Inspired by the stylish tented safari camps of Africa but located roughly 620 miles (998 km) from the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Safari Camp (GSC) is perched in the wild highlands of Santa Cruz Island, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Galapagos National Park. Giant tortoises roam freely beneath the raised tent platforms and a variety of native birds, including Darwin's famous finches, flock in the surrounding canopy of endemic trees. GSC is family-owned by Stephanie and Michael Mesdag who have raised their children in the camp and welcome guests of all ages like family friends. A stay at the Galapagos Safari Camp is fully customized and flexible. Booking options include an all-inclusive land-based safari with excursions to surrounding islands, sometimes in conjunction with a shorter boat cruise or as a stand-alone add-on after a cruise, permitting awe-struck guests a few days of relaxation before returning to the mainland.
Luxury Tents (9) Three-Room Family Suite (1)
Ranges from All Inclusive Safari Packages to Half Board only.
Communal Wi-Fi in Main Lodge
Open Year Round
Signature, Andrew Harper
Massages on-request at an additional cost
Number of Rooms:
Dates of Operation:
From $870 per person, per night. Child rates available. *Flights to the Galapagos Islands, Tourist Transit Cards and National Park Entrance fees are additional for all stays at GSC.
Starting Half Board/Classic Safari
LOCATION: isla santa cruz, galapagos islands, Ecuador
Closet Domestic Airport:
There are daily flights from the US and Europe to Ecuador, both to Quito (UIO) and to Guayaquil (GYE), the main points of entry to the country. The closest airport is located on Baltra Island (GPS) and several carriers offer daily flights from Quito or Guayaquil.
From the Baltra Airport a representative of the Camp will meet and escort you across the Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island. From there, it is a 30 minute drive to GSC.
Galapagos Safari Camp offers several flexible booking options and does not have set arrival or departure dates. This allows guests to experience GSC in a variety of ways; as a complement to any length of cruise through the Islands, as a brief and relaxing pre- or post-cruise extension, or as home base during a multi-day land-based exploration of the islands featuring daily guided excursions throughout the archipelago
Unique Arrival & Departure Options:
WHEN TO VISIT
The Galapagos can be enjoyed year round. Peak season coincides with the typical holiday schedule for North American travelers, from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. Galapagos National Park limits the number of visitors to each island and all tour itineraries are coordinated by the park, so despite the popularity the crowds on each island are never overwhelming.
January through April/May are the sunniest months, with calm seas and warm air (65°-81° F / 18°-27 °C ) and water temperatures (76°- 83° F / 24° - 28°C). Water is clear this time of year, offering excellent visibility. Snorkeling with just a shorty wetsuit is very pleasant. Clear, blue skies are interspersed with light daily rain showers that pass quickly.
From June through December, the Humboldt Current brings colder water (65°-72° F / 18°- 22°C) and air temperatures (60° F - 72° F / 16°- 22°C ), ideal weather for hiking or exploration by mountain bike. Skies are cloudy and misty but actual precipitation is scarce. Trade winds from the southeast can occasionally make the seas a bit choppier this time of year.
We can safely say that the owners of Galapagos Safari Camp know what children and parents need when visiting the Galapagos as their own children, Jasmine and Lawrence, were born and brought up at the camp from the first years of their lives. A specially-designed Family Safari caters to families with young children and the Camp stocks all necessary equipment, from cots, to wetsuits, snorkel gear and bikes, to fit all sizes from young children to teens. The Family Suite is ideally shared by a family with younger children while safari-inspired tented accommodations will thrill slightly older children and teenagers. A variety of meal preferences and special requests are easily accommodated by the kitchen with advance notice.
During the summer and winter holiday seasons, the most popular time for families to visit the Galapagos Islands, children will enjoy the Kid's Club, while adults can take time to relax after the day's excursions.
RECOMMENDED LENGTH OF STAY
The minimum suggested is two nights if extending a boat-based journey through the Galapagos Islands. Four or five nights are ideal for guests exploring the Galapagos Islands on a land-based safari.
UNIQUE SELLING POINTS
Galapagos Safari Camp is surrounded by a 55-hectare farm that is rich in birdlife, including finches, warblers, mockingbirds, Galapagos doves, egrets and owls. You will also be surprised by giant tortoises roaming next your tent!
The small size of the property (9 safari tents) provides a very intimate and high touch guest experience. Great for families, GSC also offers guests a lot of privacy, making this a great add-on for honeymoon couples after a week of boat-based exploring.
Flexibility is key. Choose among several different inclusive 'safaris' already designed with daily guided excursions by boat to the surrounding islands, including one crafted specifically for families with young children. Or, book a few nights (at least two are recommended) on half-board basis only.
Land based safaris are ideal for travelers prone to seasickness and GSC offers options that still allow guests to explore neighboring islands via short boat transfers.
Hospitality is genuine and warm. Owners Michael and Stephanie Mesdag live on-site with their children and welcome guests like family into their Highland home.
Meals consist of fresh, organic food with most of the ingredients supplied by the surrounding garden and farm.
10 hectares of the property are dedicated to reforestation efforts with the focus on endemic tree species such as scalesia, guayabillo and palo santo.
BEST COMBINED WITH
Galapagos Safari Camp is an excellent stand-alone destination for a land-based tour of the Galapagos Islands, or it combines will with a number of the boat-based itineraries. The flexibility of booking options alleviates the challenges of trying to match a set-departure land program date with that of a boat. We especially recommend it as a two-night add on for honeymoon couples who have spent the previous week aboard a boat; tents are a haven of romantic privacy and offer time to reflect and relax before returning to the mainland or home. All trips to the Galapagos require time in Quito beforehand (with a minimum of two nights suggested), and combine well with a longer exploration of mainland Ecuador's unique highland, rainforest and cloud forest regions.