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Galápagos Land & Sea - Ultimate Photography Experience

Ecuador

Oct. 13 to 25, 2024

Unlike most tours to these famed islands, we will have a mix of boat and land accommodations and visits to the best spots at the best times for photography. And, also unlike other photo tours, you have 3 professional photographers and naturalists with you full-time, making this a fantastic value!

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Date

Oct. 13 to 25, 2024

$

Price

$12,999

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Difficulty Level

Moderate

6

Available Spots

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View the itinerary below, read more about the tour, or sign up now!

Go to sign-up form

About the Workshop

Galápagos Land & Sea - Ultimate Photography Experience

About the Workshop

Galápagos Land & Sea - Ultimate Photography Experience

Leaders

Frank Pichardo

Frank Pichardo

Frank Pichardo is a Peruvian wildlife photographer and tour leader with a strong passion for nature, most of his experience in the field comes from his seven-year work as a naturalist guide for the prestigious lodges of Rainforest Expeditions leading people and teaching about the flora and fauna since 2009. Frank obtained his degree from the Tourism School in Lima, where he also became fluent in English and German. This was the beginning of a long term work in the ecotourism industry.

 

At the moment, he is part of Tropical Herping, contributing for the “Reptiles of Ecuador”, “Reptiles of Galapagos” and “Amphibians if Ecuador” books, joining also scientific expeditions into remote areas to understand better this group of animals, leading workshops and photo tours. Frank’s work has been featured in National Geographic and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Follow Frank on Instagram -- @frank_pichardo

Lucas Bustamante

Lucas Bustamante

Lucas Bustamante is a passionate biologist and environmental photojournalist from Ecuador. For more than a decade, he has documented tropical biodiversity and its interactions with humans. He is a co-founder at Tropical Herping and Savia Fund. Like Greg, Lucas's images have been honored in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice contests. 

 

In addition to leading photography workhops, he has also written several articles and books about conservation, photography, and herpetology. Lucas's photographic work has been featured in National Geographic, Audubon, GEO, Smithsonian, and many other magazines, books, and articles.


You can see more of Lucas' work here.

Greg Basco

Greg Basco

Gregory Basco is a professional nature photographer based in Costa Rica. After completing graduate degrees in political science and tropical ecology (his doctoral dissertation focused on the politics of ecotourism in Costa Rica), Greg worked in conservation before turning to photography full-time in 2006. His images have been awarded in the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice competitions and have appeared in numerous magazines and books around the world.

 

His latest major project is the second edition of the large format printed book National Parks of Costa Rica in conjunction with Zona Tropical and Cornell University Press. His popular e-books include The Guide to Tropical Nature Photography, the mega e-book Flash for the Nature Photographer, and the new Complete Video Guide to Lightroom for the Nature Photographer.

You can see more of Greg's work at his website.

Follow him on Instagram @gregbascophotography

Follow him on Facebook @deepgreenphotography

Watch his YouTube channel @DeepGreenPhotography

Sign up now!

Gallery

Info

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Airport

You should arrive to and depart from Ecuador's Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO).

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Electricity

Electrical outlets are US-style. Those coming from Europe or Asia may need travel adapters. We will send more info after signup.

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Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase trip insurance that includes trip cancellation and medical coverage while overseas.

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Medical

Though Ecuador does not require any vaccinations for entry, we suggest you stay up to date on routine travel shots. Some tropical countries may require that you have proof of yellow fever vaccination upon departing from Ecuador.

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Internet Access

All of our hotels and even our boat have free WIFI. We will may have cell data coverage for portions of the trip.

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Certified

All of our services are conducted by fully licensed travel, lodge, and transport operators. This is part of our commitment to providing a professional travel experience.

Camera Gear

Recommended gear

  • Tele lens 400 mm or longer

  • Camera body or bodies

  • Medium zoom lens, e.g., 70-200 mm, 100-400 mm

  • Macro lens

  • Wide angle lens

  • Polarizing/ND filters

  • Fast wide angle lens for night scenes

  • Travel tripod

  • Cable release

  • Rain cover for camera

  • Small softbox or diffuser

  • Small pack or shoulder bag for daily shooting

View the full Itinerary +

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Day 1, Arrival/Quito

 

Arrival to Ecuador. Meet our representative at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport and transfer to our modern hotel beside the airport.

 

Day 2, Galápagos/Boat 

 

After breakfast, we will return to the airport to catch our flight to the Galapagos Islands. After landing at Baltra Airport, we will go to the humid highlands of the island, where we will look for Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat. A short bus ride takes us down to Puerto Ayora to board our Yacht Isabela II.

 

Day 3, Galápagos/Boat 

 

We will spend our first full day in the Galapagos on Santiago Island. In the morning we will visit Puerto Egas, where we can enjoy close-up encounters with recently reintroduced land iguanas, plus land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers, craggy rocks, and lava flows. We can also observe a colony of fur seals, usually dozing in the shade of some rocks. During the afternoon, we will visit the Chinese Hat Islet. Formed only relatively recently, it makes for a beautiful afternoon visit as we explore the wildlife on a quick hike. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities amid white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.

 

Day 4, Galápagos/Boat 

 

Today we will visit Genovesa Island. In the morning, we will start with a panga ride along the cliffs of “Bird Island”, as Genovesa is affectionately nicknamed, followed by a landing at Prince Philip’s Steps, a steep staircase that connects us with a flat plateau. From here, the trail winds its way through large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and storm petrels. With luck, we’ll be able to spot the short-eared owl. Those who do not wish to disembark can enjoy a longer panga (inflatable dinghy) ride along the cliffs, weather permitting. Snorkeling and kayaking activities are available as well. In the afternoon, we land at the white beach of Darwin Bay. Here we walk amid literally hundreds of birds, most of which are frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds.

 

Day 5, Galápagos/Boat 

 

This morning we will visit Santa Fe Island. We take the dinghy over to a sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The endemic Santa Fe land iguana may be spotted during our exploration. Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat. In the afternoon, we disembark at South Plaza Island. We find sea lion colonies along the coastline while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls, and shearwaters glide on the thermals.

 

Day 6, Galápagos/Isabela Island

 

Our time on the boat ends at Baltra Island, where we will start our land-based part of the trip. From Baltra, we will take an air taxi to Isabela Island. After a 30-minute flight, we arrive at Puerto Villamil. After checking in at our lodge at the beach, we will go for lunch. During the afternoon, we will spend photographing marine iguanas on the white beach with time for landscape photography at sunset.

 

Day 7, Galápagos/Isabela Island

 

This morning we will do an early hike looking for Blue-footed boobies and Isabela Giant Tortoises in the wild. The landscape is unique due to its combination of mangroves, lava rocks, and white beaches. In the afternoon, we will look for flamingos close to our lodge.

 

Day 8, Galápagos/Isabela Island

 

This morning we will visit the breeding center of Galapagos Giant Tortoises to see the efforts of the Galapagos National Park to restore the populations of these iconic species. In the afternoon, we have a snorkeling option in a quiet and shallow area close to our lodge, looking for sea turtles and white-tip reef sharks. We also have a land-based option to explore the surrounding beach and mangroves for wildlife and landscape photography.

 

Day 9, Galápagos/San Cristobal Island

 

After breakfast and check-out, we will take an air taxi to San Cristobal Island. After a 30-minute flight, we arrive at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. After checking in at our lodge, we will explore the local town and photograph the largest sea lion colony settled around the local houses and stores. In the afternoon, we will visit the highlands to a fresh-water lagoon where frigatebirds drink, followed by the local Galapagos Giant Tortoises breeding center.


Day 10, Galápagos/San Cristobal Island

 

This morning we will photograph sea lions and Darwin finches at a beach close to town. In the late afternoon, we will visit a viewpoint called Tijeretas for some landscape pics. There is also an optional snorkel opportunity this afternoon.

 

Day 11, Galápagos/San Cristobal Island

 

On our last day in paradise, we will visit an interpretation center to understand the human history in the Galapagos. After this, we will visit a new beach where locals and sea lions hang out together. You can walk the town in the afternoon, buy souvenirs, grab a drink, or pack. In the evening, we will have our farewell dinner.

 

Day 12, Back to Quito

 

Today we check out and head to the airport for our return flight to Quito. Time permitting, we will make an excursion to Quito's beautiful historic center.



Day 13, Airport

 

Private transfer to the airport for your flight home.


Itinerary includes

  • Lodging as specified in DBL occupancy

  • Meals as specified

  • Transportation w/private driver in spacious air-conditioned tour bus for land-based portions of trip

  • All lodging for land-based and ship-based portion of trip

  • Flights to and from Galapagos

  • Internal flights within Galapagos

  • Professional, full-time photo instruction from your leaders Greg, Frank, and Lucas

  • Entrances and fees for all described activities, including boat and snorkeling excursions

  • Equipment for snorkeling

  • Taxes for all specified services

Itinerary does not include

  • International airfare

  • Dinner the following nights – Day 1 and 12

  • Alcoholic Drinks

  • Tips

  • Non-mealtime snacks and drinks

  • SGL room supplement - $2840

Sign-up Form

Name *

Are you registering for one person or more? *

 

Please provide names of additional people signing up with you, and please indicate if the additional people are photographers or not. We offer discounts for non-photographers on some trips.

Booking a tour with us is easy!

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1. Register for your tour using the form at the end of each workshop page.

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4. Send us your traveler info form.

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2. Send us your reserve deposit.

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5. We will send you your final invoice.

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3. Book your international air travel.

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6. We´ll send you everything you need to know before you hop on the plane!

  • + Will someone be there to meet me at the airport?
    Certainly! We take care of you from the moment you step off the plane until the moment you leave to return home. We'll send you all of the info you need to know regarding arrival in a final info message before the trip.
  • + I plan to arrive a day early. Can you help?
    Definitely, we'll be happy to make your reservations to ensure that you get to the same hotel that we have booked for the official first night of the tour. By the way, private transfers to and from the airport are always included in our tours, and you can use this transfer whether you arrive early or depart later than the official dates.
  • + What kind of clothes should I bring?
    In general, your best choices are lightweight garments that breathe and dry quickly, and you'll want a mix of long sleeves and short sleeves. A light polar-tec and a good rain jacket are also good to have. For meals, it's informal at the lodges and in the region in general. A pair of jeans, tennis shoes, and a clean shirt are just fine for dinner, even in the capital city hotels. Lightweight hiking boots are fine for your photography out in the field, and if you're visiting a beach area, you will want sandals or aqua shoes as well. Of course a good hat and sunscreen are important. We will send you clothing information specific to your trip after you've signed up.
  • + Can I have laundry done?
    Many of the lodges we use offer laundry service for a cost of approximately $1 per garment with same or next day service. We will indicate to you which lodges have laundry service after you've signed up for a given trip.
  • + Can I drink the water?
    This is probably the question that our clients ask us the most. And it’s the one for which we have the least definitive answer, except to say that beer is always a safe choice!. Water in and around capital cities is treated with chlorine and generally can be consumed with no worries. The lodges that we use for our photo travel often have their own well water, which is tested regularly by the Ministry of Health. Nonetheless, upset stomachs do occur as a result of change in diet or simply bacteria different from those to which Northern stomachs are accustomed. Serious disorders such as Giardia or amoebic dysentery are virtually unheard of. Bottled water is very widely available at our hotels and lodges, and a conservative strategy would be to use it as often as possible when outside the capital. As with travel to any foreign country, immodium pills are good to have along, and some of our clients also bring along Cipro or other broad-spectrum antibiotics. Some go so far as to begin taking antibiotics before arriving in-country. For antibiotic use, we suggest you consult with your physician. That said, we have very very few problems with water and food-related issues on our tours. During the tour, we will indicate to you where and when it might be better to stick to bottled water.
  • + I'd like a single room. Can that be arranged?
    Certainly. Simply indicate your rooming preference on the workshop signup form. There may be an extra for the single room supplement. This is simply the difference due to what our hotels and lodges charge us. We do not take a commission for single room supplements.
  • + I'm traveling by myself but would like a double room. Can that be arranged?
    It depends. If we can match you up with a suitable solo traveler who also wants to share, we will be happy to place you in a double room.
  • Should I bring a tripod?
    Yes, you always want to bring a tripod. We will advise your each trip of any need for specialized heads or flash brackets.
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