We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Luxury suffering” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Galapagos Safari Camp

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Santa Cruz
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Galapagos Safari Camp
Save
You added Galapagos Safari Camp to your Saves list
Finca Palo Santo, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Colorado
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Luxury suffering”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

My husband now refers to "eco-lodges" as luxury suffering! This is very true even for the safari camp - you are hardly suffering camping, that's where the luxury comes into play! From a family-welcome, gourmet meals, beautifully appointed tents, serene property, attentive staff, to a refreshing pool. Great experience one night in the tent and then we changed rooms to the suite (not a tent) where we had more space. Liked exploring the area on the ATV to the tortoise farms and lava tunnels. Spent a sunday afternoon in the nearest town "bellavista" for a locals lunch. The hotel manager arranged for us to visit an organic coffee and sugarcane plantation who prided themselves on their artisan ways (rightfully so!) - a highlight of the Galapagos trip. Glad we spent a few days exploring the highlands and the diversity that it offered from the coast. The camp is a halfway point between the airport and the main town Puerto Ayora which are both easy 30 minute drives. A unique experience - the owners certainly have created a thoughtful property in paradise. They should all be like this!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

69 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
    8
    0
    1
    0
See reviews for
18
32
4
2
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Voorschoten, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

We stayed at Safari Camp at the beginning of our Galapagos island hopping trip for three nights.
The setting of the camp is spectacular. The service is very personal and having Katrien help with daytrips was an extra bonus. The safari camp is a mix of comfort, outdoors, nature, views and gourmet food. We recommend to stay here and enjoy safari camp not only as a base for trips but as a destination by itself!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

The only way to camp, Galapagos Safari Camp is the perfect place to stay if you're looking to escape from it all and be in tune with nature. There are only about 10 tents total which are nicely spaced and offer wonderful views of the surrounding brush and the ocean off in the distance. The lodge - where all meals are served - is a short walk uphill, and there's a beautiful new sunset viewing meditation deck where you can relax with a cocktail or book and take it all in.

The tents are built on platforms about 5' above ground which helps reduce the impact on the land and at least gives you the impression that it separates you from the creepy crawlies. Each tent has a spacious deck off the entrance with a hammock, table & chairs. Inside the tents are sufficiently large with room for a small desk, coffee/tea station, queen bed and bureau (which was very musty therefore went unused). There's a privacy flap that separates the bathroom area from the bedroom, however it's just a nylon wall, so for any shy bathroom users, note that any noise made in the bathroom will easily carry over into the bedroom and the trail that connects to the other tents. There is electricity in the tents as well as a small space heater/cooler. Our only complaint regarding the tents is that the sheets were always damp which made it very difficult to sleep comfortably. We even tried leaving the the space heater on all night and that didn't help. I'm not sure if this can be avoided given the humidity in the air, but it's hard to rate the accommodations as '4-star luxurious' when you're sleeping on wet sheets.

The lodge is beautiful and offers a great variety of indoor & outdoor seating whether just lounging around or eating meals. The views from the lodge are fantastic and inside there's a beautiful stone fireplace with plenty of seating where you can read or enjoy a cocktail along with complimentary water, tea, coffee & snacks. Meals are typically served in a group setting, although if you prefer to be seated separately that can be arranged. The food was very good, but dinner was always a single set menu, which meant that picky eaters who didn't like what was served went hungry. Since there's nowhere nearby to grab food, we would have greatly appreciated having at least one other option to choose from at dinner (portions for the men could have been larger as well). Breakfast was always a great spread with plenty of variety.

Regarding activities, on the island of Santa Cruz we greatly enjoyed seeing the huge tortoises, visiting the Charles Darwin station and kayaking in Tortuga Bay. The marine life in Tortuga Bay is astounding - while kayaking we encountered dozens of sharks, sea turtles, manta rays of several varieties, marine iguanas and even a blue footed booby.

North Seymour Island is about a 1.5hr boat ride and is a nice nesting site for Frigates and Boobies. There are also land iguanas on the island. Sea lions and marine iguanas can be seen on the shore.

Bartolomé Island is about a 3hr boat ride and offers a nice short hike to the top of the old volcano where you'll be treated to stunning views. Most of the island looks like the surface of Mars, but there are some gorgeous beaches on both sides of the island. We were dropped off on a small strip of beach that was separated from another beach on the other side of the island by a small strip of green vegetation (it's the one you can see from the top of the volcano). There's a trail that cuts across which is well worth the short walk as we encountered several sharks and sea turtles (as well as turtle nests) on the other side. There was also a lone penguin that greeted us on the opposite beach.

Plazas Island is a 1hr boat ride where you'll find a large colony of sea lions and their pups. You might even see a large shark prowling the rocky shore for a meal. The landscape on this island is very different from the other 2, making it a nice stop. You'll also see plenty of marine iguanas.

If you're looking for penguins, we were told that Isabela Island is the place to be.

Room Tip: ask for ocean view
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

We just returned from a Christmas visit to the Galapagos and the Safari Camp. I would recommend staying either before or after a Galapagos cruise. We used the safari camp as our homebase for exploring the Galapagos and I felt the Safari Camp was a little too remote for this to convenient. However, we made it work and we explored the Galapagos with a wonderful guide and returned to the Safari Camp each afternoon/evening for relaxation.

The staff is amazing and will do whatever is possible to accomodate a need or request. The meals are good and served in a romantic setting either on their terrace, inside in a wonderful dining room or even at your tent. Just ask and they'l make it happen.

The tents are very nice - especially the shower and sink area (very stylish and well designed). The actual bedroom area was okay (nothing great but nothing bad) and our deck had a wonderful hammock and a great place to enjoy a drink while relaxing.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2011

We stayed at the Galapagos Safari Camp for only one night (our last night in Santacruz). It is quite up there in the highlands and when the conditions are good, the view of the ocean and the neigbouring islands are fantastic. The hotel manager Katerine was great and gave us good tips for things to do in Quito (which was our next stop).

The tents are spacious and well designed. Danielle and Linn (who were working there were good fun to talk to). Highly recommend anyone staying here to finish their trip in style!!!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

i did loads of research on the galapagos prior to my trip and was overwhelmed by the choices ....not til i found the website for the galapagos safari camp though, did i think i had a trip that was right for everyone in my family of five ... and i was right, the galapagos safari camp was perfect for us ...

the gsc was gorgeous and upscale (great for me) but had and extra coolness to it because of the tents (great for the kids)
the gsc orgainzed all our day trips for us (great for me), gave us a driver (great for my husband who normally drives us on trips) and had fabulous naturalists to engage and teach (great for the kids)
we slept on dry land (i get seasick after too long on a boat)
the food was extraordinary (great for all of us)
we swam with penguins (mindblowing)
we had snacks by the jungle side infinity pool (gorgeous)
we were greeted at the end of each day by a smiling hostess or host who handled all our needs (snorkel gear, a drier for so many wet clothes, flashlights for night walking, snacks, drinks, hot water bottles)
we went to bed each night exhausted and happy ... and comfortable in our luxury tents ...

you know how you book a trip and then hope it meets expectations? the galapagos islands and the galapagos safari camp far exceeded my expectations (and my expectations were VERY high) ... it was truly the perfect trip, made easier by the owners and staff at the gsc ...

ask for dora the explorer to be your land guide, ask for alejandro and the yate narel for your boat trips, and ask for jaime to be your driver ... you will be well taken care of ....

i have a galapagos travel blog with photos at ebeckgalapagos.blogspot.com ...

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cusco, Peru
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2011

I'd been on a few weeklong cruise ships in the Galapagos before, and am a huge fan of the Galapagos in general, it's the sort fo place I go back to whenever I need to be reinspired and reinvigorated in life.

I admit I was somewhat dubious and hesitant about doing a land based trip this time as oposed to cruising on a vessel for a week, but I'm extremely glad I did. It actually was even more invigorating and inspiring than my previous trips.


It's a journey to get there, finishing with a long dirt road. Eventually, amongst all the profuse vegetation you get to this mass of Bamboo with a few broad stairs leading up to a blue door. I felt like I was in some sort of movie when a little trap door opened in the face of this blue door and a pleasent female face popped out and asked my name, like it was the most normal thing in the world that I would be here in the middle of nowhere.

After some clanking of iron locks, the door opened in a woosh and I felt like I had been dropped down a rabbits hole "a la" alice in wonderland as I walked inside. A gorgeous panorama of the coastline and outer islands was from wall to wall, soothing and slightly jazzed up Brazilan tunes were on the hi-fi, the architecture was stunning with a stepping stone floor surrounded by pools of water, well uniformed staff were there with a cool hand towel and a passion fruit cocktail on a silver tray... I was blown away. It's the last thing you expect after such a journey.

The main lodge building is open plan and encased in glass on the view side, enclosed on the other. There is an excellent siting area to socialize wiht a great open fireplce that was lit at night for atmosphere. The main dining table is at one end of the lodge building. And there is an enormous wrap around deck to boot. Just a very well thought out floorplan for the main lodge that oozed sophistication and understated elegance.

I was shown to my tent which was exactly as the host as described. The concept was "to be as close to nature as possible without sacrificing any comforts". It's not really fair to call these tents. It's like your own individual cabin just the walls hapen to be made of fabric. Well spaced apart that you don't hear other guests, elevated platforms, floors of rich dark teak, with a little desk, great lighting features, a heater and air conditiniong unit for seasonal use (I never used it for either), a wonderful bed with great bedding, a porch with it's own table and chairs and a white cotton hamock slung. Great views from all the tents. The bathroom was gorgous with the sink made out of a rounded granite boulder with a fancy faucet, huge shower head with on demand hot water, porcelian toilet. Just as they said, close to nature but not sacrificing any comforts. Compared to being on a ship - there was something so rejuvenating about going to sleep in a luxurious bed that didn't move, listening to the wind blow through the trees, crickets, and waking up to bird calls as opposed to going to sleep to the sound of a marine diesel engine and waking up to a PA tannoy from the Captain.

As for the food and beverage, it was phenomenal. Exactly what you would expect at a fine dining restaurnt and the waiters at the camp were excellent.

The most praise I can heap upon this place is the owners and staff, just brilliant people all around who are very proud of their place and take great pride in what they do. A refreshing thing to encounter nowadays. Michael and Stephaine, the owners, are a mega mix of nationalities and life experience. Michael is Spanish/Dutch and Stephanie is British/Ecuadorian - very warm people who feel like lifelong friends after you have been around them for only 5 minutes. It's apparent that this safari camp is their lifes love and passion, you are in their home, so they treat you as valued house guests as opposed to just tourists. Seeing them back from picking up their children at school and chasing after lizards outside the main lodge building while their dog wanders around happily soaking up attention from guest lends a very homey feel to the place that in my opinion is just washed away from most luxury hotel options in the world where the more sterile it can be, the better. Even down to details, such as the open honesty bar in the main lounge, set the tone and emit acceptance, honesty and openness towards guests which is clearly reciprocated by the other guests I came into contact with while there.

The main host of the Safari Camp while I was there, Cathrine, is one of the best in the business. Always there when you need something but melts into the background when you don't. In addition, all the waiters and housekeepng staff were a pleasure to come into contact with.

I did a lot that week. Went surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, out to some outer islands by day yacht for wildlife viewing, biking across the island, visited a coffe farm, stopped by the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiked around the craters - I had all of this organized in advance through my tour company but the Safari camp was excelent in altering my plans, pending what I felt like doing each day. The guide provided, Fausto, was excellent and better than any guide I had experineced on a cruise ship before. This was what made my trip here really special, I got to do all the normal Galapagos things, but I did them on my own schedule and wasn't having to adhere to a cruise ship schedule every day with loads of other people I was forced to be around. I opted to relax more and just read a book, drink a beer and soak up the views and hospitality of the Safari Camp when I felt liek it - then be active when I wanted to.

Obviously I'm fortunate that I've experienced all the islands by cruise ship before, which you can't do from a fixed location such as Safari Camp as thoroughly, but this sort of experience was more to my preferences than being on a ship overall. I just left feeling more relaxed, and like I had discovered a second home.

Thank you to Michael, Stephanie, Cathrine and all your staff (and your adorable little children!) I'll be back!

Room Tip: Seems that all tents were exactly the same and faced the same great view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Galapagos Safari Camp? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Galapagos Safari Camp

Address: Finca Palo Santo, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Galapagos Islands > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 51 Specialty Lodging in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
GSC provides an authentic inland experience by offering 9 luxury safari tents – all with oceanview balcony- in an exclusive natural environment, both as an alternative or in addition to a sea-based travel itinerary. Tents are spacious with private bathroom and hot water. Guests gather by the fireplace in the main room to view the sunsets, taste our chef´s creative dishes in the panoramic dining room or enjoy the tranquility of the infinity pool. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Galapagos Safari Camp Hotel Santa Cruz
Galapagos Safari Camp Galapagos Islands/Santa Cruz, Ecuador

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Galapagos Safari Camp, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.