Harper Classic: Galapagos Safari Camp


In addition to the Pikaia Lodge, the original upscale land base in the Galápagos archipelago is found on the island of Santa Cruz. I continue to recommend the Galapagos Safari Camp, which is situated in the “transition zone” between the cultivated land and the national park.

A stylish central lodge, with one wall made entirely of glass, is set at an elevation of 1,575 feet and affords an inspiring panorama of the Pacific and several adjacent islands. The interior features a large fireplace, well-stocked bookshelves, comfortable sofas and a 15-foot Balinese teak dining table. The accommodations are in nine comfortable, safari-style tented suites set on wooden decks, which come with small but well-appointed baths equipped with effective showers; a three-bedroom family suite is also available.

Lounge in the Main Lodge at Galapagos Safari Camp
Family Safari Suite at Galapagos Safari Camp
Luxury Safari Tent at Galapagos Safari Camp
“The Viewpoint” terrace at Galapagos Safari Camp

During our last visit, the food — Ecuadorian and international — was excellent, and the service proved consistently polite and efficient. Activities include wildlife hikes and excursions for kayaking and diving. The camp was ranked No. 9 in the “Safari” section of our 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards.

- Hotel at a Glance -

Galapagos Safari Camp 90Andrew Harper Bird


The feeling of being “on safari”; the inspiring view; the excellent cuisine; the well-organized activities.


The tents are comfortable but not especially spacious compared with those at equivalent properties in Africa.

Good to Know

A land base cannot provide the same sense of remoteness that you experience on a boat. On Santa Cruz Island, civilization seems relatively close by. The town of Puerto Ayora (pop. 12,000) lies 13 miles to the southwest.

Rates: Luxury Tent for two, from $1,400 (all meals, land-based safari activities and ground transfers included)
Address: Finca Palo Santo, Salasaca, Santa Cruz, Galapagos
Telephone: (593) 5-301-3006

View Galapagos Safari Camp Listing

Read more about our editor’s trip to Ecuador

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.