Posted on July 9, 2018
By Isabelle Champaney
As travel agents, we are lucky to discover beautiful places on invitation from our partners. We use these experiences to advise our clients even better about destinations and accommodations, and although the schedules are pretty hectic, it is also a lot of fun! I was lucky to join a four days Galapagos Islands trip, organized by Galapagos Safari Camp, one of Pure! Ecuador’s favorite top-notch accommodations on Santa Cruz Island.
I arrived a day before the start of the trip, to have time to visit other hotels on Santa Cruz. I started with visiting two hotels in the highlands de Santa Cruz: the beautiful Royal Palm Hotel and Pikaia Lodge, a luxury eco-friendly lodge. Subsequently, I went to the main town of the island, Puerto Ayora, where I spend the night at the brand new Ikala Galapagos Hotel. This accommodation opened only a few months earlier and has is designed with respect for its surroundings; trees form part of the structure and Ikala even has received a local award for its construction. This hotel is an oasis of silence located at only two minutes from the lively boulevard with its small shops and wonderful restaurants. Ikala Galapagos Hotel is definitely the new pearl of Puerto Ayora!
The next day, I made the short trip into the highlands again to start the experience with Galapagos Safari Camp. With other travel agents, I was warmly welcomed in this beautiful lodge inspired by African safari camps. After explaining us about their interesting concept – bringing guests closer to nature – the professional staff showed us the nine double and triple luxury tents, each with a wooden floor, a fan, a very comfortable bed and bathroom with a hot shower. Among the other facilities, guests can enjoy a small swimming pool and a viewpoint to enjoy the beautiful island of Santa Cruz.
For three days and two nights I was spoiled with the serenity of the highlands of Santa Cruz, the excellent, personal service from the staff, delicious food prepared by the passionate chefs, and breathtaking views. And of course, we explored part of this unique archipelago. We were lucky to visit Bartolomé Island, which has the most photographed landscape of the archipelago: the famous Pinnacle Rock. It took us two hours by boat to get there, but it was a very comfortable boat trip with all services available on board and a very nice crew. To get to most famous panorama of the Galapagos Islands, we had to climb 450 steps. It sounds like a lot, but with breaks to enjoy the view and listen to the stories of the guide, it was not hard at all! Moreover, once reached the top to enjoy an amazing panoramic view, you realized you could have climbed twice as much. Also the second part of the excursion was unforgettable; we went snorkeling in the clear blue water, surrounded by penguins, many yellowtail tangs, parrot fishes, and even blue sharks and octopuses.
Back at the Safari Camp with the sunset on the background, I chatted with the owners Steph and Michael about their dream that turned into reality. They are passionate about preserving the environment while creating an unforgettable stay for every guest. They offer ‘appropriate luxury’, and say that their camp “prides itself on respecting the natural resources of the islands by collecting rainwater, growing the food we serve and utilizing solar power if possible. Combined with first-class services and amenities highlighting the stunning setting we have chosen to call home, we strive to show our guests the archipelago while at the same time prioritizing the environment.”
The Galapagos Safari Camp is absolutely a place you should not miss at Galapagos Islands. I, once a fervent supporter of the natural cruises to explore the Galapagos Islands, changed my mind and I recommend Galapagos Safari Camp with all my heart. This wonderful accommodation is an oasis of silence and serenity in the middle one of the world’s most unique place. Your clients will not be disappointed here!
If you would like to have some more information about the Galapagos Safari Camp and its availability, or another accommodation on these paradisiac islands, please do not hesitate to contact us!