Location & Weather
The Galapagos Experience is unique in more ways than one; the Islands are different from any other holiday destination and it is important for us to set the expectation for you. These Enchanted Isles are one of the most unspoilt and natural habitats you will ever visit in your life. Often described as a living laboratory of endemic plants and creatures, you will experience first-hand the rare and harmonious existence between humans and wildlife.
The Royal Palm Hotel is located in the lush Miconia Highland Forests adjacent to the Galapagos National Park of Santa Cruz and equidistant from Baltra Airport and the main town, Puerto Ayora (about 25 mins). Our spacious villas nestle in the secluded 195-hectare (482 acres) private estate which sits in a valley between two extinct, cinder cone volcanoes. Located 509 metres / 1,669 ft above sea level, you are surrounded by indigenous fern and forest; no neighbours; no traffic, no aircraft, no pollution... just flora and fauna; you can hear the silence. High-end hotels in the Galapagos are not necessarily like high-end hotels in other, more developed countries; the level of sophistication is perhaps different to what you are used to. At times it can be frustrating; the whole island is only connected by “satellite” which means that the Internet for example, can be a bit intermittent. The force of Mother Nature in the sub-tropics can take its toll on the environment including our hotel building and grounds, so our maintenance program runs constantly. We ask for your understanding when some areas of our beautiful estate look a bit “weather-beaten.” There are multiple micro-climates and these eco systems can change the weather quite suddenly. When it is hot and sunny on the coast, it can be cool, over-cast and sometimes misty in the highlands. This is not your typical, laid-back beach holiday. To visit the Galapagos takes effort and determination but the reward is a life-enriching adventure experience!
Weather – El Niño and La Niña
El Niño and La Niña are complex, atmospheric weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean-surface temperatures in the East-Central Pacific Ocean. La Niña is referred to as the cold phase and El Niño is the warm phase. These deviations from normal surface temperatures can have large-scale impacts not only on the seas and currents, but also on our weather and climate, globally as well as locally.
We are now entering an El Niño phase of activity which happens when the average temperature of the Pacific Ocean increases. This in turn can cause heavy rainstorms in parts of Latin America, mainly in countries below the Equator line of Ecuador, including Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. This is quite normal for this region and we ask for your patience and understanding, if you experience delays or changes to your itinerary. Your comfort and safety is our top priority.