Galapagos Safari Camp Family
9 days / 8 nights
The Galapagos Safari Camp Hotel program has flexible dates for families visiting the Galapagos Islands with young children.
This program is designed to provide a comprehensive experience that is packed with engaging educational experiences for both parents and children. A core group of hand-picked naturalist guides will lead this special safari program, many of whom have their own young families at home, and therefore, understand the need for flexibility, patience and downtime.
Since this program is operated as a private safari, there is no concern over group dynamics, and there is plenty of flexibility on the excursions. The Safari Camp has a substantial repertoire of kid friendly meals, and plenty of healthy snacks are prepared for each day’s outings. Slightly more adventurous families, or families with older children, might prefer to stay in the luxury tents, while those who prefer more private and cohesive lodging can opt for our three-bedroom family suite.
Day 1: Arrival at Quito International Airport – Hotel
- Transfer from airport to the hotel.
Day 2: Quito – Middle of the World “Mitad del Mundo”
- Departing from the hotel early in the morning, we begin the tour driving to the north of the city to visit the Equatorial monument “Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the World), situated at 0o0’0” latitude where the French Geodesic Expedition according to planet calculations, designated the center of the world. Visit the Intiñán Museum.
- After this visit, we will drive back to downtown Quito, making a stop at the Botanical Garden, a project for protection, conservancy and education for Andean flora of Ecuador.
- For lunch we will have a typical delicious menu, and then we will go to visit the colonial site of Quito and its churches and cathedrals: the gothic Basilica, the Compañía de Jesús, the Convent of San Francisco, among others. We will visit the Plaza Grande where is located the Presidential Palace, the Major’s Office, the Cathedral, and the Archbishop Palace. Back to the hotel.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Day 3: Land of the Giant Tortoise
- Once you and your family arrive at Baltra Airport, you will be met by your family’s guide and will cross the narrow Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island and then drive up to Galapagos Safari Camp. There, your guide will entertain the children with an overview of the animal species they are soon to encounter, while you get settled in. After lunch, you will have the opportunity to explore the 135-acre farm, picking local tropical fruit, harvesting cacao and spotting local birds. Before sundown, you can visit the lava tunnels and search for giant tortoises roaming the National Tortoise Reserve that is adjacent to Galapagos Safari Camp.
Day 4: Activity Day
- After breakfast, you will visit a neighboring organic coffee plantation in order to learn about responsible small-scale farming in the Galapagos, and the children will get the chance to pick some coffee beans. Then, you will drive to the enormous crater of Cerro Mesa for a short walk to a wetlands area that is home to a wonderful variety of birds and the occasional bathing tortoise. After lunch at a local restaurant, you will jump on bikes for a downhill ride to Garrapatero Beach, where the contrast of mangroves, black lava, white sand and turquoise water, along with its birdlife and flamingo lagoon, is magnificent. You can explore the bay in sea kayaks, accompanied by marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and countless shorebirds. In the evening, back at Galapagos Safari Camp, parents can relax while the children are engaged in a private art class with a local artist.
Day 5: Explore an Uninhabited Island
- Today will be spent spotting wildlife and snorkeling on one of the uninhabited islands easily accessed by a shared day yacht from Santa Cruz Island, all in the company of your naturalist guide. The exact island location will depend on travel dates, but options include: North Seymour, South Plazas, Santa Fe and Bartolomé, all of which are rich in wildlife and offer wonderful snorkeling opportunities.
Day 6: Fishing Adventure
- Safari Camp is involved in a program with the National Park Service that aims to engage local fisherman in tourism activities as an alternative means of income, with the added benefit of protecting local fisheries from depletion. The fishermen have very safe and modern speedboats, which are chartered privately for the day. The opportunity to go on an excursion with local fishermen has been a favorite among children visiting Safari Camp. With your guide acting as translator, the children will be taught some local fishing tricks and the fishermen will share some of their anecdotes from a lifetime at sea. After fishing, you will land on a deserted beach and have the chance to snorkel in a spot known only to locals. This excursion is both a wildlife experience and a cultural exchange opportunity, cherished by all who experience it. If you prefer to limit fishing and enhance the snorkeling or beach experience, your guide is there to adapt the day to your preferences.
Day 7: Charles Darwin Research Station and Bay Tour
- This morning you will visit the famous Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about its preservation efforts and scientific research. The children will have an up-close experience with the tortoises that are the island’s namesake. Parents can enjoy some free time to wander around Puerto Ayora, while your guide takes the children to play at a local playground or on a tour of the local fish market on the waterfront. After lunch, take a speedboat to Tortuga Bay, a white sandy beach with basking marine iguanas, and shallow turquoise waters teeming with whitetip reef sharks and fish. Or you can join a snorkeling boat that will take you to frolic with sea lions.
Day 8: Sunrise Walk and Departure
- Enjoy the serenity that Galapagos Safari Camp has to offer. Relax, walk, or enjoy the sunrise from our observatory. After this leisurely morning at Galapagos Safari Camp, you will be accompanied by your naturalist guide to Baltra airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
- Hotel accommodation in Quito for the last night prior to your departure to your final destination.
Day 9: Hotel – International Airport of Quito
- Transfer to the airport for international flight. End of the tour.