12:54 , June 28, 2011

Galapagos 2013

Welcome to photographers PARADISE! The Galapagos Islands have some of the most interesting birds and reptiles on the planet. And the good news is – most of them are tame and are easy to photograph!

Both above and below, the water is teeming with life and provides great memories and full CF-cards. WildPhoto Travel has customized this trip for photographers to provide for some extraordinary days in this paradise near the equator.

The photo trip to the Galapagos in May 2011 was successful, and you can see some of the pictures from this trip here: GALAPAGOS #1, GALAPAGOS #2

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) and Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) fighting in Galapagos (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
There are plenty of birds to photograph on the Galapagos Islands. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / WildPhoto Travel.

 

Why go on this trip?

  • Most trips to the Galapagos only tour the central islands. On this custom expedition we will also visit the outer islands.
  • We have made changes to the program and visitor sites so it is better suited to photographers.
  • We will be on shore as early as possible (06:00) at sunrise, and remain in areas well after the usual tourist groups. We can also stay up until sunset (18:00) to take advantage of the light conditions.
  • A pro nature photographer will be the tour and photo leader.
  • We will be a small group with a maximum of 15 participants. We have use of the entire ship, which is modern and relatively spacious.
  • We have 2 naturalists instead of only one. This gives us more flexibility when we are on shore.
  • The other participants share your interests in photography and wildlife / nature.
  • We have 2 extra days in one of Ecuador’s most exciting rain forests. We start shooting in this park before we fly to the Galapagos.
  • WildPhoto Travel is a member of the Norwegian «Reisegarantifondet», and as a participant, you can be sure of a refund if the trip is cancelled or if WildPhoto Travel goes bankrupt, etc.
  • You will be assured of getting better photos and images if you join us on this journey!

 

Our “hotel” during our Galapagos expedition. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / WildPhoto Travel.

 

Accommodation

The ship will be our «hotel»; this allows the ship to move to new locations during the night. The food and cabins are good compared to European standards, but are not luxurious. Our three nights in Quito will be at one of the best hotels in town.

 

Safety

Safety on this expedition will be a top priority and will be maintained by the crew and the guides. There is really no danger from animals or insects of the Galapagos. Snorkling will only be performed in safe areas.

 

Friendly crew members in a “panga” (zodiac). Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

The program for 23th April to 7th May, 2013

23/4 UPDATE – Recommended flight from Europe will be KLM from Amsterdam directly to Quito (KL0751) arriving to Quito 14:35. There are also other possible flights available. At the airport we will be met and transferred directly to the rainforest.

24/4 UPDATE – Full day photographing in the rain forest. Accommodation is at the lodge.

25/4 Full day photographing in the rainforest. In the evening we head back to Quito for dinner and to our hotel.

26/4 Fly to Baltra (Galapagos) in the morning. Boarding our ship, which will be our “hotel” for the next 11 days (10 nights). We start shooting 1-2 hours later on the island of North Seymour. Right away we’ll have excellent photo opportunities with Land iguanas, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca booby and beautiful Frigate birds to name a few. We believe that this will be a great start to our expedition, and we will be on North Seymour until sunset!

 

Nazca Booby (Sula granti) in Galapagos (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
This image was shot within the first 5 minutes on North Seymour, on our test trip in May 2011. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

27/4 During the night we sail north to Tower Island, where we go ashore early morning at Darwin Bay. This is the best opportunity we will have for shooting Red-footed Boobies, and the timing is perfect for breeding behaviour and nest building. In the evening will photograph at a plateau which is the breeding site for the Elliot’s Storm-petrels. This is a great place to observe and photograph the Short-eared Owl hunting for the storm-petrels. At mid-day we might also go for our first snorkelling.

 

The plateau at Tower Island. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

28/4 During the night, we sail to Santiago Island. In the morning session we will mostly photograph Marine iguanas, while in the afternoon we will explore a beautiful sandy beach where we’ll have some good opportunities for close-ups of the very curious Galapagos Hawk.

 

Photographing Marine iguanas. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

29/4 During the night we will pass the equator twice, and arrive at the north west section of Isabela Island in the morning. If you’re not already ecstatic with your photography, this will be the day. We’ll be snorkelling with Sea turtles, and maybe also Galapagos penguins and Galapagos Cormorants at a «secret» location! Evening session we be on Fernandina (the youngest of the islands), surrounded by hundreds of Marine iguanas and other interesting wildlife.

 

Sunset at Fernandina Island. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

30/4 We continue our exploration on Isabela where we have good opportunities of photographing wild Galapagos Giant tortoises and Land iguanas. This will most likely be our only opportunity to see and photograph these endemic creatures in the wild! The evening session will be in Elizabeth Bay, with nice mangrove forest and good photo opportunities.

 

Galápagos Land Iguana (Conolophus subcristatus) (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
Land iguana at Isabela. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

1/5 We are now on the south side of Isabela, where we photograph animals at sunrise on a small island. Around lunchtime we will “climb” to the crater rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano (about an hour’s walk up). This is the only one of the great volcanoes we will visit during our expedition. In the evening we visit the village of Puerto Villamil. For those who do not want to visit the volcano, there will also be an alternative program.

 

Galápagos Land Iguana (Conolophus subcristatus) (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
Marine iguana at sunrise. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

2/5 We have now moved to Floreana Island and will spend the morning near a nice lagoon inhabited by flamingos. Later in the day there will be more opportunities for snorkelling with playful sea lions. This may be one of the tour’s major highlights! We also make an effort to see and photograph the extremely rare and endemic Champion Mockingbird (only approx. 100 individuals left).

 

Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) (Ole Jørgen Liodden)

Snorklers Paradise! This will be the day to play with the Sea lions. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

3/5 This day will be spent on Santa Cruz Island, with a morning session in Puerto Ayora. There’s a small feeding place here for wild “hand-tame” Darwin finches on our schedule. During the day we visit the highlands where we try to locate and photograph some of the birds that we might not have encountered before. There are forested areas with lichens, which provide great scenery for photography such as the Galapagos Mockingbird. In the afternoon we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where there are many Galapagos Giant tortoises (in captivity), including “Lonesome George” – the only survivor of his species in existence! Inside the center area there are lots of opportunities for photographing wild Darwin finches.

 

Hand-tame Darwin-finch Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

4/5 This morning we will visit the rare Waved Albatross which only breeds on the island of Espanola. We use the entire morning session here amongst albatrosses, boobies and lots of other seabirds. For the evening and at sunset we’ll be on a great white sandy beach where sea lions often rest by the hundreds. This is also the place to photograph the endemic bird “Hood Mockingbird”, the only one of the four mockingbirds that Charles Darwin didn’t find on his trip to the islands in 1835.

 

Nesting Waved albatross close to the path. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

5/5 The second last day of the Galapagos, we will be on the island of San Cristobal, in the eastern most part of the archipelago. We start on Punta Pitt, also with possibilities for snorkling. On this island we have opportunities to photograph Ghost crabs and the indigenous San Cristobal Mockingbird. This will also be our last snorkelling opportunity of the trip.

6/5 We end our Galapagos expedition with a sunrise landing on a small but very interesting beach near Baltra. There are plenty of sea lions, as well as opportunities to photograph the Lava gull, boobies and other seabirds. After the morning session we go ashore at Baltra where we’ll be transferred to the airport. We fly back to Quito where we will have a «farewell-dinner» in the evening. Accommodation is in Quito.

 

Galápagos sea lion (Zalophus wollebaeki) at sunrise (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
Sunset near Baltra, before we head to the airport. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden

 

7/5 After breakfast we head to the airport for our flight home.

 

It is possible to stay longer in Ecuador or Peru, but at your own risk and expense.

 

Registration

Sign up for this exciting expedition with a deposit of NOK 10,000,- to bank account: 6185.05.28607 (we send you info about IBAN and SWIFT codes by email). Note: this deposit is NOT refundable even if you later want to withdraw from the trip. But, if the expedition is cancelled, then you will get a full refund. At registration you must also submit a signed booking form (request this booking form by email and we will send you the PDF file). NB: both sides in the booking form must be signed, and the registration is binding. The price for the photo expedition 23 APRIL – 7 MAY 2013 is NOK 46,950,-.

 

The price includes:

  • Transfer between the airport and hotel in Quito.
  • Two nights accommodations at the Hotel Mercure Alameda in Quito, including buffet breakfast daily.
  • 2,5 days (two night) including food, transportation and guides in the Cloud forest.
  • Transfer between the airport and the ship in Baltra (Galapagos).
  • 11 days / 10 nights on the expedition ship, including accommodations, all meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Two naturalist guides + one photo guide.
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee at $100 per person.
  • Gratuities ($225 per person) to the crew of the yacht and Naturalist Guide aboard the yacht.

 

The price does not include

  • International airfare to Quito, Ecuador.
  • Round trip air from Quito to Galápagos on TAME Airlines (currently $429 per person).
  • Baggage / Trip Cancellation insurance.
  • Personal items such as laundry, room service, telephone and fax calls, and souvenirs.
  • Renting snorkling gear (wet suit = USD $60)

 

You are welcome to send any questions to: post@wildphoto.com
Welcome to exciting days in the Galapagos!

This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål

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  1. wenhua says:

    Your photos are amazing…

  2. matias says:

    is not killer whale, it’s Orca

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