Festive Season in the Galapagos
Searching for the perfect family vacation over the December holidays? Tired of boring beach resorts?
If you’re seeking connection and renewal in a magical location, we have the perfect opportunity for you. This is the trip your family will always remember.
The Galapagos is a high-demand destination with strictly limited supply; sought-after options book up 18 to 24 months in advance of the December / January holiday season.
As an exclusive for our clients, LANDED has pre-purchased a special program for Saturday, December 21 – Thursday, December 26, 2019 at Galapagos Safari Camp—our favorite Galapagos option for families.
AFAR, The Times of London, Elle, and Milk have praised Galapagos Safari Camp for its hospitality, comfort, and central location in the cool highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
“Our trip was a huge success. Galapagos was perfect. The guides you arranged could not have been more kind and helpful. Your on-the-ground team was fantastic—knowledgeable and accommodating. It was beautifully organized. The trip of a lifetime.”
– J. Cormier (New York, NY)
Saturday, December 21 to Thursday, December 26, 2019 (five nights / six days)
Day 1: Saturday, December 21 – Arrival in Galapagos, highland of Santa Cruz (lava tunnels and pit craters), and tortoise reserve. Lunch and dinner included.
Day 2: Sunday, December 22 – Boat excursion* (2 hours per direction) to Bartolome Island. Hike through ancient red, black, orange, and green lava fields to the viewpoint and lava cones. Beach visits, and snorkeling near Pinnacle Rock among penguins, reef sharks, and Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 3: Monday, December 23 – Exploration of Santa Cruz Island’s eastern side. Visit the Cerro Mesa private reserve to observe Galapagos tortoises, short-eared owls, mockingbirds, and six subspecies of finches.
Biking (or vehicle transfer, as you prefer) to Garrapatero Beach in search of flamingos, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, rays, and sea turtles. Explore the tide pools, swim, or kayak.
En route back to camp, stop at El Trapiche Ecologico to learn about the production of artisanal coffee. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 4: Tuesday, December 24 – Boat excursion* (90 minutes per direction) to Punta Carrion and South Plaza Island. Snorkel with fish, rays, and turtles. Explore the trails through giant cacti in search of land iguanas, marine iguanas, hawks, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, red-billed tropic birds, and swallow-tailed gulls. Visit the sea lion colony. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 5: Wednesday, December 25 – Boat excursion* (90 minutes per direction) to Santa Fe Island, one of the oldest islands in the archipelago.
At Barrington Bay, visit the sea lion colony on the beach, then hike through Opuntia cacti and red & green carpet plants to a lava cliff viewpoint.
Along the trails, you may observe land iguanas, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and hawks. Enjoy snorkeling and swimming at the beach with sea lions. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Day 6: Thursday, December 26 – Breakfast at the camp, with time at leisure for a morning hike or sunrise at the observatory platform. Return to Baltra airport for your departure from the Galapagos. Breakfast included.
* Group-basis boat excursions. These excursions are likely aboard the Sea Lion or Sea Finch motor yacht, each of which has a capacity of 20 passengers. Boat and itinerary substitutions may occur. Galapagos Safari Camp reserves the right to change the order of the itinerary based on local weather conditions, park regulations, and force majure.
About Galapagos Safari Camp
Galapagos Safari Camp was conceived and built with passion.
This African-styled tented camp is a creative alternative—light on the land and surrounded by nature. Nestled on a private reserve in the wild highlands of Santa Cruz Island, camp offers views of the Pacific Ocean and the National Park.
This is tortoise territory; and the camp is alive with warblers, mockingbirds, and finches.
The camp consists of nine tent cabins, a main lodge, and a family suite. For this departure, we have reserved nine tent cabins (for a total of up to 16 guests).
The camp’s tents are top quality, and were custom built in Australia. Each tent is constructed on a raised platform, approximately three feet above grade (four or five steps).
The tents feature a three-layer canopy: one for sun protection, a moisture barrier, and an inner canvas shell. They are cool, airy, and comfortable.
Each has a private balcony. Each has an en suite bathroom with good water pressure, hot water, and flush toilets.
Other tent features:
- Full screening, with privacy window panels
- Hardwood flooring
- Sliding glass and screen doors
- Ceiling fan
- Space heater
- Writing desk and tea / coffee station
- Security box
- Robes and slippers
- Electrical outlets
Some tents are located in close pairs, approximately 20 feet from door to door—perfect for families. The tents are located a short walk (approximately three minutes) from the main lodge building.
Meals are provided in the main lodge. The lodge also features bar service, a fireplace, and a collection of games.
Camp amenities and features:
- Swimming pool
- Kid’s club building with games and trampoline
- Viewpoint terrace for sundowners
- Views of the highlands, Pacific Ocean, and neighboring islands
The tents do not have air conditioning (rarely needed in the cool highlands), Wi-Fi (complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the main lodge), or television.
Weather & Wildlife Activity
High temperatures for the holiday season in Galapagos average 81ºF, with low temperatures near 70ºF.
The average water temperature near the surface is 73ºF. Rainfall is rare: one-half inch for the month. The highlands are cooler than the coast, and mist is more common.
The December / January holidays fall during the start of the warm season in Galapagos; the cool Humboldt Current loses strength, and clear skies are expected.
The sun starts to get more intense during this month. We recommend guests use SPF 30+ sunblock.
This is the start and the end of the breeding and mating seasons for many animals in Galapagos, making wildlife encounters very attractive.
- Blue-footed boobies nesting
- Red-footed boobies and masked boobies breeding and nesting
- Waved albatross nesting
- Magnificent and Great Frigate birds nesting
- Green sea turtles begin mating
- Marine Iguanas and Land Iguanas begin mating
- California sea lions breeding
- Fur Sea lions breeding
- Flightless Cormorants, Penguins and Greater Flamingos breeding and nesting
Before your trip to the Galapagos, we can arrange time in Peru (Cusco / Machu Picchu; 5 nights recommended) or Colombia (Cartagena or Bogota; 3 nights per destination recommended).
Mainland Ecuador Extensions
At a minimum, we recommended:
- Two to three nights in Quito (UIO) or the Andean region before visiting the Galapagos.
- One night in Guayaquil (GYE) before departing Ecuador.
To ensure arrival and departure at the correct times, the expected flights for this program (not included in the package price; subject to change) are as follows:
- To Galapagos: TAME Airlines Flight EQ193
- Departs Quito (UIO) at 9:00AM, arrives in Guayaquil (GYE) at 9:50AM
- Departs Guayaquil at 10:40AM, arrives in Baltra (Galapagos; GPS) at 11:30AM
From Galapagos: TAME Airlines Flight EQ192
- Departs Baltra (Galapagos; GPS) at 12:30PM, arrives in Guayaquil (GYE) at 3:20PM
- Departs Guayaquil at 4:00PM, arrives in Quito (UIO) at 4:50PM
To ensure proper coordination, LANDED must arrange these flights. The expected rate per person is US$550. Rates are subject to change. Business class seats may be available.
These flights are usually programmed with Airbus 320. Luggage is restricted to one checked bag (50 lbs. maximum) or two checked bags with a total combined maximum weight of 50 lbs.
For each safari tent, the price of this package is US$13,894 (US$6,947 per person based on double-occupancy). Single occupancy is possible, but the pricing will not be decreased.
- A 40% deposit is required to secure a booking, paid within seven days of confirmation.The remaining balance will be due 120 days prior to the scheduled date of arrival.
- Along with deposit payment, a completed copy of the LANDED booking agreement.
- Within two weeks of booking, the following items are required:
- A photo of each traveler’s passport photo page.Passports must have at least six months of remaining validity, as measured from the date of return to the USA;
- The international flight information (flight numbers and record locator numbers);
- Information about any dietary preferences or restrictions, or about special medical conditions or considerations; and
- Height and shoe size for each traveler (for wetsuit and swim fin sizing).
- A 40% deposit is required to secure a booking, paid within seven days of confirmation.
- The remaining balance will be due 120 days prior to the scheduled date of arrival.
- Where a conflict arises, these deposit requirements supersede any deposit requirements expressed elsewhere in documents provided by LANDED.
- Galapagos Safari Camp reserves the right to cancel bookings should stipulated policies not be met.
- Cancellation of booking must be in writing.Cancellations are only effective on receipt of written notification.
- Cancellation of the Galapagos Safari Camp booking after confirmation will immediately incur a fee of 20% of the total booking amount, in addition to any non-refundable items, such as the $350 per person booking fee.Additional items, such as airfare, taxes, and park fees are non-refundable.
- Cancellation of the Galapagos Safari Camp booking at 150 days prior to the scheduled arrival date will incur a fee of 50% of the total booking amount, in addition to any non-refundable items, such as the $350 per person booking fee.Additional items, such as airfare, taxes, and park fees are non-refundable.
- Cancellation of the Galapagos Safari Camp booking 120 days or fewer prior to the scheduled arrival date will incur a fee of 100% of the total booking amount.
- Cancellation fees will automatically be deducted from deposits.
- Where a conflict arises, these cancellation policies supersede any cancellation policies expressed elsewhere in documents provided by LANDED.
- Galapagos Safari Camp is a child-friendly property, welcoming children of any age.
- Galapagos Safari Camp does expect parents to ensure their children are thoroughly supervised.
- Children must not disturb the calm or rest of other guests at the lodge and while on safari.
- Accommodation at Galapagos Safari Camp.
- The family suite has three bedrooms, for up to a total of six guests
- The safari tent can be configured with one double or two twin beds, for up to a total of two guests.
- Hotel occupancy taxes at Galapagos Safari Camp
- Meals at Galapagos Safari Camp (three meals daily)
- Group-basis land tours with Galapagos Safari Camp on two days while in residence at the camp (as outlined in the itinerary)
- Group-basis boat excursions through Galapagos Safari Camp on two days while in residence at the camp (as outlined in the itinerary)
- Use of wetsuits, masks, flippers, bikes, and kayaks on excursions with Galapagos Safari Camp.
- Access to the VIP airport lounge in Galapagos
- Wi-Fi in the main lodge (via satellite).Wi-Fi is not available in the tents.
- Airfare and related taxes and frees
- Pre- or post-Galapagos touring
- Galapagos National Park Tax: US$100 per adult and $50 for children under 12, which must be paid upon arrival in Galapagos in cash
- Galapagos Visitors Transit Card: US $20 per person in cash, paid at the airport in Quito or Guayaquil prior to your flight to Galapagos. Please note that to avoid a double charge, the card must be presented upon arrival in Galapagos and kept until departure
- Personal expenses, services and purchases (e.g. laundry, spa services, and telephone calls)
- Early check-in, late check-out, and day use charges
- Meals not noted in the itinerary
- Alcoholic drinks and other beverages
- Gratuities for guides, crew, and drivers (recommended: $30 per guest per day)
- Optional excursions, tours and activities
- Trip insurance, which is strongly recommended
- International airport departure fees, which must be paid in cash if not included in your air tickets. Check with our airline, as this is likeley not included in your ticket.
- Upon arrival at Galapagos Safari Camp, guests are asked to read and sign an indemnity agreement.Galapagos Safari Camp management retains the right to refuse admission should the indemnity form not be signed. Galapagos Safari Camp and LANDED will not be liable for any claim or refund should the indemnity form not be signed.
- Itineraries may be subject to change due to Galapagos National Park weather conditions; park regulations or administrative decisions; or force majure.