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Galapagos Safari Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 7, 2014

This is a very beautiful spot in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Modeled after the luxurious camps in East Africa, this is a real treat. It is expensive, and you get what you pay for: peaceful surroundings with superb service. The staff are so friendly, helpful, knowledgeable. In addition, they work with guides they have selected for excellence, so you can count on them to help arrange for wonderful guides/tours. We stayed in Tent #1 and had a gorgeous view of the lush greenery below us. This time of year there is a lot of heavy mist (called "garua") so we were glad to have light-weight water-resistant jackets. The Wi-Fi is slow and intermittent, but this is true all over the Galapagos. There is a comfortable platform replete with comfy chairs, couches, and tables, in ideal position for viewing sunsets. The staff cheerfully brought us drinks to accompany the view. There is a pool which we did not use as we were out enjoying a variety of tours. We spent 3 weeks in the Galapagos, and this was a wonderful interlude from staying right by the water and/or on a boat. They are very service-oriented due to excellent leadership from the manager.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Laura M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 - 84 of 141 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2014

The Safari Galapagos Camp was the perfect way to end my stay in the Galapagos Islands. I stayed for four nights in late June 2014. The Camp and all of its luxury are quite similar to the luxury safari camps in Africa. Each individual unit is elevated on stilts and is well equipped with a large sturdy canvas tent, electricity, a wonderful bed, an incredible bathroom (full shower and sink with hot water and flush toilet) and a deck with wonderful views. The main lodge where guests arrive and eat the very tasty and well-prepared meals "wows" upon entrance and provides plenty of room and comfortable seating for dinner, cocktails and the use of the Camp's free Wi-Fi.

The location of the Camp allows guests to truly feel like they are one with nature. The sky is filled with incredibly bright stars at night. Walking to and from the main lodge or to and from the infinity pool with its stunning views, it was common place to see a giant tortoise (or two) walking on the paths or on the grounds in the Camp.

The Camp Director, Katrien met me upon arrival and was the consummate professional throughout my entire stay. She arranged for my tours and transport, took me (and several other guests) on a tour of the property to show us the Camp's water supply and cocoa field filled with cocoa plants. She also escorted us to the observatory platform for a wonderful view and sundowner! She has obviously created a culture of excellence at the Camp. Each staff member clearly enjoys his or her work as each cheerfully greets and takes care of each guest's every need on a moment's notice! Well done Katrien!

Galapagos Safari Camp is a MUST stay while in the Galapagos Islands -- especially if you love nature, peace and quiet!

Room Tip: I stayed in Tent 9 -- which is the furthest tent from the lodge. I LOVED being that far from the Lo...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank Amelia1414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2014

The Safari Camp was recommended to us by Ecoventura, the cruise company we went with and we were so glad they did! We wanted a few days to relax and this hotel was the perfect destination to pamper ourselves and splurge a little.

We spent the day swimming in their infinity pool, reading in the hammock with a cocktail in hand and in search of the different wildlife in the highlands! The food was delicious and staff very helpful.

It does take a bit of time to get to the camp, but it is worth the trip out. My best tips would be to watch the sun set at the viewing area - incredible! I wish we could have stayed longer - but hopefully we will return one day!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Elise T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2014

We stayed three nights at the Galapagos Safari Camp. We were hosted by Katrien who hails from Belgium and offers outstanding service and doles out recommendations with the discretion of a top notch concierge. We arrived after lunch hour but were immediately served the first of many gourmet meals which rival any of the finer restaurants in our hometown Chicago. Wilson is the man; he accommodated my son's vegetarian tastes with unusual dishes outside the pastas, pizzas, and salads. The common area is housed in a glass enclosed building decorated with various Balinese and local artifacts. At night, when it's cool, Catherine burns wood in the fireplace and heating gas lamps are set on the deck where most guests eat their dinner. The sleeping tents are Australian made out of thick canvas and will be as comfortable and familiar to those who've gone on safaris. There were no mosquitoes the first two nights but we did get a couple of bites on the last night, so consider applying a bug repellant. There is a trampoline for kids and a small unheated pool which we did not use because of the cool temperature and because we snorkeled during daytrips. There are three options for daytrips which you can book through your own travel agent or through the lodge, including North Seymour, Bartolome, and South Plaza islands. We did the latter two, but if you have time, I would recommend all of them, since each island is unique and surprisingly different from each other. Bartolome has a fantastic white sand beach where we snorkeled with penguins and schools of sergeant fish. We then hiked for 30 min up the volcanic hill to enjoy the view of a spire rock in a Martian like red landscape (this is the iconic photo for Galapagos landscape). On South Plaza island, you get to see yellow land iguanas that feed on prickly pears. There is also a large colony of sea lions as well as bachelor ones you can get close too. Swallow tail gulls, red billed tropical birds and a few marine iguanas are also seen. North Seymour is famous for its blue footed boobies (we saw a lot of these everywhere else too, including on Isabela island which requires either a short plane trip or a three hour ferry ride), and frigate birds (the males have the large inflated red pouches under their beak). Be aware that it takes 30 mins to drive from the port to the highlands of Santa Cruz where the camp is located, so you have to get up early for the daytrips. The gemmelos (sunken lava crater) are easily visited on the road to the camp, as is the giant tortoise viewing site. Also be aware that during the dry season (Summer in the northern hemisphere), the highlands are misty and it drizzles often. Swimsuits stay wet, so bring at least one spare.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank Henry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2014

My husband, daughter and I stayed here for a week in April and had a fantastic time. Our day trips were organized through the lodge as well and there wasn't much we would do differently. They cater to whatever your needs are, from your trip specifications to your dietary requirements. Breakfasts and dinner were all scrumptious to say the least.

The rooms were an absolute dream and it really felt like a little bit of Africa in the Galapagos. We had friends staying at the Red Mangrove in Puerto Ayora and invited them over to the lodge for supper. They were all impressed with our lodgings. Even though the GSC was fully booked, Katrien, the manager, managed to squeeze in 5 extra people. We all met up at the Observation Deck for sundowners and proceeded to the communal dining area.The chef had a ceviche demonstration and we could all assemble our own afterwards. The kids absolutely loved this!

Traveling to and from the lodge to get to the harbor either north or south of Santa Cruz is a comfortable drive and the location of the lodge makes it well worth the effort. You will not be disappointed if you stay here!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank AfricanintheDR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2014

After we had done a wonderful trip around the Galápagos Islands on a live-aboard boat, we wanted to have a few days to relax and explore a bit more of Santa Cruz Island before heading home. Galapagos Safari Camp was absolutely perfect, and we are so glad we spent the extra three nights there. I absolutely recommend it, and suggest spending not less than three nights there, to truly have time to settle in and enjoy the place and the area.

We had time to relax and swim in the infinity pool, swing in the hammock outside our tent and read, have cocktails on their observation platform overlooking the island, and enjoy three absolutely delicious, fresh, and creative meals each day. The tent was cozy and lovely and comfortable, and they set up a cot for our 9-year-old daughter to sleep in the same tent with us. We really enjoyed the relaxation time, after our busy tour of the islands. But we also had time to explore more of Santa Cruz Island! The very friendly and helpful staff at GSC set us up with two days of fantastic tours, after our first day of relaxing. The first adventure was a bike ride to Garrapatero Beach, where we went swimming, sea kayaking, watched flamingos, and enjoyed an amazing picnic lunch. The second tour was a hike with a guide up El Puntudo, an inactive volcano, which is close to the highest point on the island. All three days were wonderful! (The staff can also set up tours on other islands with some advanced notice, but since we had already explored other places, we stuck to Santa Cruz.)

I definitely recommend the Safari Camp, and encourage you to take an extra day or two and stay more than one night, since you won't get to enjoy the place fully in only one night!

Room Tip: All the tents have a beautiful view of the rainforest!
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Alison A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2014

We usually stay in simple family hotels, but we knew we'd have a long journey to the Galapagos so we splashed out and spent our first two nights at the wonderful Galapagos Safari Camp. No regrets! It's a magical place. You step through the front door—welcomed with a perfect glass of fresh strawberry juice after many hours of travel—as if into a fantasy land. The tents are pristine, incredibly comfortable, glamping at its best. Waking early and watching the birds and the distant sea from our peaceful tent deck will be one of my favorite memories from a very memorable trip. The food (by young Ecuadorian chef Wilson Alpala) was really top-notch - even by our very particular Manhattan foodie standards; the included breakfast and dinner made the price tag much more acceptable. The infinity pool was a lovely way to cool off, birdwatch and admire the view at the same time. I saw a (smallish, maybe only 70 years old?) giant tortoise in the grounds, and we had our first introductions to many Darwin's finches, flycatchers, and some cheeky mockingbirds as well as lovely butterflies and the odd gecko. Katrien, the manager, read our minds about the kinds of local trips we'd enjoy; she is a true professional and gave us tips which we used throughout our trip. The rest of the staff were kind and caring and catered to our every need (and a few we didn't know we had!). Two days in paradise, then we were ready to head off to the simpler style of travel to which we are accustomed and get to know more of the islands. Definitely a place we and the children will remember for ever.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank mamamio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Galapagos Safari Camp

Address: Finca Palo Santo, 200350, 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 59 Specialty Lodging in Santa Cruz
Price Range: $614 - $2,378 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Galapagos Safari Camp Hotel Santa Cruz
Galapagos Safari Camp Galapagos Islands/Santa Cruz, Ecuador

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