AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team
AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team
As a long-standing member of Relais & Chateaux, we here at Ecoventura are proud to take part in the annual Food for Change campaign. Now in its seventh year and run in collaboration with Slow Food, Food for Change aims to safeguard local culinary heritage whilst also encouraging sustainable farming practices that protect biodiversity and support local communities and producers – particularly important in an ecosystem as unspoilt and delicate as the Galapagos.
Each year the campaign focuses on different ingredients or produce, with the 2023 campaign aiming to raise awareness of regional and local cheeses, wines and other fermented products.
“Cheeses, dairy products, wines, and other traditional fermented products such as beer and saké reflect the diversity of ancestral practices, unique flavor profiles, and various landscapes” explains Mauro Colagreco, Vice President (Chefs) of Relais & Chateaux. Using techniques that date back over 5,000 years, the production of fermented drinks such as wine and beer represent a crucial development in mankind’s gastronomic evolution, with distinct regional differences that should be celebrated and preserved.
And given sustainability is at the centre of everything we do at Ecoventura, including with regards to our culinary offerings, we have introduced some delicious, locally produced, sustainable wines, beers and more into our on-board experience in order to honour some of Ecuador and the Galapagos’ home-grown efforts.
We are on a continual quest to discover local suppliers who are as passionate as we are about encouraging biodiversity, tackling climate change and using responsible methods of production. So imagine our thrill when we happened upon Bodega Dos Hemisferios, a vineyard situated in San Miguel Del Morro, Guayas, a small town outside Guayaquil.
Dos Hemisferios (Two Hemispheres) is located in an area that is characterized by bright days, cold nights and a constant sea breeze. These conditions, combined with a limestone soil, are perfect for harvesting grapes that are transformed into a host of delicious, 100% Ecuadorean wines.
With a local producer on our doorstep, we no longer have to import European wines around the world for our house wine selection, and are delighted that four Dos Hemisferios wines now grace our menu: a crisp Chardonnay, a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, a hearty Merlot and a deliciously smooth Cabernet Sauvignon.
Our sommeliers go to great lengths to pair wines with each course during our four-course gourmet dinner, explaining more about the workings of the winery and the wines themselves to our guests.
These exquisite aged cheeses made from the milk of a herd of free-range, grass-fed Jersey cows work beautifully with our house wines, and available on the open bar menu.
El Queso Chueco’s Media Luna cheese has been awarded the South American Cheese Cup and is perfect to savor on deck as an appetizer with a glass of wine as the sun goes down over the Galapagos.
Few things are more refreshing than enjoying a deliciously crisp, cold beer on the sun deck after an exhilarating day spent exploring the Galapagos.
With our thirsty guests in mind and in honor of this year’s Food for Change campaign, we are delighted to introduce a range of delicious new craft beers to our bar menu. These beers are produced by two Galapagos-based suppliers, thereby minimizing the environmental impact of shipping bottles from the South American mainland.
Endemica is a small, family-run brewery located on San Cristobal Island, that believes in producing high-quality, unique beers in the most ecological way possible. Rightly proud of its local identity and squeaky clean, sustainable methods of production, Endemica uses reusable bottles and boxes distributed around the island by bicycle.
Endemica’s beers include their original and ever-popular Blonde Ale – smooth, stimulating and slightly malty – as well as their crisp, tropical, slightly citrusy Summer IPA, in addition to their full-bodied black Coffee Stout.
The idea for microbrewery Reptilia, located on the island of Santa Cruz, was conceived in 2013 by a small team that began experimenting with home fermentation and beer production.
Using their families as tasters, they toiled tirelessly until they had honed their brewery technique, perfecting their range of ales and stouts before ramping up production. The brewery is named after the famous reptiles – iconic marine and land iguanas, amongst others – that were the first group of animals to colonize the Galapagos Islands.
Reptilia’s American Pale Ale is light, refreshing and fruity with citrus notes. The Irish Red Ale, made from roasted barley, is sweet and malty, while their American Stout provides a hearty and fulsome darkly malted beer.
Enjoy these beers during a thirst-quenching, refreshing tasting experience, that not only supports local producers and honors finely-honed brewing techniques but is perfect after a day out and about in the Galapagos.
Setting the bar high
Did we mention that all our guests have full access to a generously stocked open bar as part of the service?
Not only do we offer a fantastic selection of wines and beers, but we also provide visitors with a vast choice of classic and signature cocktails and mocktails. Our experienced bartenders are entertainment in their own right, and guests often find themselves mesmerized by their performance and presentation.
The difficulty is deciding what to drink – made even harder now as we have recently updated our bar menu, with a larger and more enticing selection of offerings than ever before!
We have all the old favorites – Mojito, Moscow Mule, Margarita – you name it, we shake it. Our signature cocktails burst with tropical flavors – there’s the “George’s Punch” that combines tequila with tangerine, ginger juice and passion fruit or “Baroness Point” with rum, mango, coconut and lime, named after iconic landmarks in the islands.
Smell the coffee
Coffee fiends will be impressed with our range of coffee cocktails – thanks to local supplier Islander who run a coffee shop on Santa Cruz Island, we are able to offer guests sustainable, 100% Galapagos specialty coffee which pairs particularly beautifully with an espresso martini.
And talking of coffee, during an Ecoventura voyage, guests can also enjoy a visit to Montemar, an eco-retreat designed to help preserve local biodiversity while providing a sanctuary for the archipelago’s famous giant tortoises.
Arabica coffee shrubs have been planted under the resident tropical fruit trees, helping to rehabilitate the ecosystem and provide a habitat for tortoises that freely graze the land.
“Another highlight for me, and a pleasant surprise, was Montemar”, noted a guest who sailed with us in October 2023. “I didn’t expect to find such a nice place…and when I got there I realized how special it is” he continued.
Their coffee is pretty good too – sweet tones of dry red fruits, chocolate and nuts infuse this most local and sustainable of Galapagos coffees, which can be tasted on a visit during our week-long itineraries.
To find out how you can be part of our culinary journey, do get in touch today.