Semilla Verde is situated on the fertile slopes of an ancient and extinct volcano in the rural uplands of Santa Cruz Island that itself is located in the heart of the Galapagos Archipelago that lies six-hundred miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, South America.
Thelodge exists in the fresh, humid ‘scalesia’ zone, two hundred plus meters above sea level and 12 km from the dock in Puerto Ayora (12-15 minutes by taxi). There is considerably more rainfall than the lowlands, hence the abundance of greenery, but offers a fresh respite from the scorching equatorial sun. And, pure pacific rainwater showers!
The grounds of Semilla Verde comprise twelve acres (five hectares) of private forest replanted with endemic and native trees, under which organic, shade grown ‘conservation coffee’ is growing.
The lodge is nestled within this forest and has balconies and terraces that peer out over the top of it, with majestic, panoramic views to the Galapagos National Park, Galapagos Marine Reserve and outlying islands.
Semilla Verde is secure for children and offers a world of adventure, learning and fun. Children can explore the grounds of the estate or play on the grass lawns. Parents can join in the fun, or just relax in a hammock and take a welcome break from the worries and stress of the outside world.
In the evenings another world comes alive on the Semilla Verde Galapagos estate. On a clear night, gaze up into the Milky Way, listen and look out for hunting bats and barn owls, enjoy an educational documentary about Galapagos, or just spend quality time with friends and family.
The hot, tropical rainy season is January to May, peaking Feb-Mar (25-30+c). Warmer waters and calmer seas predominate and temperatures and humidity are very high!
The cooler season is June to December, peaking, Sept-Oct, the garua season (15-25c), when the trade winds pick up and push cooler water to the islands and air temperatures drop. The highland area, where Semilla Verde is located, generally wakes up to misty mornings with light rain, that lifts by mid morning. The sea is more choppy and chilly in this season.
Althought they can be found wandering the estate all year round, September to January (peaking Nov-Dec) is the high season for giant tortoises at Semilla Verde.
The lodge is close enough to Puerto Ayora town, located on the far south side of the island, to take advantage of amenities, such as bars, shopping street and restaurants, but far enough away not to hear it, or get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life there.
And, because many of the most interesting outlying islands that you will visit, such as Bartolome and North Seymour, are situated north of the Santa Cruz island, Semilla Verde is actually much closer. So, whilst the town dwelling tourists are enduringthe early hotel pick-up run, you are enjoying an extra ½ hour in bed, or a relaxing with a morning coffee on the main terrace.
And, unlike Puerto Ayora town, at Semilla Verde there are no crowds of tourists, no constant traffic noise or loud music, and almost never any mosquitoes!