The two owners of Galapagos Safari Camp dreamed up the idea for this luxury tent camp while sitting in a tree and admiring the views on the 135-acre farm where the lodge now sits. Opened in 2007 in the highlands of Santa Cruz’s transition zone at 1,575 feet above sea level and bordering Galapagos National Park, the camp is modeled after African safari camps but sports an Ecuadoran theme. The main lodge, complete with a 15-foot Balinese teak dining table and a glass wall looking out to sweeping vistas of the Pacific Ocean, anchors the rural property. The luxury tents are connected to the lodge by a volcanic rock path and sheltered under three layers of covering to protect from sun and rain. They sit on elevated platforms and are outfitted with balconies and en-suite bathrooms with hot showers.
Part of the owners’ vision for the property has been to rid the former cattle farm of invasive species, allowing the endemic plants that are better protected in the national park to once again flourish. These measures will increase the activity of the giant tortoises that occasionally make their way onto the property.
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The rural land on which the Galapagos Safari Camp sits is in the highlands of the island of Santa Cruz, bordering Galapagos National Park. Full of vegetation, the former cattle farm is home to endemic plant and bird species, and the occasional giant tortoise may wander by from the tortoise reserve within the park. In the immediate vicinity of the property, lava tunnels and extinct craters can be reached on walking, cycling, or horseback-riding excursions from the lodge.
Need to Know
Rooms: 9 tents, 1 suite; from $535.
Check-in: 1 p.m.; check-out: noon
Dining options: There is no formal restaurant on-site, but breakfast and a three-course dinner of international and Ecuadoran dishes are included in the room rate.
Spa and gym details: Neither is offered, but an infinity pool is on-site, as is a viewpoint used for yoga sessions and sunset cocktails.
Who's it for: Adventurous travelers who prefer a rustic experience, yet still want some modern comforts like hot water and Wi-Fi.
Our favorite rooms: Aside from the Family Suite near the lodge, all nine of the tents have wood floors and canvas tops, include modern bathrooms with hot water, and are furnished with a writing desk. There is also a patio with each accommodation, set up with a hammock and a few chairs, from which guests can admire the panoramic views.
Explore the area: Trips here are usually part of a multi-day package arranged through the lodge, combining activities like scuba diving, surfing, and visiting natural sites, as well as cruises to other islands.