day, such as cereal, bread/croissants with butter and spreads, milk, yogurt, fresh fruit salad, fresh fruit juices and bacon and eggs cooked to order. Try the coffee as it is grown right in this property and is also available for sale.
Apart from all of the above making a very comfortable stay, it’s a good idea to stay at Semilla Verde while exploring the highlands: from here you can easily go to The Twins, The Tunnels and see giant tortoises at Semilla Verde garden’s itself! We were there on what is considered the low season to spot tortoises, and we still managed to see one right by our bedroom’s terrace. The property has holes in the gating so that tortoises can roam around freely, as this is their natural environment!
The owner of Semilla Verde, Robert, is a naturalist guide with many years of experience in the Galapagos. He will give you insightful info and help you book your entire Galapagos stay if you wish to, with their service of custom trip design: they can arrange both cruise ships and land based tours.