Nat Hab's Tortoise Camp
Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
In our constant quest to offer distinctive immersions in nature, we offer this unique one-night safari-style camping excursion on all scheduled Galapagos adventures. Ascend from the sea into the highlands of Santa Cruz to reach Nat Hab's exclusive Tortoise Camp, set on a gently rolling mountainside overlooking the distant Pacific Ocean. Here amid lush Scalesia forest and subterranean lava caves, guests have an intimate encounter with nature found nowhere else in the Galapagos. The environs around our camp are native habitat for several dozen Galapagos giant tortoises, which we regularly see from July through February. From March through June, the tortoises typically move to lower elevations, though a handful often remain at the campsite. During these months, we make an excursion to a nearby tortoise reserve for close-up sightings.
Although Tortoise Camp is rustic, it holds surprising comforts. Accommodations are in two-person permanent tents on raised platforms with large viewing windows, or in charming treehouses, which also have real beds, bedding, pillows and towels. The four treehouses have en suite flush toilets as well as a small sink. The six raised tents have a small sink plus private en suite showers and flush toilets, though the latter are located adjacent, just outside the sleeping tent, a few steps away. For treehouse guests, showers are available in a shared bathhouse about 50 yards away. The camp chef prepares a full dinner and breakfast, served in the covered dining room. The adjoining sheltered lounge space offers comfortable seating in front of a crackling log fire. A bar is also available for evening drinks and socializing.
In the morning, a bus picks us up for the return trip to the sea where we reboard our boat. If you choose to participate in this special camping option, you will not miss any activities on your daily itinerary.
Please Note: While beds and toilets are provided with all accommodations, there is an element of "roughing it" at Tortoise Camp. Some challenges may include walking over uneven terrain and spying a few critters (particularly the wonderful variety of insects and arachnids that inhabit the island). Also, should it be rainy, we'll have to walk through environs that may get muddy. It is our hope that the unique setting and remarkable proximity to wild tortoises will more than outweigh any discomfort. But our guests always have the choice to participate in this overnight stay or to remain on the ship. Camping on Santa Cruz is a special opportunity, though only you can determine if it is one that you will truly enjoy. The great majority of our guests do! A stay at Tortoise Camp is weather-dependent.