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Puerto Villamil Hotels

There are certain laws in Galapagos which make it very difficult for outsiders – that is, anyone not from the Islands – to own or operate any sort of business there. Nowhere are the effects of this law in greater evidence than on Isabela Island, which began to boom long after the law had taken effect.

The law has prohibited outsiders from coming in and setting up fancy hotels and restaurants, and instead has left such activities up to the people of Puerto Villamil, with mixed results. It seems everyone within a couple of blocks of the beach has built a hotel in their back yard. The rooms are mostly the same: $20 will get you a square room with one to three beds and a walled-off bathroom in the corner. At least they’re all new, so they’re all still in pretty good shape.

Most of the hotel owners still don’t “get it,” and by “it” I mean the whole concept of hotel service. They don’t answer their phones. You’ll show up and no one is at the hotel. They’ll say they’ll pick you up at the pier and they don’t. If there’s a soccer game, they’ll blow off all their guests to go play. I’m sure this carefree attitude is great for their blood pressure, but it’s bad for yours. At least if you’re expecting a complete lack of professionalism, you won’t be shocked by it. Don’t say I didn’t tell you!

There are exceptions, of course. A couple of the hotels are indeed managed by responsible tourism professionals – these will usually be noted in the hotel description. There are no “neighborhoods” as such in tiny Puerto Villamil and all of the hotels are within a few blocks of one another.

Other Hotel pages in Puerto Villamil that may be of interest: Around Puerto Villamil Lodging,

06 Sep 2010

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