by Stephen Jermanok
Casa Opuntia is an 11-room boutique hotel on the beach in San Cristobal. Each of the rooms houses a king-sized or two twin beds, private bathroom, and air-conditioning. The hotel features a swimming pool, a seafood restaurant known for its ceviche, and is within easy walking distance to the scuba and snorkeling shops in town. It’s one of the few good properties found on the island.
Our Editor Loves
- Houses good seafood restaurant
- Easy walk to scuba shops and restaurants on island
- Relaxing swimming pool
- Water Sports
- Onsite Dining
After a couple of days on San Cristobal we reckon this is probably the best place to stay in the island - especially in the top floor rooms with all round views including over the bay. No traffic noise either as the promenade in front is pedestrianised, though you do hear the noisy sea lions on the beach nearby. Those top rooms have individual balconies with a wonderful view over the harbour and the bay - great for sunsets. There are a couple of attractive pools if the beaches aren’t enough, and the covered breakfast area on the ground is nicely landscaped and slightly tiered, also with fine views. Good breakfasts, really comfortable beds, laundry service if you need it, decent wifi (supposedly only on the ground floor it we had it in our room too), tea and coffee making facilities by reception, super friendly staff who speak excellent English, and all within a couple of hundred metres of the ferry dock and mist of the good restaurants. Strongly recommended.
Casa Opuntia delivered everything we wanted in a Galapagos Hotel: Friendly service, dazzling views of the ever-changing scenery, and comfortable accommodations. From our arriving taxi, we were immediately struck with the unique architecture of the seaside hotel. Merina welcomed us to the island, and accompanied us to our spacious rooms, with the best part being the two-chaired balcony serving birds-eye views of diving blue and brown footed boobies. Here, history and biology collide. Land, sea and sky seemingly staged for your awe and entertainment. A tapestry of ceaseless movement- forever playing the game of prey, predator, and with the added element of kite-flight frigate birds scheming to steal another’s prized catch.
The staff was exceptional. Merina and Fernando exceeded expectations.
The next day it got better. Tatiana, Opuntia's Manager, graciously joined us for breakfast, which presented variety and quality and attended by two Opuntia hosts. Tables positioned for the bay's view, which never gets old. But this was nearly surpassed by the conversationalist that is Tatiana. She has a beautiful command over the English language, and ample experience to offer entertaining anecdotes which were the perfect complement to the diving and darting finches, which make their daily appearance. Having evolved with cuteness that surely improves their scavenging.
We stayed at 5 Hotels during our visit to Ecuador, and we reached unanimity on one thing: Casa Opuntia was our favorite.