A view from the deck of Galapagos Safari Camp.

Galapagos Safari Camp: An Unexpected Island Highlight

A trip to the Galapagos Islands is on the bucket list for many adventurous travelers. Many wish to visit the islands to explore the unique topography, flora, and fauna, and after visiting myself, I can confirm that the Galapagos Islands are as advertised and do not disappoint!

An unexpected highlight for me was my visit to Galapagos Safari Camp. The camp elevated my trip by adding cultural and culinary experiences to an already extraordinary adventure. These became some of my fondest memories of the trip.


Galapagos Safari Camp is located on the inhabited island of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the archipelago. To get to the camp, travelers arrive at the airport on Baltra Island and take a 10-minute transfer to the port where a boat awaits for a quick 5-minute cruise across the channel to Santa Cruz Island. The camp is located on the western side of the island in a pristine and lush area, just 30 minutes from the port.


As a land-based accommodation, I found it to be a bonus to not have to worry about getting seasick (except for the possibility on our day trips)! Instead, I enjoyed the freedom to wander the camp’s paths spotting birds, giant tortoises and other creatures that live on Santa Cruz Island.

The view from Galapagos Safari Camp.

The camp has a number of individual luxury tents set on stilts to give guests an incredible view from their personal veranda. There is also one family tent for guests traveling with children, a pool, and a lookout spot that offers spectacular sunset views. I highly recommend having a glass of wine or cocktail at the lookout point before dinner!


A fish spotted while snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands.

There are a variety of day trips offered from camp to explore the rich islands and waters of the archipelago. A typical day includes a visit to one nearby island and one snorkeling stop, but alternative activities such as scuba diving and fishing can be booked. The islands vary drastically and each day you will visit a new place and snorkel in a different location to see as many unique and rare species as possible.

Snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands.

Every stay at Galapagos Safari Camp also comes with a full-day tour of Santa Cruz Island, where one can visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, enjoy beautiful beaches, kayak, bike, visit a coffee farm, and more. I recommend this tour for those interested in adding cultural context to their experience as this tour provides opportunities to learn about the local life.

A land tortoise in the Galapagos Islands.

Back at Galapagos Safari Camp, the camp offers a kids’ club to keep the kiddos entertained by baking cookies, making pizza, creating art, and more. For guests of all ages, there is also an optional chocolate tasting with or without an alcohol pairing.


The menu at Galapagos Safari Camp

After working up an appetite from the daily excursions, it was always a highlight to return to camp for a truly special culinary experience! From ceviche to empanadas, to the best tres leches I’ve ever had in my life, the food here was exquisite. Dinner is a 3- or 4-course meal with one course being an authentic Ecuadorian dish. For wine enthusiasts, each course also has a recommended wine pairing. Guests are also guaranteed one night of all Ecuadorian dishes with recommended Ecuadorian wine pairings.

The lunch table at Galapagos Safari Camp.

Not only is the food noteworthy, but there is a sommelier/mixologist on staff who created a customized cocktail menu just for the camp! The camp can also accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions including lactose-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. They even have a separate vegetarian breakfast menu with plant-based bacon, sausage, and ham!


The cuisine was not the only component that made our evenings a truly delightful experience: the staff were also happy to share their personal stories and insights with us each evening. The professional and attentive group proved to be really interesting people with great stories and varied interests.

Each evening, we would have drinks before dinner up at the lookout point as the sun set while we discussed the lifestyle of Galapagos residents. It is fascinating to learn about the measures residents take to preserve the islands. For example, dogs are not allowed! And after dinner, the camp’s sommelier, Jorge, who is also an exceptional musician would give us music lessons!

I cannot speak highly enough of my time at Galapagos Safari Camp. For those interested in a land-based Galapagos experience, a stay at Galapagos Safari Camp is a must!

A sea lion on the sand in the Galapagos Islands.