A Closer Look at Natural Habitat's Tortoise Camp
Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
When you explore the Galapagos, it’s natural you’ll want to spend most of your time traveling by sea, as it’s the best way to explore these intriguing islands. Beyond the coves and coastline, though, the islands’ interiors beckon—and this is where the Galapagos giant tortoise is at home, in the misty highlands of Santa Cruz. Some tour companies include a day excursion to see this ancient 600-pound reptile—but there’s nothing like spending a night in solitude in its wild habitat, which is why we add an exclusive stay at our Tortoise Camp on every Nat Hab Galapagos cruise. (Note: guests staying aboard the National Geographic Islander will not stay at the Nat Hab Tortoise Camp.)
Set in lush Scalesia forest and meadows with a view of the Pacific Ocean below, our rustic camp features accommodations in raised canvas tents and treehouses surrounded by wild tortoise habitat. The covered open-air lounge is warmed by a roaring log fire. Freshly prepared cuisine is served by candlelight. With this exceptional access to wild tortoise environs, from June through February you’ll frequently encounter them munching on grass, resting in pools of mud or tucking into their nests to sleep for the night. And only Nat Hab travelers get this extended privilege, with an overnight at our private camp!
Scroll down to explore more photos of Nat Hab's private Tortoise Camp.
Natural Habitat's private Tortoise Camp is set in the misty highlands of Santa Cruz on a gently rolling mountainside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Amid verdant Scalesia forest and subterranean lava caves, guests have an intimate encounter with nature found nowhere else in the Galapagos.
The environs are native habitat for Galapagos giant tortoises, which we regularly see in camp from June through February, and in nearby reserves from March through May.
Though our Tortoise Camp is rustic, it holds surprising comforts. Six safari-style tents on raised platforms feature large viewing windows and tranquil verandas.
The two-person safari tents have full en suite bathrooms with showers.
Four charming treehouses feature en suite flush toilets as well as a small sink with running water and showers in the adjacent bathhouse.
Meals are served in the open-air thatched dining area, where a stone fireplace blazes and our trained chef prepares a tasty full dinner and breakfast. Enjoy evening drinks and socializing at the bar in one of the Galapagos’ most special wild settings.