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GALAPAGOS 2018!
A two week tour of ALL
the Major Islands

Limited to 10 participants

April -May 2020
Exact dates are not yet set but the information
accurately reflects the itinerary and details

Read the 2018 Trip Report for even more insight!
Or check out our 2016 Trip Report, too!

Price: $TBA

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Precede this trip with one of our special Hummingbirds of Ecuador Photo Tours, limited to just FIVE photographers for the most productive hummingbird photography you'll ever experience.

The Galapagos Islands are one of the iconic, 'bucket list' destinations for all wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Truly, it is a spectacular location, with a vast variety of incredibly tame wildlife. A photographer's dream location, and justly so.

Our photo safari will explore all of the major visitation sites possible on a Two Week Long trip! We'll be the sole passengers of an extremely comfortable catamaran, a double-hulled boat that is roomy and far more stable than a traditional yacht or sailboat. Contrast that with groups that are a part of a cruise ship's passengers, or large boats that accommodate fifty or more people. Our trip is tailored for photographers and the shooting is quite fantastic. At many of our locations we'll be the only people present, and even at those where other groups may be present, we won't be hurried along (like them!), allowing us to do quality photography.

Our Photo Safari will visit ALL of the major destinations, including Genovesa (Tower) for its incredible birds, the Red-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Greater Frigatebirds, Red-billed Tropicbirds, and more, in the northeast, and Espanola (Hood) Island in the far southeast, with the only nesting site of the beautiful Waved Albatross, colorful Marine Iguanas, Galapagos Hawks, and more. We'll circle the entire Archipelago, enabling us to visit remote Ferdanina and Isabella Islands, two of my absolute favoites. You'll also have the opportunity to snorkel, and for Mary and I this was the highlight of the entire trip in 2016.

For the very best idea of what to expect, what you're likely to see and do, please read the 2016 Trip Report. The photos will be the same as here -- only more images -- but the text will serve as an excellent guide.

The exact itinerary, in terms of where we are each day, will not be available until months before the trip, as the various outfitters, companies, and ships work out agreeable schedules. However, the following will provide an excellent outline of where we'll go and what we will see.

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Seymore Island.
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Seymore Island is known for its Land Iguanas, Great Frigatebirds, and Blue-footed Boobies, Land Iguanas. dAlso, we'll find Great Frigatebirds soaring overhead, some with inflated red throat pouches.
Also, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Brown Noddy Terns, Lava Gulls, and Galapagos Warblers .

Snorkeling is probable here, with wildlife including White-tipped Reef Shark, Spotted Eagle Rays, Parrot Fish, and various Angel fish.

Bottlenosed Dolphins are found here and may bow-ride beside us as we cruise..

Santa Cruz

This is the main town in the Galapagos where we will board a bus for a 30-40 minute ride into the highlands for Giant Tortoises. Smooth-billed Anis, Galapagos Finches
Galapagos Rail, a possible Barn Owl, and plenty of Tortoises will occupy the morning before we return to the boat for lunch.

bPM. In the afternoon we'll visit the Darwin Research Station. Yellow Warblers, Medium Ground Finches, a Vegetarian Finch, Lava Herons, and Pelicans are common along the way. The Station, which features a few large enclosures for some Tortoises, roaming Lava Lizards and plenty of finches, and Lava Herons.


lIsabella Island, Moreno Point

We'll do an excursion to the lava fields on Isabella. Here we'll find a few birds and plenty of Lava Lizards. In the nearby lagoons there are Caribbean Flamingos and on a panga ride among the rocks we may seeour first Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins. The bay here is excellent for snorkeling and on our last trip we had at least six Green Sea Turtles here.


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PM. Urbina Bay.

In the afternoon we'll disembark to a sandy beach where gold-colored Land Iguanas graze on the new growth of a barren, once-weedy field. Wild Tortoises, Galapagos Hawks, Yellow Warblers, and some shorebirds are here as well.

Darwin Bay and Tagus Cove

Our destination here isan overlook of a small lake that rises above a view of the bay where we will be anchored.
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Flightless Cormorants, Mockingbirds and small Galapagos Finches are around the landing, and on a zodiak cruise we're likely to have Brown Pelicans, Marine Iguanas, Galapagos Penguins, Storm Petrels and Sea Lions.
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PM.In the afternoon we'll head to one of my absolute favorite locations in the Galapagos, Espinoza Point.Our walking route will skirt Marine Iguana nesting beaches as we walked along the lava flows, as well as Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Marine Iguanas, Flightless Cormorants, and Galapagos Snakes (the latest Planet Earth II has incredible footage of this snake in behavior never seen before).
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hPuenta Egas, Santiago Island

We'll land on a sandy beach and hike a great lava field where we might find short-eared owls, as well as three species of Heron, Great Blue, Lava, and Yellow-Crowned Night, and Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Lava Lizards, and American Oystercatchers.



Buccaneer’s Cove, Santiago Island

A zodiac excursion is planned for Brown Pelicans, Noddy Terns, and Sealions and Galapagos Fur Seals.

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Rabida Island

American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Hawks, Galapagos Finches, and wonderful snorkeling will occupy this landing for our morning, and an extremely interesting hike through the prehistoric lava fields. The snorkeling here can be extremely productive.

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Tower Island (Genovesa)


One of the highlights of any trip to the Galapagos is this, one of the principle wildlife islands located in the far northeastern quadrant of the archipelago. Tower is ancient, and our visitation area is inside a collapsed caldera. Our morning destination will be Prince Phillip’s Steps, a steep climb up the lava cliffs. There are stone steps cut into the rock, and, now, a handrail, making pulling yourself up a little easier.
fRed-billed Tropicbirds flash by overhead, and the skies are filled with Frigatebirds. into regurgitating. Nazca Boobies, formerly Masked Boobies, nest on rocks along the edge, and the first part of our walk skirtd many nests that are located right beside the trail. Red-footed Boobies, which nest and roost in trees, and Greater Frigatebirds, also nesti in the low, shrub-like vegetation, were close to the trail as well. The skies are thick with Galapagos Petrels, swirling around like swallows, and seemingly for no reason. We'll also have a chance to snorkel along the base of the cliff, a great area for sea turles.

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PM
. We'll visit Darwin’s Bay, a sandy beach and wet landing. Galapagos Sea Lions sleep along the shoreline, and Red-footed Boobies, both the brown and the white morph, Great Frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Mockingbirds, Finches, and Yellow-crowned Night Heron are other subjects. b


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Daphne Island, Baltra Island, and Bachas Island

We circle the hat-like island of Daphne, an island that is almost impossible to land on as the seas have undercut the rocks, creating an island that resembles a cupcake with icing spilling over the edges. Two ornithologist researchers, we were told, had landed there not too long ago and made an important and striking observation. Weather, perhaps a drought or perhaps quite the reverse, had changed the vegetation drastically and the resident Finch population had nearly been wiped out. What happened next surprised everyone. The surviving Finches, whose beaks were poorly adapted for the present vegetation conditions, changed, and in just a generation or two had transformed into a population whose bills now suited the new vegetation. Previously, natural selection and the consequent changes were thought to take fdecades or centuries or longer. These changes, where the Finches ‘had’ to change in order to survive, took only a fraction of the predicted or expected time. A scientist that preceded Darwin by a century or two, named Lamark, had proposed his own idea of evolution which suggested animals and plants inherited acquired characteristics, and perhaps (memory fails me here for complete accuracy) the need or desire for a trait as well. In that context, a muscular body builder’s children would be heavily muscled as well, or a skinny runner would have skinny kids. This, of course, goes against what we know of genetics, and one simple experiment, cutting off the tails of mice (an acquired characteristic) never resulted in tailless mice, regardless of how many generations of mice suffered the same amputation.
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We'll have nice views of Galapagos Petrels, Noddy Terns, Frigates, and Masked Boobies. On land we hope to see American Flamingos, as well as Teal, Lava Gulls, Black-necked Stilts and Brown Pelicans.

The snorkeling is excellent here and we may see Sea Turles,
Spotted Eagle Rays, Black-tipped Reef Sharks, and numerous Parrot Fish.


San Cristobal Island

bWe'll cruise around one of the Galapagos’s most distinctive geologic formations, ‘Kicker Rock,’ located several miles offshore from San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the archipelago. It’s shape, when viewed from one side, resembles a boot, and the ‘kicker’ alludes to a shoe or boot kicking. The rock, actually a sheer island, is split in two, with one narrow, near vertical spire, although the main island has numerous cracks and splits, with at least one of these also splitting the island in two.
We're likely to photograph sea turtles, seals, Noddy Terns, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Galapagos Shearwaters, Frigates, and Boobies, either from our boat or after we land at a protected cove.
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Snorkeling here is great, and the water is surprisingly warm, and one can snorkel here without wetsuits, as you get shots of the Galapagos Sea Lions that play in the surf just offshore.
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One of the highlights here can be the diving Brown Pelicans and Blue-footed Boobies that repeatedly dive into the sea not very far from shore.



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PM
. In the afternoon we'll t snorkel in Isla Lobos Bay, where we'll look for Green Sea Turtles.
After our snorkeling, we'll return to the shore for our afternoon excursion for Blue-footed Boobies, Frigates and Brown Pelicans.

aEspanola (Hood) Island

Like Genovesa, Espanola Island is one of the highlights of a Galapagos trip and usually, either one or the other is included on a normal itinerary, but both are not included in a short one week trip.

Hood Island has the only nesting colony of the Waved Albatross, named for the vermiculation of its feathers, creating a series of waves along its chest and belly. Albatrosses nest here, but we'll also see the endemic Hood Island Lava Lizard, the most colorful subspecies of Marine Iguanas, and Sea Lions. Nazca Boobies, Galapagos Hawks, Yellow Warblers, Mockingbirds, and Finches will be our other subjects.


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PM.
We'll snorkel in Gardner Bay off Gardner Island. The water is cold, but clear, and very deep, and we're likely to have Sealions playing along the surf line.






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Floreana Island


Medium Tree Finches and Ground Finches, Sally Light Foot Crabs, Carribean Flamingos, and Hawks are along the cliffs here.
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From the lake we will hike to the opposite side of the island where, back in film days, we had a Great Blue Heron at sunset massacring baby sea turtles emerging from a nest. Galapagos Sharks follow the surf line, their dark shapes just below the waterline.


PM. Post Office Bay, and weather permitting we wil snorkel here.

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Santa Fe Island


hOn Santa Fe we'll see a new species of Land Iguana, distinguished by being paler than the other species wide-spread through the islands. The iguana reminds me of an American Chuckwalla. We had good luck with an immature Galapagos Hawk and Sea Lions are found along the shoreline , and Stingrays swim close to shore.
We'll snorkel after our hike, in one of the most productive and exciting locations here in the islands.



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South Plaza Island

This is a great island for Land Iguana, which are everywhere. .
Swallow-tailed Gulls are abundant, and we gwill photograph them swirling in flight below us as we stand upon a cliff, as Red-billed Tropicbirds race along, announcing their presence by a distinctive cackle, of the parrots we’ve filmed in the Pantanal.


 




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Chinese Hat


We'll do a hike through the extensive lava fields here, and afterwards we do another snorkeling dive, following the cliffs where we have had White-tipped Reef Shark.
gThe highlight of our snorkeling last time was a Galapagos Penguin that was perched upon a rock close to the tide line. As is typical, many birds (and mammals) do not associate danger coming from the sea and this penguin completely ignored us. It was a nice way to end the dive, and we swam back to the panga chilled to the core but happy.



i Bartolme Island

The jagged pinnacle that marked the end of a sand spit at Bartolme Island is one of the iconic images of the Galapagos. For anyone who saw the film ‘Master and Commander’, the pinnacle was prominently featured in a scene.

Our landing will include a hike up the unearthly landscape of Bartolme Island, fortunately on a wooden boardwalk and wooden steps.

The trip is limited to ten participants.

Price: $TBA

If you are interested in this tour, contact our office ASAP. We'll put you on our 'first contact' list when dates and prices are determined. This will insure you will hear about the trip FIRST, and we do anticipate this tour filling quickly.