GÁLAPAGOS PHOTO TOUR
On this tour you will have lots of time and opportunities with Blue-footed Boobies, 2 species of Frigatebirds, Marine and Land Iguanas, Galapagos Sea Lions, Galapagos Tortoises (in the wild) and many other species of birds including many of Darwin’s finches. We will have a day trip to visit Hood Island and photograph the nesting Galapagos Albatrosses. On Isabela Island we should have some nice opportunities with Galapagos Penguin and we will try for Galapagos Hawk as well as Galapagos Rail. The vast majority of the wildlife in the Galapagos is tame, so you don’t need a monster lens, I use an intermediate zoom most of the time. During your extra day in Quito you will be staying at a lodge where you can photograph hummingbirds. This is a hotel based Galapagos photo tour. We will stay in highly rated hotels on 3 different islands, San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz and visit several other islands on this tour. Staying in lodges versus on a boat gives us the advantages of being able to spend more time at the right time of day for photography in some locations and it gives us more comfort with larger rooms. It’s also much less expensive for those wanting a single room.
Maximum participants: 10 total with a maximum of 6 photographers.
Cost and Logistics
$5,950, single supplement of $900. Nonphotographer spouse $5,200, Deposit $1,700. Cost includes all lodging including 8 nights on the islands and 3 nights in Quito, Ecuador. It includes all meals, activities, transportation besides flights, guiding and instruction. Cost doesn’t include flight to/from Ecuador from your home, Quito-Galapagos-Quito flights, Galapagos National Park entrance fee, drinks, tips and items of a personal nature.
April 2nd: Arrival to Quito, transfer from airport to Zaysant Ecolodge.
April 3rd: Rest and photograph a few birds in the garden at Zaysant. Vermilion Flycatcher, Black-tailed Trainbearer and Western Emerald are a few of the more exciting species possible. Javier will give a presentation on photograhing birds in the wild. Hotel: Zaysant Ecolodge.
April 4th: Morning flight to San Cristobal Island. Check into our hotel then afternoon van trip to photograph Frigatebirds which drink from a lake in the highlands followed by photographing Blue-footed Boobies in the setting sun on the east end of the island. Hotel: Galapagos Eco Friendly Hotel, highest rated San Cristobal lodging on TripAdvisor.
April 5th: Full day boat trip to Hood Island to photograph nesting Galapagos Albatrosses, Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies and many other species. Return to San Cristobal in the late afternoon. Hotel: Galapagos Eco Friendly Hotel.
April 6th – In the morning we will visit Los Loberias, a wildlife area close to town that hosts many Galapagos Sea Lions, Marine Iguanas and other birds. A hike to a nearby cliff gets us to nesting Swallow-tailed Gulls and Red-billed Tropicbirds. In the afternoon we will have our ferry transfer to Santa Cruz Island. Hotel: Hotel Coloma, which gets excellent reviews.
April 7th – Today we will visit a ranch where many Giant Tortoises roam in the wild, it’s also a good spot for endemic land birds. In the afternoon we will visit another lagoon which is good for Flamingos and Marine Iguanas. Hotel: Hotel Coloma
April 8th – This morning we will visit the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to photograph several species of endemic finches including the rare Woodpecker Finch and Warbling Finches. After lunch we will have a boat transfer to Isabela Island. Just before sunset we will visit a lake which attracts waterbirds including American Flamingoes. Hotel: La Laguna, a beautiful hotel with views to the flamingo lake.
April 9th – In the morning we will visit the Las Tintoreras, we will take a small boat trip here which is excellent for photographing Galapagos Penguins and those interested can go snorkeling, often accompanied by Sea Turtles. We will also have a short hike to a lagoon where you can photograph sharks silhouetted swimming in crystal clear waters below. In the afternoon we will visit the tortoise breeding center and then the flamingo lagoon. Hotel: La Laguna
April 10th – In the morning we will visit the highlands of Isabela Island on the lookout for Galapagos Hawks and the elusive Galapagos Rail, on a clear day we will have great views of the volcanoes. Then we return to Santa Cruz Island. In the late afternoon we will photograph in the harbor area at Santa Cruz, this is an excellent spot to photograph then endemic Lava Heron. Hotel: Hotel Mainao, one of the highest rated hotels on on Santa Cruz Island.
April 11th – Today we will have a boat trip to North Seymour Island and Bachas Beach. North Seymour has nesting Great and Magnificent Frigatebirds, Blue-footed Boobies and other seabirds, it’s also the best location to photograph Land Iguana. Bachas Beach is always productive for a variety of waterbirds. Hotel: Hotel Mainao
April 12th – Today we will visit a ranch where many Giant Tortoises roam in the wild, they are often in a red algae covered lake making for interesting photos, it’s also a good spot for endemic land birds. Then we will check out and head back to Quito. Hotel: Zaysant Ecolodge.
April 13th – Fly home or we can arrange a few days photographing the hummingbirds, tanagers and other great birds of mainland Ecuador with one of our photography guides.
Spend 5 days and 4 nights photographing at Sachatamia Lodge near Mindo, Ecuador, this is our favorite lodge for bird photography in Ecuador. We will do multi-flash hummingbird photography and photograph the numerous birds which come to the blind and at the fruit feeders. Spectacular hummingbirds include Violet-tailed Slyph and Booted Rackettail. On the 21st we will return to Zaysant Ecolodge near the airport so you can fly home on the 22nd. If anyone wants to spend a few more days photographing in Ecuador we can arrange several options for you. Cost of extension: Cost: $2,195, supplement $400.
Javier Zurita is a full time photographer and tour leader based out of Quito, Ecuador. He is an innovator in multi-flash photography and bird photography blind design.