Deron Shields: Kicker Rock Eric Rock: Hikers at South Plaza
Andrea Izzotti: Underwater sea lion
Fred Bennett: Woman photographing sea lion
Jessica Cardelucci: Red footed booby
Mario Rosero: NHA'sTortoise Camp
Emily Supernavage: Fun girl with sea lions
Tucked in a tranquil mountain valley at the base of the Imbabura and Cotacachi volcanoes, this 150-year-old hacienda replete with historic ambience is only a short walk from the famous market town of Otavalo.
Las Palmeras Inn
Located less than two hours north of Quito, Las Palmeras is a 150-year-old hacienda tucked in a lush mountain valley at the base of the Imbabura and Cotacachi volcanoes. Accommodations are in charming cottages, each replete with historic ambience evinced through wooden beamed ceilings, heavy plaster walls and log fireplaces, where a roaring fire can be set to take the chill off cool mountain nights. Within the compound's tile-topped earthen walls, palm trees rise above a perennial garden abloom with hibiscus, bougainvillea, orchids, cholan, eucalyptus, avocado, black currant and more, which attract a profusion of birds including hummingbirds and vermilion flycatchers. From such rural tranquility, it is a brief downhill walk to the indigenous market town of Otavalo, home to South America's oldest continuing site of commerce.
Enjoy an intimate immersion in nature aboard this 75-foot luxury motor sailing catamaran with a classic, sporty style and nimble quality that perfectly complement the focus of this active adventure.
S/C Nemo III
The S/C Nemo III is a 75-foot luxury motor sailing catamaran. The vessel accommodates up to 16 guests in eight cabins of varying configurations, though we cap our trip at approximately 14 guests for a more comfortable and intimate nature adventure. All cabins are air conditioned and have en suite bathrooms with hot and cold water, plus storage space for personal items. Public spaces include lounge areas inside and out, a dining salon and small bar, and a sundeck with Jacuzzi, banquette seating and lounge chairs. The boat’s hospitable crew attends to guests’ every need, including three meals a day plus snacks to energize a daily round of active pursuits. Although this sailing vessel is smaller and more simple than our larger motor yachts, Nat Hab has chosen it for our hiking and kayaking trip because of its classic, sporty style and nimble nature, which perfectly complement the focus of this active adventure.
Cabins 1 and 2 have two twin beds and are approximately 65 square feet. Located on the main deck.
Cabins 3, 4 and 6 have one double bed and an upper twin and are approximately 90 square feet. Located on the lower level.
Cabin 5 has one double bed and is approximately 90 square feet. Located on the lower level.
Cabin 7 has two twin beds and is approximately 72 square feet. Located on the lower level at the rear of the ship. This cabin is traditionally reserved for our two Expedition Leaders.
Cabin 8 has one double bed and is approximately 72 square feet. Located on the lower level at the rear of the ship.
Exclusively for our Galapagos guests! Perched high on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, our deluxe forest camp features elevated safari-style tents and treehouses set amid native habitat for wild tortoises.
Natural Habitat's Tortoise Camp
Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
In our constant quest to offer exclusive immersions in nature, we are pleased to include a unique one-night deluxe camping excursion on all scheduled Galapagos adventures. Ascending from the sea into the highlands of Santa Cruz, we reach Natural Habitat's exclusive Tortoise Camp, perched high on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Here amid lush mountains, scalesia forest and volcanic caves—native habitat for wild tortoises—guests enjoy an intimate encounter with nature found nowhere else in the Galapagos. The environs around our campsite are home to several dozen giant tortoises, seen at the campsite from June through February. During the months of March through June, the giant tortoises generally move to lower elevations, though a handful sometimes stay at the campsite.
All gear is provided, including two-person permanent platform tents or tree houses, real beds, bedding, pillows and towels. The four treehouses have en suite flush toilets as well as a small sink. The six platform tents have en suite showers, flush toilets and a small sink. There are showers available for those staying in treehouses in a shared bathhouse located a short distance away (about 100 yards). Our chef will prepare dinner and breakfast for you at the campsite, and a bus will pick you up in the morning to rejoin the group. If you choose to participate in the camping option, you will not miss any of the activities on your daily itinerary.
Please Note: While there are beds and toilets in all accommodations, there is an element of "roughing it." Some challenges may include uneven terrain and critters (particularly the wonderful variety of insects and arachnids that inhabit the island). Also, should it be rainy, the experience can become even more challenging. Our guests have the choice to participate in this evening in the highlands or to stay on our ship. Camping on Santa Cruz is most certainly an amazing opportunity, though only you can determine if it is an opportunity you will truly enjoy. The camping option is weather permitting.