The Galapagos Islands have always been on my bucket list, but there was never a luxurious, land based option until now. This 5 star, eco friendly lodge was built only two years ago and has only 14 rooms. It is set in the crater of an extinct volcano with the most incredible view of the mostly uninhabited surrounding area. Pikaia, designed by Ecuadorean architect Humberto Plaza, is set on a private, 77-acre property (with its own tortoise reserve) where the buildings are created from concrete, glass, recycled steel, bamboo and South American teak, giving it an almost Aman-esque feel. The design is very modern, the service is incredible, and it is a perfect jumping off point to see the Galapagos, especially if you are not a boat lover (like my wife). They sell their packages in 3, 4, and 7 days and they include access to their 105’ boat the M/S Albatross. This boat takes you to the many destinations near Isla Santa Cruz. Here you can visit the four major animals which are sea lions, tortoises, iguanas, of course the blue footed booby, but you go back to sleep on land at night. We benefited from the fact that no one else was at our hotel, and therefore we had both the hotel and the boat to ourselves! Thanksgiving may be the best kept secret ... If there are others, then you will share the boat with those guests but it is not a big issue since the boat is plenty large. They make everything easy, and it is a great combination of sea/land for the comfortist and landlubber.