Classic Safaris
Classic Safaris Luxury Galapagos Islands Land-Based Tours
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Classic Safaris

Designed with our years of experience living, travelling and hosting friends and guests in the Galapagos Islands, our land-based, Classic Safaris are our best-seller. They combine private excursions and wildlife tours on Santa Cruz Island with boat tours to beautiful, uninhabited neighbouring islands (either on a shared boat or a private chartered boat).

Please note that the following is a sample itinerary. We are happy to change the order of activities* and add days, depending on your availability. Our experienced Safari Designers will make suggestions based on your personal needs and interests. Just get in touch!

(*subject to availability)


Sample Itinerary: In Brief

Our Classic Safari combines wildlife tours on Santa Cruz Island with day trips by boat to uninhabited, neighbouring islands. Remember the following is a sample only. More days can be added , depending on your availability.

  • Type of activity:
  • DAY 5+ …OR EXTEND YOUR TRIP Our Safari Designers can suggest itinerary extensions to accommodate your dates and interests. Options include:Exploring Santa Cruz
    Exploring neighbouring islands
    Isabela Island Extension
    Dive Extension

More privacy?

We are happy to organize:
– Fully-Private Safari: chartered boat and private guide throughout.
– Semi-Private Safari: private tours on Santa Cruz with shared boat excursions.

Sample Classic Safari: Full Itinerary

At Galapagos Safari Camp we don’t expect our guests to fit around our schedules. Our goal is to craft tailor-made, life-changing itineraries that accommodate your needs, interests and dates. The following is a sample itinerary. Please contact one of our Safari Designers for more information on the wildlife tours, activities and experiences we offer, and to start crafting your own, bespoke Galapagos adventure.

  • Type of activity:
  • DAY 1 SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS AND THE GIANT TORTOISE Welcome to the Galapagos! After leaving the VIP airport lounge you will meet your bilingual naturalist guide who will be with you for the duration of your stay with us (according to the level of privacy chosen).

    To maximize your first day in the Galapagos Islands, you will be taken to a number of visiting sites on the way to Galapagos Safari Camp.

    The first stop is Los Gemelos (The Twin Craters); two colossal, volcanic sinkholes. On a gentle hike around the rim, your guide will point out the birds of the endemic Scalesia forest such as Galapagos doves and Darwin’s finches.

    From Los Gemelos you continue to a reserve for giant tortoises. Your tour of the reserve will follow a gentle circuit trail where you get within meters of these iconic Galapagos creatures. Keep a look out too for short-eared owls, as they are occasionally spotted in the trees. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

    The tortoise reserve also contains a network of underground lava tubes, formed centuries ago when lava flows cooled at the edges but kept flowing in the middle, leaving cave-like tunnels in their wake. To fully appreciate the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands, and its wildlife, it’s important to first understand the archipelago’s geology and volcanic history.

    End the day at Galapagos Safari Camp, enjoying uninterrupted views of the National Park and the shimmering blues of the Pacific Ocean, without another human in sight.
  • DAY 2&3 AT SEA: EXPLORE UNINHABITED ISLANDS On DAY 2 and DAY 3 you will enjoy day cruises by motor boat to one of the neighbouring, uninhabited islands close to our island of Santa Cruz: North Seymour, Bartolomé, Plazas or Santa Fe.

    Each of the islands’ tours include a guided walk and a guided snorkel in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

    Lunch is served onboard the boat (food is not permitted in the National Park).

    These boat navigations are often a good opportunity to chat with your guide and to learn more about these extraordinary islands and the creatures that inhabit them. Alternatively, guests often use this time to quietly reflect on their Safari by jotting down their thoughts or elaborating on sketches. As author John C. Maxwell wrote, “It’s not necessarily experience that is valuable; it’s the insight people gain because of their experience.”

    Note that these boat tours can either be fully private (chartered boat and private guide) or semi-private (with shared boat and shared guide, or shared boat and private guide).

    At the end of each day, you return to Galapagos Safari Camp in time for an evening stroll or a dip in the pool, followed by a sunset cocktail and dinner.

     We design our Safaris according to the best experiences possible at any given time of year and around yacht operations. We will confirm the islands you will visit once you get in touch.
  • DAY 4 SANTA CRUZ: THE EAST Your Safari will begin at Cerro Mesa, a private reserve on the eastern side of Santa Cruz Island that is rich in endemic flora and bird life, including the elusive vermillion flycatcher and seven unique subspecies of finch. Explore the various trails with your guide, ending the circuit at a viewpoint where, on a clear day, you can survey the lush landscape of Santa Cruz as well as nearby islands.

    Afterwards, you will make your way to Garrapatero Beach, either by car or by bicycle. In contrast to the thick, green vegetation of the highlands, the coastal terrain is made up of black lava, white sands, turquoise waters and dense mangroves.

    The picturesque, white-sanded beach of Garrapatero is an ideal spot for a picnic and secluded swimming, set far away from the cruise ship crowds and visiting sites. Kayaking can also be arranged here and is a fun way to explore the coastline and its wildlife.

    Set behind the beach is a small lagoon where flamingoes are occasionally spotted.

    On your way back to the Camp you will visit a working farm in the highlands that produces sugar cane liqueur and Galapagos coffee. Learn about the different methods used to refine sugar cane, including the use of a mule-driven press (note: the mule may be off-duty during your visit). There is also a demonstration of how artisan coffee is produced, from picking the berries to roasting the bean.

  • DAY 5 RELAX BEFORE MORNING DEPARTURE Enjoy the serene nature and peace of the Camp this morning. Relax, walk, swim or enjoy the sunrise from our viewpoint before departure to the airport and your next destination. (Here’s where you’ll wish you had extended your journey!).

     Please remember that this is just a sample based on some of the options available. Get in touch so we can craft your perfect journey with us!
  • DAY 5+ ...OR EXTEND YOUR TRIP Our Safari Designers can suggest itinerary extensions to accommodate your dates and interests. Options include:

    Exploring Santa Cruz
    Exploring neighbouring islands
    Isabela Island ExtensionDive Extension

Land Adventures on Santa Cruz Island

Beaches on Santa Cruz Island

In addition to visiting uninhabited, neighbouring islands, our Classic Safari also offers a variety of private land tours and experiences on the island of Santa Cruz.


Land-based Galapagos tours

Santa Cruz ranks as one of the most diverse in the archipelago. Rising up from the Pacific in the heart of the Galapagos, its Highlands — formed by volcanic upswelling a blink-of-an-eye ago in geological time — rise to over 800 metres (nearly 3,000 feet). This change in elevation creates a wonderful variety of ecosystems: the dry coast, the cooler and forested Highlands, and the transition zone between the two. This diversity of landscapes, of flora and fauna makes it a fascinating playground for our Safaris.


Private Galapagos Tours

All our land tours on Santa Cruz are private (unless otherwise specified). You will have your own car and driver, and your own naturalist guide (it is not permitted for visitors to enter the National Park without an official guide).

Some of the land tours we offer include:

– Los Gemelos (The Twin Craters); two colossal volcanic sinkholes
– Giant Tortoise Reserve
– Lava tunnels
(see sample itinerary)

– Cerro Mesa Reserve
– Garrapatero Beach
– Optional: biking, kayaking
(see sample itinerary)

– Tortuga Bay (45-minute walk to one of the world’s most spectacular beaches)
– Optional: Surf lesson, kayaking
– Puerto Ayora
– Charles Darwin Research Station

Private Galapagos Biking tour


We can further personalise your Safari by incorporating some of the following experiences into your tour:
– Artisanal fishing
– Art lessons
– Exploring the highlands on bike or on foot
– Surprise tea parties in lava tunnels
– Romantic picnics
– Scuba-diving
– Surfing
– Kayaking
– Visiting coffee or cacao farms, and learning about local life.

Please note that not all these tours and experiences are included in the sample itinerary (and starting rates). Your final quote will depend on how you personalise your Classic Safari, and the tours, activities and experiences you choose.

Private Wildlife tours in the Galapagos

Please contact one of our Safari Designers to start planning your own Galapagos adventure.

Day Sea Excursions

Galapagos Day Cruises

In addition to exploring Santa Cruz Island, our Classic Safari also offers day cruises on a motor boat to uninhabited Galápagos Islands.

These sea safaris can either be fully private (with a chartered boat and your own private guide) or semi-private (on a shared boat and with a shared guide, or on a shared boat with your own private guide).

Our Classic Safaris usually include two days of sea adventures (visiting one uninhabited island per day, returning to the camp at the end of each day). However, you can add more days (and islands) to your Safari, depending on the number of days you have available and your personal needs and goals.

Each of the islands’ tours include a guided walk on dedicated trails, and a guided snorkel. Lunch is served onboard the boat as food is not permitted in the Galapagos National Park.

Our Classic Safari offers tours of the following uninhabited Galápagos Islands: North Seymour, Bartolomé, Plazas and Santa Fe. Please note the island/s you visit will be determined by the boats’ weekly schedules, routes and availability. We will confirm the islands you will visit once you get in touch.



Their volcanic origins mean that each island is different from the other: some uplifted from the ocean floor by titanic forces, others seemingly only recently frozen in time in mid-eruption. Even their vegetation is peculiar and contrasting, with pioneering plants clinging to the slopes of ash-laden hillsides, forests of ghostly-grey palo santo trees, carpets of bright scarlet sesuvium that seem dabbed to life by an Impressionist painter…



Day cruise to Bartolome, Galapagos Islands

Navigation time: 2 hours each way
Walking difficulty: Moderate-Hard

Bartolomé is one of the smallest islands in the archipelago, yet it has a big reputation. Climb the wooden walkway, across lava fields and between sputter cones, to the top of the hill for a wonderful reward: spectacular volcanic views towards the famous Pinnacle Rock and surrounding islands. Penguins are often spotted at the snorkeling site.



Day cruise to North Seymour, Galapagos Islands

Navigation time: 1 hour each way
Walking difficulty: Easy

On your our stroll across the rocky landscapes of this small island, you will come across a stunning menagerie of creatures: sea lions, gulls, tropicbirds, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, land iguanas and a rookery of nesting frigate birds. The trail winds its way both through forest of palo santo, full of nesting frigates, and along the shoreline, where marine iguanas bask in the sun.

We also visit Bachas beach on this journey, a lovely stretch of white sand perfect for swimming.



Day cruise to South Plazas, Galapagos Islands

Navigation time: 1 hour each way
Walking difficulty: Easy

As you disembark on South Plazas, you are greeted with the odd bark by a large colony of sea lions on the stone jetty. You might have to make your way round them to actually set foot on the island! Walking among prickly cactus and beds of bright scarlet succulent plants, land iguanas appear left and right. Reaching the wind-swept, dramatic cliffs, red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls and brown noddy terns glide on the currents as the waves crash below: a true Galapagos exploration. After the visit, there’s a chance to snorkel and swim in a nearby cove, hopefully meeting sea lions, turtles and myriad fish, and maybe even a white-tip reef shark or two.



Day cruise to Sante Fe, Galapagos Islands

Navigation time: 1.5 hours each way
Walking difficulty: Easy

Santa Fe’s beautiful, sheltered bay is a prime site for snorkelling with sea lions, surgeonfish, damsels, parrotfish, stingrays, and white tip reef sharks. Composed of uplifted basaltic lava, Opuntia cacti dominate this rugged island, where you can observe land iguanas among the bushes, blue-footed boobies nesting amid their rocky nests, and hopefully Galapagos hawks, the archipelago’s top avian predator, that perches on the highest points, scanning their domain for their next meals.

Optional Extras

Fishing Like a Local

All our Safaris are tailor-made and are crafted according to your personal interests, needs and time available. The itinerary for our Classic Safari, as outlined in these pages, is simply a starting point. If you would like to personalise it further, your Safari Designer will be happy to make suggestions, depending on what you want to get out of your visit.

If you are celebrating a special birthday, anniversary or occasion we would be happy to help. Just let us know your goals and our Safari Designers will advise you accordingly.

We can also help with mainland tours and flights, as well as any Galapagos safari extensions.




  • Private English-speaking naturalist guide during land excursions and transfers.
  • Accommodation
  • All meals and welcome drink
  • Airport VIP services
  • VIP Transfers & ground transportation
  • Boat excursions with snorkeling on a shared basis (get in touch to organize a private guide or to charter the boat for a fully-private experience)
  • Wetsuits and snorkeling equipment
  • Activities and visits detailed in the itinerary

Not Included:

  • Flights (all flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands can be arranged upon request)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US $100 per adult/$50 per child under 12; subject to change)
  • Visitor transit card (US $20 per person; subject to change)
  • Beverages
  • Laundry service
  • Insurance (please check your travel insurance is valid in your country of origin prior to your journey)
  • Gratuities
Classic Safaris

Personalize your journey!

We’re flexible and we love to personalize. How about..?

Classic Safaris

Talks with Galapagos experts, fishing trips with locals, tea inside a lava tunnel…

Classic Safaris

…picnic in the wilds, art classes, surf classes, ceviche-making and more!



Classic Safaris


Our Experts Say

Stephanie Bonham-Carter
Stephanie Bonham-Carter

“Santa Cruz is among the most diverse islands in the Galapagos. We love combining explorations of the forested highlands with time at the beaches.”

Michael Mesdag
Michael Mesdag

“I’m particularly fond of the fishing trips we’ve created with local fishermen. They’re an authentic way to explore the Galapagos and are always a lot of fun.”

A few of our

Guest Reviews

5 star ratingFantastic Place!!! Our stay at Galapagos Safari Camp was lovely. The staff are so friendly and attention to detail is perfect. ... read more

Mandy B

5 star ratingA Place to Make Outstanding Memories!! This was my husband's and my 3rd adventure to the The Galapagos, However, this trip was for one... read more


5 star ratingExtraordinary Service! We just spent 4 nights at the Galápagos Safari Camp under the watchful care of Andi. She made last... read more

Jayne N