Just 5 minutes walk from main centre of Puerto Ayora, lovely house, sitting room and garden perfect for lounging and relaxing between trips. Comfortable beds and good showers in both bathrooms. The owner and agent responded quickly to queries and even came to meet us at the supermarket in town on our way back through with a passport one of us had left behind.
Easy access to the airport and taxis easy to find - not necessary to book and very reasonable (some info I read suggested this might be difficult).
Our family of 5 stayed here for one week. Everything was exactly as it was described. It was clean, well cared for, spacious, very pleasant outside space. Would definately stay here again. We loved being in a neighborhood, yet easy walking distance to the shops and restaurants, the Charles Darwin center, laundry (drop off and pick up). Great spot for a family.
Cactuspad exceeded our expectations. We ere 6...two grands,two parents, and two grandchildren. Each set of adults had their own bedrooms and the little kids fought over the loft hideaway..loser got his own small bedroom. The common areas and kitchen were perfect for our group. We did have some major plumbing issues, but they were corrected as soon as possible. Most of all, Xavier, our contact, did everything he could to enhance our stay and solve transportation problems...even so far as to be our guide for our highlands trip when the local guide had to cancel. Shout out to Francesca, the cleaning lady, who kept us tidy.
My family of five stayed at The Cactuspad for two and a half months while my wife and I were working at the Charles Darwin Research Station and our children were attending a local school. The Cactuspad was absolutely perfect for us.
The location is, in my opinion, perfect. In the quiet part of town, just a block away from a nice municipal park with sport court, playground equipment, and (our favorite) a zip line. Easy walking distance to everything in Puerto Ayora. Just a few minutes walk to laundry (drop off in the morning and pick up in the afternoon), a bakery, and a few stores with staples. 10-15 minutes from many shops and restaurants and the fishermen’s pier (where you can buy freshest fish you’ll find anywhere). 15-20 minutes to the municipal pier or the Research Station (and the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Rearing Center and a couple of nice beaches).
While there are plenty of taxis that drive by, I highly recommend walking to enjoy the town and to limit ones impact on the fragile environment here. Groceries are easy to carry in backpacks and reusable bags (we brought several cloth reusable bags with us from home for this purpose). My wife and I rode bikes graciously provided by the owner (they can also be rented at several locations in town), which made getting to and from the Research Station and running errands around town extremely quick and easy. For trips to the highlands, one can arrange a tour at an agency in town, or just flag down a taxi and go, which is what we did.
The house itself is wonderful and extremely well maintained. It is absolutely charming with a great family feel. Quite large for Puerto Ayora with three bedrooms (one downstairs and two upstairs) and two full bathrooms. There is a bonus fourth bedroom which has a small child-sized bed up in a loft. It was perfect for my seven year old. There is a very nice, large open living space and extremely well-equipped kitchen (including a rice cooker - yay!). The outside area is spacious and private with many different sitting areas and even a sizable area of lawn!
The owner, housekeeper, and property manager are all wonderful. They were always available to help, answer questions, offer suggestions, and help with special requests.
In my opinion, the lack of air conditioning is a good thing. A high percentage of the electricity in Puerto Ayora comes from a diesel generator, so there is a high environmental impact for electricity use. There are fans in every room, which keep you cool while using much less electricity than air conditioning. In the cool season, even the fans may not be necessary.
While The Cactuspad has wifi, the internet connectivity in Galápagos is poor, in general. The wifi behaved fine, but the carrier that provides the internet connectivity had some issues while we were there. We sometimes had better luck with cellular internet. My recommendation is to come to Galápagos with the expectation that you may not have internet connectivity. There are a couple of internet cafes in town that tend to have fairly reliable connections if one really needs to use the internet.
Overall, The Cactuspad exceeded our expectations. I can’t imagine that there are many properties in Puerto Ayora that are this high quality. The interior and exterior spaces, the charming family feel, and the owner and staff are all wonderful. The location can’t be beat if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle and noise of the town while still being able to walk everywhere easily.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How helpful were the directions to the property?|
|How easy was key pickup/access to the property?||Overall condition of the property|
|Bedding & mattresses||Kitchen & utensils|
|Bathroom cleanliness||Other facilities & amenities|
|Friends getaway||People with disabilities|
|Older travelers||Families with young children|
We can't say enough wonderful things about our stay at The Cactuspad while on Santa Cruz. Why stay in a hotel when you can have a whole house to yourself and still feel like you don't have to lift a finger? While the house was more than we needed for just the two of us, it was beautifully kept, relaxing, and a short walk from the main part of town. Paul the owner took care of most of our tour arrangements during our stay, and made sure we had everything we could possibly need. I could not recommend The Cactuspad enough to anyone looking to spend time in the Galapagos - it only made our trip of a lifetime even better!!